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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Money Transfer Startup WorldRemit Collects Its First Investment, $40M From Accel


WorldRemit, a London-based startup that is tackling the antiquated consumer money wiring/remittance market with an easy and traceable online solution, has collected some money of its own: a $40 million investment from Accel Partners, the storied VC that has backed big consumer plays like Supercell and Facebook but also a number of financial services startups like GoCardless, Funding Circle and Braintree. This is the startup’s first VC investment, and one of the largest-ever Series A rounds achieved in Europe.
WorldRemit is addressing two different business opportunities with its product. The first is a basic consumer issue: there are a number of people who live abroad or immigrate to make more money, with the intention of sending some of those earnings back home — home being a range of different countries and currencies around the globe. They typically want easy, cheap and reliable ways of doing that, but many of the most common routes today involve spending the time travelling to a physical location that offers Western Union or MoneyGram transfers, paying a large commission fee, and then getting recipients to do the same at their end.
The second is more of a business and legal issue: financial regulators looking to reduce money laundering and funding for illicit activities like terrorism are increasingly cracking down on remittance services that cannot provide a clear enough electronic track of how money has moved.
“This industry has largely remained offline until now,” co-founder and CEO Ismail Ahmed tells me. “The market share for online remittances is just 5% today, but we expect this to increase to 30%.” Driving that will be incumbents needing to change practices to meet regulatory compliance, but also, the ongoing pressure on brick and mortar businesses. “It’s just not fit for the 21st century,” he says.
WorldRemit lets consumers make transfers from any computer or phone, and receive that money either straight into bank accounts, or mobile wallets or in the form of mobile airtime. And by its nature, the transfers are electronic and more traceable than those of offline services.
The company currently lets people send money to some 100 different countries and the funding will be used to extend that to over 200, Ahmed says.
It will also be used to extend the variety of ways that the money can be paid out: one other big issue for people sending money to family back home is the concern that it may not be getting used as intended, and so creating more channels for specific payments — say, for utility bills or education fees — is one way of solving that problem.
It’s a solution that is also being tapped by a startup I wrote about last year called Regalii, which cleverly offers its customers the option of selecting gift cards for specific services as one way of guaranteeing how the money gets spent. And these two are not alone. Just today another money transfer service, Azimo, raised $10 million. And TransferWise, which also recently raised a round, is another contender — although typically the average amounts being sent on WorldRemit are of a lower value so less directly competitive.
Harry Nelis, who led the investment for Accel, says that he was attracted to WorldRemit both because of the traction that the startup has already seen with users in the markets where it operates, as well as because of the track record of the founders.
“We like their focus on the long tail, and on the smaller corridors,” he says of WorldRemit. “Instead of focusing on Sterling to euro or to U.S. dollars, what WorldRemit does is think of how to service, for example, Filipinos in Norway remitting back to the Philippines.” He says that there are some 30-40 corridors like this one that are underserved by competitors right now, making for a very nice niche business.
What the long tail business also brings is repeat custom. “Once WorldRemit acquires customers, they end up transacting 20 times per year.”
Ahmed and Catherine Wines, his co-founder and COO of WorldRemit, both have been working in the remittances industry for 20 years. Ahmed has an economics PhD and has been a compliance advisor at the UN, with a focus on East African money transfer services, and he founded WorldRemit while studying at London Business School.
Wines is a qualified accountant who had been MD of First Remit, another international money transfer business acquired by Travelex.

Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)


Chemical Name: Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)
Process: Low-temperature emulsion polymerization
Capacity: 140,000 mt per year
Properties: The shelf life of SBR is longer because of its good stability. The property of SBR is similar to that of natural rubber. It will appear physical and chemical change, while its oxidization is slow under the effect of light, heat, oxygen and ozone. More filling agents can be added in SBR and hardly affect the physical and mechanical properties of SBR, therefore SBR is fit for the production of rubber products with lower content of rubber. The low temperature resistance and resilience of SBR is not as good as natural rubber, but SBR is better than natural rubber as for antifriction, heat-proof, oil-proof and resistance to aging.
Applications: SBR 1500 is used for tyre, sidewall rubber, general back rubber, line belt, rubber hose, sole and other black rubber products without any limits of excellent physical properties, pollution and color. SBR 1502 is used for white sidewall rubber, hosepipe, shoes, sole, rubber fabric and clothes, toys and black and colorful products with excellent physical properties and no pollution. 
Packing: packed in 35kg bags, 17.5MT/20#FCL
Shipping and storage: SBR should be trimly piled up with certain space in stack. The height of stack is not higher than the thickness of 10 pieces of rubbers. It should be stored in a drafty, clean and dry warehouse at ambient temperature, to avoid drench, pollution and direct radiation of sunlight. It also avoids strongly direct radiation of sunlight and soak of rainwater while transportation.


