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Kenyan consumers can now pay in cash for goods from Amazon1 minute read

The product called Amazon Paycode is adding accessibility to digital transactions

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Amazon has launched service that allows its Kenyan customers pay for purchases at local Western Union agents. Customer’s identity will be verified through a unique QR code and matched to the order confirmation.

The service, called Amazon PayCode, caters to e-savvy Kenyan consumers who lack access to international credit cards or prefer to buy goods in cash and in their own currency. The service was also launched in nine other countries in Asia and Latin America.

Kenya has seen increased smartphone and e-commerce adoption in recent years. Mobile money platforms like M-Pesa have enabled shoppers mobile phone accessibility to pay for goods. Amazon seeks to expand its reach in developing markets, competing with the likes of Alibaba, and the Amazon PayCode service signals its intent.

Amazon currently delivers to 10 African nations; they are yet to replicate their success in US markets across the world.

Global tech giants have begun to look to Africa to increase their presence and revenue. Google last year integrated Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile money service as a form of payment in its store. Alibaba recently launched deals with the Rwandan government to boost e-commerce, trade, and tourism.

The Amazon and Western Union collaboration exhibits multinationals focus on getting more customers to do digital transactions. In 2018, Safaricom rolled out services that allow their customers do transactions locally and internationally through deals with Western Union and PayPal

Amazon and Western Union’s collaboration also showcases the increasing focus from multinationals and fintech companies to boost financial inclusion and get more customers to do digital transactions. Last year, Kenya’s leading mobile network operator Safaricom signed deals with both Western Union and PayPal to allow its customers to shop and transfer money both at home and abroad using their e-wallets.

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East Africa News

Six-storey residential building collapses in Embakasi, Nairobi

Access to the scene by emergency responders was hampered by the poor state of the roads in Tassia

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Collapsed residential building in Tassia
Collapsed residential building in Tassia.

A six-storey building in Tassia, Embakasi, a suburb in Nairobi, has collapsed with scores of people inside it. According to the residents of the building, the structure began sinking at around 5:00 am this morning and eventually collapsed. Eyewitnesses at the scene say that three bodies had been retrieved as of 1:00 pm EAT.

Access to the scene by emergency responders was hampered by the poor state of the roads in Tassia estate and made even worse by the ongoing heavy rains being experienced in the city and across the country.

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The Kenya Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, Emergency Plus Medical Services (EMS Kenya) and the Kenya Police are at the scene and are being aided by the area residents.

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East Africa News

Landslides claim 38 lives in Burundi after heavy rains

Police said 22 died in Nyempundu, three in Gikomero, 13 in Rukombe, though those were provisional figures

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Landslides claim 38 lives in Burundi after heavy rains
(File photo)

At least 38 people died in Burundi after heavy rains triggered landslides that swept through hillside communities in the northwest of the country, according to a provisional police toll on Thursday.

Police said on social media that heavy rains fell on Nyempundu hills in Mugina, Cibitoke province, around 120 kilometres north of the country’s main port Bujumbura, “causing landslides.”

“It happened at night, when everyone was at home, and landslides hit three very steep hills and buried everything in their path,” a witness said.

“Whole families were buried alive in their homes or in the fields. It was terrifying.”

Police said 22 died in Nyempundu, three in Gikomero, 13 in Rukombe, though those were provisional figures.

Landslides are frequent in Burundi, a mountainous country in the Great Lakes region.

The Nyempundu hills are in a difficult region to access, about five kilometres from the Rwandan border. Local authorities including the Cibitoke Governor were at the scene, witnesses said.

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Central Africa News

What’s in it for Africa at the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Spain?

The highpoint of the COP25 for Africa is the “Africa Day”, which is slated for December 10

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What's in it for Africa at the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Spain?
Participants pose for a family photo within the 2019 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), held in Madrid, Spain on December 02, 2019. Burak Akbulut / AFP

African delegates will seek to push for changes at the 2019 annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25, which officially kicked off on Monday, December 3, in Madrid, Spain.

About 29,000 visitors are expected at the conference that holds from 2 to 13 December 2019, including 50 heads of state. The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the meeting’s urgency, saying that the climate crisis could soon reach the “point of no return.”

READ: Ugandan children boycott school to march for climate change action

At COP25, delegates from 197 countries are expected to nail down some details left open by the 2015 Paris climate accord, including how carbon-trading systems and compensation for poor countries with rising sea levels will work.

Being signatories to the Paris Agreement, nearly all African countries have shown commitments to enhance climate actions by putting practical measures and building resilience in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

READ: How climate change is draining Lake Malawi and local fishing economy

Like the previous COP summits, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is present in Madrid to support regional member countries through its support to the African group of negotiators and through advocacy to make Africa’s voice heard in the global stage.

The highpoint of the COP25 for Africa is the “Africa Day”, which is slated for December 10, and will focus on concerted global action on climate change to attain a new Africa.

The conference was originally scheduled to be held in Brazil and then Chile, but the election of President Jair Bolsonaro and the protests in Santiago changed those plans. Spain agreed to host last month.

READ: Uganda’s teenage environmental activist calls for urgent climate change action

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