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Written by TIMES REPORTER   
Friday, 24 July 2015 14:51

Sometimes when we hear of celebrities making so much money, it is often hard for most people to imagine them ever having financial challenges. However, celebrities do go broke as well. Here are some of the many celebrities that went bankrupt at one time or another, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Marvin Gaye: This legendary singer went broke towards the end of his life, especially after his divorce from wife Anna Gordy in 1976. Gaye even had to give up rights to the song “Here, My Dear” to his former wife in settlement of alimony payments. At a time, he was said to have moved to Europe to escape the attention of the taxman.

MC Hammer: In the early 1990s, MC Hammer was having it all good, thanks to the success of his “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” album, which raked in $33 million for him in just a year. The rapper amassed about $70 million in few years, but was already filing for bankruptcy by 1996. He has spent much of the last 20 years visiting the IRS.

Mike Tyson: When Mike Tyson ended his professional boxing career in 1997, he had managed to accumulate over $400 million. But extravagant lifestyle and a $9 million divorce settlement contributed to make him bankrupt, owing $13 million to the IRS. He filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and now has $1 million in net worth.

Francis Ford Coppola: This respected movie director suffered a huge financial setback with the film “One From The Heart,” which had a budget of $27 million but raked in a measly $4 million. The failure of the movie made him file for bankruptcy for the second time. But he now has a net worth of $250 million.

Michael Jackson: The King of Pop made so much money during his career, but had to file for bankruptcy in 2007 due to his inability to pay a $25 million mortgage on his home, Neverland Ranch, which he had bought for $17 million in 1988. The problem was compounded by his taste for expensive things. The iconic singer’s estate is now worth $600 million.

Cindy Lauper: The early days of Cindy Lauper’s career weren’t rosy. After her group, Blue Angel, failed to hit the ground running with their 1980 album “Polydor,” she filed for bankruptcy and for some years sang as a geisha in a Japanese restaurant. But she hit it big with her 1983 album “She’s So Unusual” and is today worth $30 million.

Kim Basinger: The bankruptcy filed for Kim Basinger was a tactical one to prevent things from degenerating further. She took the action to protect herself against an $8.1 million breach of contract lawsuit for shunning a role in the movie “Boxing Helena.” Basinger settled the case for $3.8 million and has a net worth of $36 million today.

Larry King: Popular show host Larry King was in 1972 arrested for stealing $5,000 and this made it hard for him to find a journalism job for several years. He filed for bankruptcy in 1978, with $352,000 in debt. He now has around $150 million in net worth.

Donald Trump: Believe it or not, billionaire Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy not one or two times, but on four occasions. Actually, it was his companies that filed for bankruptcies, with these leading to a loss of several key assets. Trump is today worth a whopping $4.5 billion.


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Friday, 24 July 2015 14:47

Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group), the world’s leading logistics company, together with non-governmental organization SOS Children’s Villages, have celebrated half a decade of a successful partnership that has helped to improve the employment prospects of disadvantaged young people from SOS Children’s villages across 11 countries in Africa.

The partnership between DPDHL Group and SOS Children’s Villages began in 2010 in South Africa and Madagascar and has since expanded to nine other African countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mauritius, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.  

“Education and employability are highly important topics for Deutsche Post DHL Group and, through our GoTeach program, play a central role in our Corporate Responsibility strategy,” said Christof Ehrhart, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications and Responsibility, Deutsche Post DHL Group. “We are keen to support the direct development of future logistics talent, but we also firmly believe that education and employability make an important contribution to stability and prosperity in the world, Through five years of partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, we have already seen first-hand the benefits and positive impact that engagement between business and charities that create opportunities for young people can have.”     

 “Empowering youth and improving their employment prospects is the objective of the international partnership between SOS Children’s Villages and Deutsche Post DHL Group. The success of our partnership is rooted in the commitment of our employees who volunteer their time to mentor youths aged 15-25 and to help them get ready for their foray into the job market,” said Christoph Selig, Head of GoTeach Program, Deutsche Post DHL Group.

 “Employees mentor youths from both SOS Children’s Villages and SOS Family Strengthening Programs, and organize a variety of tailored career development activities that deliver tangible results for the mentees,” he added. “It really has been a joy to see the partnership and correspondingly, our outreach to young people, grow. To date, our employees have engaged with over 3,500 youths in Africa.”