Volatile matter, % 
Total ash, %                            
Organic acids, %                      
4.50 – 6.75
Soap, %                                  
Binding styrene, %                      
22.5 – 24.5
Mooney viscosity of green rubber, ML 100 1+4                
Mooney viscosity of milling rubber,ML 100 1+4                        
300% stress of directional elongation oriented stretch stress, Mpa, 25min             
35min (145*35min)                     
50min (145*50min)                     
17.7 ±2.0
Tensile strength, Mpa 35min. 145*35min                               
Extensibility, % 35 min.  145*35min                               

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Infant Son Neglected- Dies- While Father Plays Video Games for Three Days Straight

Many generation X’ers and Y’ers have serious problems with video game addiction. Just like drugs and alcohol and online social media sites such as Facebook, many younger people the world over have escaped into a fantasy reality, while neglecting the reality of the real world around them. Shockingly, one young father’s video game addiction has led to the death of his infant son. The father disappeared for three days to game in internet cafes, returning only on rare occasions to feed his son. Eventually, the baby died.

Infant Son Neglected- Dies- While Father Plays Video Games for Three Days Straight
Elite Daily Reports:
A young Korean father was so addicted to online games that he not only neglected to take care of his infant son, but failed to cease the habit even after finding out the boy had died.
According to Kotaku, a 22-year-old man was left with his 2-year-old son when his wife got a job at a factory and moved into the facility’s dorms.
The two met through an online game when they were in high school.
The father only checked on the boy every two or three days, however, because he literally spent all day and all night in Internet cafes.
He would return home to feed the child before heading to another Internet cafe or a sauna house to bathe.
The father found the boy dead on March 7, a blessing in his eyes considering he could now devote more time to games.
It wasn’t until over a month later that he decided it was time to do something about the rotting corpse.
The Wall Street Journal reports that he wrapped the body in a blanket, put it inside a plastic bag and left it at a flower garden last Friday about a mile away from his home.
He tried to clear his name by reporting the baby missing, but soon confessed to causing the death during questioning.
He named League of Legends and Sudden Attack as his two favorite games.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WorldsToughest Job

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Penguin Dance Sweeps Saudi Arabia

The "penguin dance" has become an Internet phenomenon in Saudi Arabia. Saudis post videos of themselves online--often dancing in traditional garb. The trend offers a peek into the lighter side of life in this very private kingdom.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Updated posted by Tanzania Diaspora 10 days ago
TANZANIAN DIASPORA had a chance to meet their President for the first time here in the UK . Duo-Citizenship was the top of the agenda among those that attended the event. The President challenged those who keep on criticising the government and asked the Tanzanians living in the diaspora to be vigorous in addressing and pushing the matters that affect them.
Updated posted by Tanzania Diaspora 10 days ago
Katika karne iliyopita, wasomi mbali mbali wakiwepo wanauchumi, pamoja na wataalamu wa maswala ya kijamii waligundua umuhimu wa rasilimali watu katika kukua kwa uchumi wa dunia. Kuwepo kwa elimu bora, na ujuzi katika nafsi ya binadamu huwasaidia watu kujitengenezea vipato vikubwa. Tanzania inahitaji idadi kubwa ya rasilimali watu ili iweze kupiga hatua kubwa za kiuchumi.
Kuwepo kwa mali asili kama madini, mafuta na gesi asilia kwa kiwango kikubwa imekuwa laana kwa mataifa kwani yamekuwa vyanzo vya unyanyasaji wa kijamii na umasikini uliopitiliza kwa jamii zisizokuwa na rasilimali watu ya kutosha ili kuzisimamia na kuziendeleza.
Baada ya vita vya pili vya dunia, Ujerumani ilikuwa katika wakati mgumu wa kujinyanyua kiuchumi. Miundombinu mingi iliharibiwa kipindi cha vita. Na Ili kujinyanyua kutoka katika uharibufu mkubwa uliosabishwa na vita, serikali ya Ujerumani ilibuni mfumo wa elimu ambayo ilielekeza juhudi zake katika kutayarisha rasilimali watu.
Elimu ilipewa kipaumbele; Ilifanywa kuwa ya bure na ya lazima kwa kila mjerumani. Mfumo huu wa elimu ulifanywa kuwa wa vitendo zaidi na lazima kwa kila mtoto mwenye umri wa miaka tano hadi kumi na tisa, huku kila mwanafunzi akipewa nafasi kuchagua cha kujifunza kutokana na uwezo wake lengo kubwa ikiwa ni kutayarisha rasilimali watu
Jitihada hizi za serikali ya Ujerumani ilizaa matunda makubwa ambayo yaliitwa miujiza ya kiuchumi. Leo, uchumi wa Ujerumani ndio uchumi mkubwa zaidi katika bara la Ulaya, na pia ndio mdhamini mkubwa wa mataifa taabani kiuchumi kama Ugiriki, Hispania nk. Ujerumani ni moja ya mataifa yaliyo juu zaidi kwenye maswala ya uhandisi inaongoza kwa uhandisi. Ujerumani inaongoza kwa uzalishaji wa viwanda ikiuza nje ya nchi bidhaa yenye thamani ya dola za kimarekani trillion 1.52 kwa mwaka 2012 tu. Haya ni mafanikio yaliyotokana na kuipa elimu kipaumbele, pamoja na matumizi ya rasilimali watu zilizoko ndani na nje ya nchi

