Warriors’ Andre Iguodala ‘absolutely’ believes Mark Jackson has been blackballed by NBA

first_imgThe basketball court isn’t the only place where Andre Iguodala is a straight shooter. On Tuesday, appearing on ESPN’s “The Breakfast Club” to discuss his newly released book “The Sixth Man” he said he believes former Warriors coach Mark Jackson has been blackballed by the NBA.“I do,” he said. “Yes. Absolutely.”Iguodala joined the Warriors for the 2013-14 season in Jackson’s third, and final, season as the team’s coach.“He was one of my favorite coaches of all time,” Iguodala said. “It was …last_img read more

Mobile money is transforming Africa’s economy

first_imgA “disruptive innovation”, mobile bank accounts have taken off across Africa, particularly in Kenya, where the alternative to traditional banking has spread rapidly and outstrips technology available in the US and Europe. Mobile bank accounts bring banking to millions of poor people unable to access traditional banks, allowing them to save money and better their lives. This micro-banking particularly benefits African women. (Image: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation via Flickr) • Mobile phone boost to African internet • Kenya takes banking to the poor • Zimbabwe: Africa’s first cashless society? • Seven reasons to be optimistic about Africa • Africa’s high-tech boom boosts the continent’s competitiveness Lesley Silverthorn MarincolaI live in the heart of Silicon Valley and am still dependent on a piece of plastic I have to carry around with me everywhere. From gas to groceries, I pay with my credit card.With the introduction of Apple Play only six months ago, Americans are only now starting to experience the smartphone-enabled proliferation of US mobile money services. Yet, perhaps because not every buyer has an iPhone 6 and not every vendor has a near field communication terminal, credit cards dominate the US market and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.However, some 15 000 kilometres from Silicon Valley, in Nairobi, Kenya, a far more widely adopted mobile money service has exploded. Unlike the mobile money experience that US users are just beginning to adopt, using mobile money in Kenya does not require a smartphone, or a credit card. In fact, it doesn’t even require a bank account. Already, two out of every three adult Kenyans actively use it and it accounts for more around 18% of Safaricom’s revenue, more than SMS and data combined.A mobile banking vendor in Tanzania, Kenya’s southern neighbour. (Image: Development Planning Unit, University College of London, via Flickr)Disruptive innovationSafaricom’s M-Pesa is the leading platform behind the mobile money revolution. On registering a SIM card through Safaricom, the leading telecom company in Kenya, a user can simultaneously register to use M-Pesa. Across Kenya, a network of “human ATMs” has emerged, where M-Pesa users can either deposit cash into their mobile wallets (thereby tying a cash balance to their phone number) or withdraw cash that has been sent to their mobile number. By the end of 2014, there were 81 000 M-Pesa agents across Kenya, and you’d be hard-pressed to travel anywhere in the country and not find an M-Pesa agent. In fact, M-Pesa agents are more prevalent per capita in Kenya than ATMs are in the United States.M-Pesa’s evolution is a shining example of how disruptive innovation often stems from markets that lack many basic technologies and infrastructure. In Kenya, over 80% of the population lives without access to grid electricity, instead relying on dim, toxic and expensive kerosene fuel combustion to light their homes. However, even without power, most of these off-grid families and small businesses own mobile phones. Of course, these aren’t iPhones with capacitive touch screens and instant access to the app store. The phones they own are probably Nokia or Samsung feature phones with an alphanumeric keypad and a black and white LCD display. By leveraging this basic phone, intricate platforms like M-Pesa can offer an attractive alternative to stashing cash underneath a mattress.Watch a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation video on the mobile banking revolution:From mailing cheques to using PayPal, US customers have no lack of options for storing and sending money. In Kenya, before M-Pesa, sending money to family members was done by stuffing physical cash into an envelope, entrusting it to an unknown bus driver, and hoping it reached its destination without anything skimmed off the top. Recognising the need for a better solution, Safaricom launched a successful marketing campaign by assuring customers they could cheaply, quickly and securely “Send Money Home” with M-Pesa. In the US, where credit cards already work without too much hassle, a user needs far more convincing to make the transition to mobile money. In countries like Kenya, which has seen the exponential adoption of the mobile feature phone amid energy and formal banking scarcities, using M-Pesa is a no-brainer.Reaching off-gridFor unbanked Kenyans and many other countries where mobile money has expanded, M-Pesa has become far more than a way to send money home. Routine purchases like airtime or utility bills are paid via mobile money. Retailers of all sizes accept M-Pesa merchant payments for groceries, cab fares, airline tickets or even school fees.Microfinance organisations are even able to offer lower interest rates due to saving on cash collection costs by receiving payments through mobile money. Angaza, for example, leverages a variety of mobile money platforms, from Airtel Money to Tigo Pesa to Safaricom’s M-Pesa, to receive pay-as-you-go energy payments from solar product micro-loans.In off-grid markets like East Africa, solar energy can provide a reliable and affordable source of electricity for light, mobile phone charging, and powering electronics like radios and refrigerators. However, the upfront cost barrier of a solar home system keeps them out of financial reach of most off-grid consumers. By spreading out the cost of a solar home system over time via affordable weekly payments, solar energy becomes widely accessible, even to families earning less than $2 a day. All of this is possible thanks to the incredible growth of M-Pesa, which enables pay-as-you-go customers to make their weekly payments easily and securely.Apple is innovative, yes. But Kenya has attracted the global spotlight when it comes to the mobile money innovation. It may take many years for Apple Pay to reach the prominence that mobile money has experienced in a country where even electricity is a luxury.Lesley Silverthorn Marincola is CEO of Angaza Design, and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper from the San Francisco Hub. This article originally appeared on the WEF Agenda blog.last_img read more

Barrettes Clips Hair Clips Diamante Hair Slide Vintage Rose : Didnt work for me but was very pretty.

first_imgBeautiful and really special, well worth the money. It ok not worth what i apid for it an rather samll. Perfect exactly what i wanted. Beautiful looks really expensive. Didnt work for me but was very pretty.lovely hair clipBarrettes Clips Hair Clips Diamante Hair Slide Vintage Silver RoseVintage Style BarretteClassic Design Good quality & delivered on time. Didnt work for me but was very pretty. . This was a lovely hair clip, unfortunatly it broke as my hair dresser was putting it in lol. But it was very pretty and would have been perfect. I think maybe hairdresser was too heavy handed or perhaps i had a faulty one?.Either way the company refunded. Nice clip for the money, good fast delivery. Great slide useful for regular wear. A little bit smaller than expected but still a lovely item. Fantastic hair clip, my daughter loved it. When i go out somewhere special i like to have my hair back and i don’t see many really lovely hair slides like this. I was a little worried about it at first, because i wasn’t sure about the quality. However, to say i was delighted with it is an understatement. The quality was better than i could ever have imagined and so, so beautiful. There is absolutely nothing about it i don’t like. I am really, really pleased and would recommend it to anyone who wanted something special to make their hair look nice for a special occasion. Really good, i use it almost every day. Lovely hair slide it hold my hair really well as i have very thick hair, looks expensive brilliant for the money. So pleased with this slide looks a lot more expensive than it is, highly recommend.last_img read more