Over the past five years, DPDHL Group has organized a variety of activities in the 11 countries, including job shadowing exercises, mentorship programs between DHL employees and SOS children, skills transfer, internships, sports activities and environmental initiatives.

 To discuss challenges and future plans, an inaugural conference will take place over four days in Kenya, with teams from both organizations coming together to jointly develop new ideas on how to further strengthen the partnership in Africa and the Middle East.

 Speaking from the inaugural regional Africa DHL-SOS Children’s Villages GoTeach Conference in Karen, Nairobi, where more than 50 participants from both organizations are meeting from July 14 to 17, Tom Were, National Director, SOS Children’s Villages Kenya, said, “While SOS provides a loving home for the children that we care for, DHL enables their independence through their employee volunteer program. The program empowers our youth through exposure to the working world and educating them on the career options available. As a result, our youth become self-reliant, responsible, and contributing members of society. We are looking forward to deepening this partnership and extending our outreach to more youth in Africa over the next few years.”

 As part of the DPDHL Group GoTeach program, the Group works with two global partners, Teach For All and SOS Children’s Villages, to improve educational opportunity and employability for young people.



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Written by EDITORIAL   
Friday, 24 July 2015 14:29

OUTGOING President Jakaya Kikwete was recently in Geneva, the European capital of the United Nations system, where he made an important addressed to Africa's permanent representatives to the UN system. The president was in a strategic position to do that as he was chairman of a vital UN panel on how to tackle, prevent the rise of the dreaded Ebola epidemic in Africa. Reports said the disease killed around 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in  three months last year, including scores of dedicated medical staff.


There was a hidden but keen relationship in what the president went to do in Geneva and the tone of the vital address to permanent representatives that the continent has in Geneva and in New York. He said that the representatives have the duty of defending Africa as it belongs to no one else, that no one else ought to speak out for Africa but its own representatives. Reports on the diplomatic exchange arising from that address focused on how the diplomats praised the outgoing president's work in various AU fields. more or less that.


If one goes by an expression popular in the University of Dar es Salaam in the early 1970s, in the era of radical debates, it is possible the president's remarks were too intensely characterised by 'apologetic idealism and vulgar realism.' The president is aware the diplomats face a hard task selling what the continent is doing to the outside world, and insists that it is only them who are apt for the job, no one else. The problem with that position is that it only focuses on who can speak, and absent minded on who may be listening.


Thematically speaking, there are two aspects of connotation or meaning in the phrase 'speaking for,' as it means one has the platform to address an issue while everybody else pays attention. That is perhaps what the president meant but it closes no circles, so we have other meanings or connotations of rights to 'speak for,' that is, in relation to matters concerning Africa. A UN Habitat official does not 'speak for' Africa when she talks about the housing situation on the continent, but only that explanation is relevant, not by representatives.

Pursuing the differences of 'speaking for' a little further, we can take home-grown situations, when the government explains for instance what is taking place in controversy-laden areas like education. The minister or deputy or any commissioner, permanent secretary etc would be 'speaking for' government in that regard, but that doesn't mean society, the broad public, relies on this or similar statements for what it knows of the situation. When an independent agency like 'Sikika' conducts research and pronounces results, attention rises.


Obviously UN agencies will pay attention to what permanent representatives  have to say as they need to hear from close range the nuances or dispositions of the various governments about particular issues. It is hard to figure out what was the most important matters occupying the president's mind in his Geneva diplomatic gathering remarks, but Ebola could easily be one of them, while another could be the International Criminal Court in The Hague, not quite far from Geneva. How far are African diplomats best placed to 'speak'?


Strictly speaking each UN permanent representative is well placed to speak for his or her government, that is pretty well what such person knows and is not in a position to cross that circle. The president would have realised pretty much of that as well, in which case 'speaking for Africa' was a vague phrase when used in that manner, as it would require say the AU chairman to do so, the head of the AU Commission Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or the heads of its key agencies like the African Development Bank. This is what JK skipped.