Mataifa yasiyokuwa na mali asili nayo yameonyesha ubunifu wa hali ya juu. Israel kwa mfano, ni taifa dogo lenye rasilimali chache, huku ikizungukwa na maadui ambao lengo lao kubwa ni kuliangamiza. Ikiwa imezingirwa na maadui kila kona pamoja na kukosa rasilimali za asili, Israel imelazimika kutumia rasilimali watu ili isiangamizwe kijeshi na kiuchumi.
Licha ya kujitengenezea baadhi ya taasisi bora za kielimu na utafiti duniani, Israel iligeukia wataalamu wenye asili ya kiyahudi waliotapakaa katika kila pembe ya dunia, ikiwapa uraia watu wote wanaotaka kurudi nchini humo. Leo Israel ndio moja ya nchi iliyoendelea zaidi kiteknolojia. Vyuo vikuu vya Israel vimezalisha wataalamu wa kila aina ambao wanasaidia nchi hiyo kujiendeleza kiuchumi na kujilinda kijeshi
Baada yakugundua kwamba hatma yake haikuwa nzuri kiuchumi na kijamii, Singapore, nchi ndogo barani Asia ilianzisha mapinduzi ya miundombinu , viwanda, mawasiliano, na ya kielimu ili iweze kustahimili mabadiliko ya kiuchumi ya baadae. Leo, Singapore ni nchi ya nne duniani kwenye maswala ya kifedha na mmoja wa magwiji katika masoko yanayochipukia. Korea kusini nayo haina tofauti na Singapore, kwani ilikuwa masikini zaidi ya Kenya mwaka 1960. Leo hii Korea ya Kusini ina uchumi wenye thamani ya dola za kimarekani trillion 1.56 ambayo ni mara 47 ya Kenya. Hii yote imetokana na jitihada zake za kuzalisha rasilimali watu
Marekani imekuwa ni taifa lenye nguvu zaidi ya nchi yoyote ile duniani kiuchumi, kiteknolojia na kijeshi. Kwa kipindi kirefu sasa. Mapinduzi ya viwanda ya karne ya 19 iliisukuma nchi hiyo kutumia kila mbinu ; Marekani ilitumia rasilimali zake zote ikiwemo rasilimali watu. Mafanikio ya taifa hili kubwa duniani hayakuwa ya kubahatisha, yametokana na kufanya kazi kwa bidii bila kukata tamaa, na pia kujivunia kile wanachokifanya.
Wamarekani wamewekeza kwenye elimu kwa kiwango kikubwa. Wameanzisha vyuo vikuu vya elimu na utafiti bora kuliko zote duniani. Sera zao za uhamiaji zimekuwa kivutio kwa wataalamu bora kutoka kila pembe ya dunia ili tu watu wenye vipaji waendelee kusadia taifa hili kuendelea kuongoza kiuchumi. Hazina kubwa ya Tanzania imetapakaa ulimwenguni. Wataalamu mbali mbali wenye asili ya kitanzania wametapaa kila pembe ya dunia wakitafuta maisha huku wakichangia maendeleo ya mataifa mengine kutokana na kukosa uhuru wa kuchangia nchi yao ya kuzaliwa.
Wataalamu wenye asili ya Kitanzania wapo katika taasisi kubwa za kitafiti nchini marekani na mataifa mengine makubwa; wapo kwenye mashirika makubwa ya kifedha, wapo kwenye taasisi kubwa za afya nk. Mifano ni mingi ambayo siwezi kuielezea yote kwa leo, ila lengo langu ni kuielemisha jamii yetu kuhusiana na umuhimu wa watanzania waishio ughaibuni
Ushindani mkubwa wa kiuchumi katika eneo la maziwa makuu ni msukumo tosha kwa Tanzania kutumia kila mbinu inayoweza kuwa mstari wa mbele tukizingatia kwamba, Tanzania ni moja ya nchi chache barani Afrika yenye utajiri mkubwa; kwani imebarikiwa na kila aina ya rasilimali muhimu ambazo zingesaidia kuharakisha maendeleo yake. Ugunduzi wa gesi asilia na mafuta, madini pamoja na mbuga zake za wanyama ni rasilimali adimu na muhimu kulikwamua taifa kutoka katika wimbi la umasikini.
Kinachohitajika ni rasilimali watu; Kinachohitajika ni wataalamu wenye asili ya kitanzania waliopo ndani na nje ya nchi kushirikiana ili kuleta maendeleo ya haraka. Lazima watu wote wenye asili ya Kitanzania wapewe haki yao ya kikatiba pamoja na nafasi ya kushiriki kulijenga taifa, kijamii, kiuchumui na kisiasa
Kamwe Tanzania haiwezi na haitaweza kuendelea ikitegemea wageni. Watakaoleta maendeleo na mabadiliko makubwa ni watanzania wenyewe. Mipaka ya dunia imefunguka katika hii karne ya ishirni na moja. Badala ya kukumbatia misaada inayotudhalilisha na wageni wanaoiba rasilimali zetu, tutumie hazina kubwa tuliyonayo ya rasilimali watu, ili tuweze kujikwamua kutoka katika wimbi la umasikini.
Wataalamu wa kitanzania waliotapakaa duniani, wanastahili haki ya kurudi kwenye ardhi yao ya kuzaliwa bila vikwazo vya aina yoyote. Katika kuandaa katiba mpya ya Tanzania, tusifanye kosa la kuwafungia nje ndugu zetu walio ughaibuni kwa kuwa na vibali vya kuishi na kusafiri. Ikumbukwe kwamba, pamoja na kuwa na vibali hivyo, bado asili zao na mioyo yao itabaki Tanzania. Tusiruhusu historia ituhukumu hasa katika kipindi hiki ambapo ushindani wa maendeleo ya kiuchumi unazidi kuongezeka duniani
Mungu Ibariki Tanzania

