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How Mobile Cash Reduces Hunger, Boosts Local Economies in Kenya

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How Mobile Cash Reduces Hunger, Boosts Local Economies in Kenya

How Mobile Cash Reduces Hunger, Boosts Local Economies in Kenya

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An innovative, mobile phone-driven cash programme has helped prevent nearly 250,000 people from slipping into severe food insecurity in drought-ravaged Kenya.

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has given monthly grants of 3,000 Kenya Shillings (about 28 Swiss francs) to more than 41,000 drought-affected families spread across 13 counties over the past three months. The money is primarily transferred using the M-Pesa mobile phone-based money transfer service.

“This programme is transforming the way we respond to emergencies in Kenya,” said Dr Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, KRCS. “Even in very remote parts of the country, mobile phones are widely accessible. It makes it very easy for people to access money and, more importantly, it gives them choice and flexibility in how they spend their money.

“It helps them maintain a sense of dignity, which is not always the case in humanitarian operations.”

The Kenya Food Security Steering Group’s Mid-Season Long Rains Assessment estimates that 3.5 million people are in need of emergency food relief in Kenya. The crisis in Kenya is largely driven by prolonged drought, but is also influenced by underlying poverty and poor preparedness for these kinds of predictable and cyclical emergencies.

An evaluation of the KRCS drought programme has found that families receiving mobile cash are eating more often, and from a more diverse menu. More than 60 per cent of families involved in the programme report they can now afford three or more meals per day compared to 20 per cent before the cash transfer initiative began.

In addition to food, families have used the cash to cover essentials like healthcare and education.

A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found out that mobile-money services “have helped raise 194,000 Kenyan households out of extreme poverty, and induced 185,000 women to work in business or retail occupations over farming”.

“The results speak for themselves, and we hope that this programme can be expanded in Kenya and replicated in other countries battling chronic hunger in Africa,” said Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Regional Director for Africa.

“It’s better for the people in need of help. It’s cheaper and more efficient for aid agencies to implement. And it puts money back into local economies – into the hands of shopkeepers and traders that are key to ensuring the recovery of communities.”

In all, the KRCS is targeting more than 1 million people across the country with a range of services, including support to malnourished children, traditional food distribution, rehabilitation of communal water points and animal offtake and slaughter to cushion farmers from massive asset losses. KRCS and IFRC are appealing for 25 million Swiss francs to support these interventions. About 67 per cent of funds needed have been received from local and international partners.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Market Gets 0.34% Boost Thursday

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Unlisted Securities Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

Amid an increase in trading value and volume, the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange ended in the positive territory on Thursday, January 26, as it shot up by 0.34 per cent.

This was buoyed by the increase in the share price of Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc by 50 Kobo to N13.00 per unit from N12.50 per unit, and the surge in the price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc by 30 Kobo to N62.48 per unit from the preceding session’s N62.18 per unit.

This jerked the total value of the unlisted securities market by N3.09 billion to close at N923.76 billion versus N920.67 billion of the previous day, as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) increased by 2.36 points to settle at 703.01 points, in contrast to the midweek’s 700.66 points.

During the session, market participants executed eight deals at the bourse, 68 per cent lower than the 25 deals executed a day earlier.

However, the value of transactions increased during the session by 41.3 per cent to N4.9 million from N3.5 million, and the volume of trades jumped by 52.4 per cent to 189,670 units from the 121,494 units published on Wednesday.

At the close of business, Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis, with the sale of 61.1 million units worth N49.2 million. UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 29.7 million units valued at N21.1 million, while NASD Plc was in third place with 944,112 units valued at N13.6 million.

Also, VFD Group Plc maintained its position as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis, with 422,074 units sold for N103.0 million, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Group Plc was in second place with 899,657 units valued at N59.1 million, while Geo-Fluids Plc was in third place for trading 61.1 million units for N49.2 million.

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Economy

Naira Crashes at Parallel Market, Gains at Official Market

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Parallel Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira crashed against the United States Dollar at the parallel market on Thursday by N4 or 0.54 per cent to trade at N752/$1, in contrast to Wednesday’s rate of N748/$1.