JK told the diplomats that "every country should decide the political course it deems right devoid of pressure of a time limit for its leadership," which may presumably cover everything. The president noted just in time that Heads of State should observe term limits, as insisting on additional terms even leads to suspecting they fear being prosecuted for wrongs they did in office. Even if one held his or her breath at that point, would JK really expect that African diplomats are best placed to explain to the world term limits, or corruption?


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Friday, 24 July 2015 14:38

Members og Mruwia Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Society (AMCOS) have earned a total of Tsh292.5 million after selling a total of 65,000 kilograms of coffee in 2014/15.


This implies these farmers had earned an equivalent of Tsh4,500/- for every kilogram of coffee they have sold through the Moshi Coffee Exchange in 2014/15.


Revealing this was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this respective society Mr. Mathias. J. Akaro when addressing a General Meeting of members of this society held on Thursday 16th July this year.


Through this meeting which was called upon to present respective society budget for the year 2015/16 Mr. Akaro told fellow members that Mruwia AMCOS is projecting to collect a total of 70,000 kilograms of coffee in 2015/16 adding that since this coffee collecting season have already started farmers will get an initial payment of Tsh2,000/- for every kilogram of coffee.


“If prices will be favorable in the world market in this season farmers will get some more payments” he said when addressing a total of 907 farmers at the headquarters of Mruwia AMCOS located at Mruwia village in Uru East Ward, Mos-hi district here in Kilimanjaro region.


Coming to expected income and expenditures for his society he said his society is projecting to realize an income of Tsh33.01 million while projections are to spent a total of Tsh26.098 million (expenditure) thus remaining with a profit of Tsh6.912 million in 2015/16.


Giving details on the projections of income in 2015/18 he said the same will be derived from Mruwia/Uru East Joint Venture-Tsh4 million, coffee levy-Tsh28 million ( this being derived from a levy of Tsh400 per kilogram for the expected collection of 70,000 kilograms), building rental-Tsh0.66 million while income from butcher is expected to be Tsh0.35 million.


Coming to community development to be implemented by his society in 2015/16 he named them to be projects in education, health, infrastructure and water adding that his Board have allocated a total of Tsh12 million for the above purposes in 2015/16.


Apart from being presented with budget estimates for the year 2015/16 members of this society also witnessed fellow fifteen (15) members whose coffee farms were the best in 2014/15 being awarded with cash prices amounting to Tsh10,000 each.


Those awarded in this meeting were Ezekiel Mashingo, Joseph Maiko, Mafikiri Kachewa, Yohana Pachio, Silive Malekia, Cornel Joseph, Philemon Kamili and Maiko Slemu.


Others in this list were Tobia Awinia, Bazil Joseph, Philip Daudi, Raphael Paul, Cprian Dili, Paulo Owoya and Marki Lyimo.


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Friday, 24 July 2015 14:22

The newest telecommunications service operator, Smart is expected to launch a new mobile money service, which will enable subscribers to send and receive money from anywhere in the World. BUSINESS TIMES CORRESPONDENT spoke to SMART East Africa Group CEO, ABDELLATIF BOUZIANI on the company’s future plans excepts,

Qn: Can you please tell us about SMART as a company?

SMART is the newest telecommunications services operator in the market. We are owned by the Aga Khan Development Network, which holds a 51 per cent stake, and Timeturns, the previous owner of Smart, which now holds a 49 per cent stake. For the people of Tanzania, Smart is better known as BENSON INFORMATICS, a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the market.  When we took over in 2013, we decided to give the company a new direction. We installed a new ISP network, capable of 4G, and we worked with ZTE to completely change the network from CDMA to GSM.  We now offer 2G services in Dar es Salaam and Arusha and 3G services in many other parts of Tanzania.  We have recently launched 4G LTE in Dar for the mass market. Smart is an operator that covers the whole country.  So we offer many services, including 2G and 4G for the mass market and ISP for companies and households.

Qn: Where did the name SMART come from?

We decided to create a group across East Africa in Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania and give the three companies the same brand. We launched a campaign called ‘Give Us A Name’ to encourage people living in those three countries to give us names through phone and social media.  We collected and short-listed 15 names for voting. The majority of people in those three countries voted for the name SMART.  So, SMART is an East African company.  When you are using SMART, it can work in Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi without roaming charges.

Qn: What is your role in the communications market in Tanzania?