John Mashaka

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Who are Diaspora?
Individuals who are migrants or descendants of migrants, and whose identity and sense of belonging, either real or symbolic, have been shaped by their migration experience and background, are often referred to collectively as diaspora.

How do diaspora communities contribute to development?

There is a growing recognition that transnational communities facilitate increased trade, investment and cultural linkages between the different countries that they are connected to, and that they are important development actors. They have been playing this important role long before the international community took notice. The resources of these communities that flow across borders are immensely varied and range from skills, knowledge and ideas to cultural capital, finance and trade links.

Human and social capital may be described as the human resources that diaspora members constitute through their skills and knowledge, and the extended networks that they maintain. Skills accumulated by diaspora members are invaluable in terms of the development of a variety of sectors such as health, education and technology.

Cultural capital is the rich and diverse background that transnational communities bring to the societies in which they reside, and the acquisition of new values and ideas that make up their ever-changing identity. Cultural capital not only contributes to creating diverse societies that are more dynamic and innovative but also enhances relations between countries. The ideas and different social constructs that diaspora members possess can break down barriers among different groups and contribute to greater gender equity, peace building efforts and enhanced participation in political processes in both countries where these communities reside and originate from.


The creation of appropriate conditions is essential to enable transnational communities to become effective agents for development. The degree to which diaspora can contribute is directly related to the ability of members of these communities to develop their full potential and acquire the necessary skills and resources to serve as architects of economic and social progress. Steps to enhance the well-being of members of the diaspora include reducing the vulnerability of migrant communities by guaranteeing their access to essential services such as healthcare, and ensuring respect for their social rights to maximize their potential as agents for development. Addressing migrant health is a prerequisite for enabling migrants to contribute to development and reduce poverty -- for themselves, their families and the wider communities in both origin and destination country.


With the right conditions in place, transnational communities will spontaneously transfer resources and strengthen links between their countries of origin and destination regardless and often in spite of administrative, regulatory and other constraints. However, governments can empower this process by introducing special measures and programmes in a variety of fields.


Knowing and understanding transnational communities is crucial to engaging effectively with them and developing the appropriate outreach strategies towards diaspora. regularly maps and surveys diaspora communities to assess their socio-economic profile and their willingness to contribute to the development of their countries of origin, and to improve the understanding of communication pathways within diaspora communities.

Cultural capital is the rich and diverse background that transnational communities bring to the societies in which they reside, and the acquisition of new values and ideas that make up their ever-changing identity.

Human and social capital may be described as the human resources that Zanzibar diaspora members constitute through their skills and knowledge