However, in the official market, which is the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Nigerian currency appreciated against the greenback yesterday by 45 Kobo or 0.1 per cent to quote at N461.25/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N461.70/$1.

A 58.9 per cent or $64.66 million decrease in the value of forex turnover in the spot market helped the local currency close stronger during the session. Data from FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that FX trades worth $45.16 million were carried out compared with the $109.82 million executed in the previous trading day.

Also, in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX market, the domestic currency gained N2 against the American Dollar to sell at N764/$1 versus Wednesday’s N766/$1.

However, in the interbank segment, the Naira lost 24 Kobo against the British Pound Sterling to close at N567.21/£1 compared with the previous N567.45/£1, and depreciated by 20 Kobo against the Euro to quote at N500.73/€1, in contrast to N500.53/€1.

Meanwhile, most of the tokens monitored by Business Post in the crypto market depreciated in value at the close of transactions on Thursday, with Litecoin (LTC) shedding 1.6 per cent to trade at $87.48.

Further, Ripple (XRP) depreciated by 1.4 per cent to sell at $0.4109, Binance Coin (BNB) lost 0.4 per cent to quote at $305.07, Dogecoin (DOGE) dropped 0.2 per cent to finish at $0.0862, and Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.01 per cent to sell at $23,044.70.

Conversely, Cardano (ADA) appreciated yesterday by 2.8 per cent to settle at $0.3808, Ethereum (ETH) rose by 0.6 per cent to sell at $1,604.89, and Solana added a 0.02 per cent to its value to close at $24.36.

but the prices of the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged at the close of trades at $1.00, respectively.

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Economy

Stock Market Rebounds by 0.29% as GTCO, Others Enjoy Patronage

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stock market bull

By Dipo Olowookere

A 0.29 per cent growth was recorded by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Thursday on the back of renewed demand for stocks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aggressively cut down the stop rate of treasury bills on Wednesday.

The disappointment resulted in investors looking for alternative investment instruments, and equities were the next point of call.

In the previous two trading sessions, the stock market was down, but it rebounded yesterday on the back of a fresh bargain-hunting, which consequently pushed the All-Share Index (ASI) higher by 153.31 points to 52,752.96 points from 52,599.65 points, and the market capitalisation increased by N83 billion to N28.733 trillion from N28.650 trillion.

According to data from the NGX, the banking and energy sectors appreciated by 1.58 per cent each, the insurance space rose by 1.01 per cent, and the consumer goods counter grew by 0.05 per cent, while the industrial goods index depreciated by 0.01 per cent.

During the session, investors traded 139.7 million shares worth N2.0 billion in 3,549 deals compared with the 119.8 million shares valued at N2.7 billion traded in 3,552 deals, indicating an increase in the trading volume by 16.61 per cent, a decline in the trading value by 25.93 per cent, and a drop in the number of deals by 0.08 per cent.

GTCO emerged as the most traded equity yesterday with the sale of 17.8 million units, followed by Access Holdings, which transacted 15.4 million units. Fidelity Bank exchanged 11.9 million shares, Mutual Benefits sold 6.9 million equities, and Dangote Sugar traded 6.7 million stocks.

The market breadth was positive on Thursday, with 25 price gainers and seven price losers, indicating a very strong investor sentiment.

Geregu Power gained 10.00 per cent to trade at N147.40, Coronation Insurance appreciated by 9.76 per cent to 45 Kobo, Chellarams improved by 9.70 per cent to N1.81, International Energy Insurance grew by 9.43 per cent to 58 Kobo, and Tripple Gee jumped by 9.09 per cent to 96 Kobo.

On the flip side, RT Briscoe lost 9.09 per cent to settle at 30 Kobo, Royal Exchange dropped 8.24 per cent to sell at 78 Kobo, Courteville depreciated by 7.84 per cent to 47 Kobo, Linkage Assurance fell by 4.00 per cent to 48 Kobo, and Transcorp shed 0.82 per cent to N1.21.

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