There are many operators in Tanzania offering similar services.  We came at a time when the telecommunications market has become more sophisticated. On one hand peoples’ needs have become more specific than in the past, and on the other they have weak purchasing power to access services.  We want to provide innovative products at an affordable price to our customers.  Until recently, a customer in Tanzania could not find a cheap 4G LTE phone and enjoy 4G LTE services at the price of 2G services.  But now, they can do it with SMART.  A small company with specific internet needs does not have to buy a lot of capacity and pay a lot of money. Small and medium enterprises can come to SMART and get an internet connection and have access to the web as well as to the cloud at an affordable price. Our aim is to customize services and products as per the size of people and organizations. We are small and flexible. We can adapt our offers to customer needs. Smart is the 4G LTE pioneer in Tanzania. Others have launched 4G as data only. We are the only one in the market who has launched 4G with voice and data. With the same phone, you can make voice calls and use data, wherever you are and whenever the coverage is available. It is an evolution of the offerings we have in the market.

Qn: What is the feedback from customers so far?

The feedback is very good.  And I am very surprised because despite strong competition, we have come to realize that there are some services that are still unmet. Customers in Tanzania know what they want, how they want and when they want it.  They are looking for someone who can deliver on their needs according to the local specificity. 

Qn: What services and offerings do you see Smart offering to Tanzanian mobile communications users in the near future?

On top of communication services, we are offering data services as well.  We look at affordability, quality and availability of services to people.  For people who do not have a lot of money and want Edge for example, we offer affordable Edge data with low speed.  For people who will manage high speed premium 4G LTE, we offer that too.  We are about to launch mobile financial services where people will be able to pay their bills, send money, buy airtime and other types of financial services via mobile devices.

Qn: What will make your mobile financial service different from others?

We will impress the market with our mobile financial service products and features.  There are still unmet needs in mobile money.  Mobile money services are very successful in East Africa; other operators have managed to do good work. But, we want to take it to another level. We are going to connect our mobile money services to the international market. A person will be able to buy something in the USA or England and the product will find that person here in Tanzania. That does not exist today. 

Qn: When do you expect to launch it?

We are making some final touches, and are talking to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) about launching.    

Can you tell us about the capabilities that Smart 4G will be offering your business customers and also your base of consumers using your services now and in the future?

We started providing 4G LTE as high speed data connectivity for companies and households. We have decided to provide 4G LTE services to mass market.  We can say that we are democratizing our 4G product; it is no longer just for the elite. We have a complete portfolio; we can offer 4G services at home for telephones and television.  At offices we can offer 4G services as well, and while you are moving around, your 4G service can stay with you in your pocket.  You will be able to do what you do in the office on your phone. It will be possible to work from home or anywhere you choose using Smart 4G LTE services.

Qn: Are there any other updates you can share with us about Smart?

I think Smart did very well to partner with ZTE, they provide the latest technology available in the market today. We work hand in hand to deliver to Tanzanian people the best technology at a very affordable price. We thank our ZTE partners for working together to achieve this very important mission.

Qn: How are you ensuring that there is capacity building amongst the staff of Smart?

We have done very well in terms of capacity building. In all three countries of Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, we get graduates from Universities in what we call the ‘Talent Pipeline’ for the purpose of training and working with them in different situations and positions.  If they prove to be good after a six-month to one-year period, they get working contracts with us.  Most of our staff today are people which we trained, groomed and pushed to run the company and deliver something.  Smart is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, which is based on a social enterprising model. Wherever we go, we create a sustainable business system that will add value to employees and communities. The revenue we generate is invested in countries where these business systems are based to continue developing business.  That is the difference we have from other operators in the market.

Qn: Are you satisfied with the product of young graduates you get from Tanzanian universities?

Yes.  It is improving year by year.  It is improving in terms of what is going on in technology.  The price of technology is going down and so people get access to the technology right at the universities and high schools.  People are now well trained by the time they graduate.

Qn: What would you like to see changing in these youths?

They just have to have a will to succeed.  I always ask young people, if others are doing things and succeeding, why can’t they do the same?  If the Japanese, Swedish and Chinese are doing it, why can’t we do it? If you think you can succeed, you will succeed.  It is a matter of having the will to learn and progress faster.  Today, something we use to do in a year can be done in a month.


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