NAIROBI, KENYA: A heated debate raged on Twitter at the start of the week under #PayInterns pitting those who support the payment of interns against those who are opposed to it.
An intern is an unemployed person with relevant qualifications who has entered into a contract with an organisation for a period of between three and twelve months with the intent of acquiring relevant work experience to increase chances of employability.
According to Nelly Mutula, Head of Human Resource at Fuzu, an internship gives young people the opportunity to consolidate and translate the skills learned from their training into a meaningful, relevant and practical on-the-job experience.
SEE ALSO :Interns to receive monthly stipend
Nelly says, “it is also an avenue to connect with the world outside of studies and to gain insights for further growth and development either in education or workforce. By being at the worksite, the interns get a first-hand perspective of the skills and attributes required for employment”.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) mandates government bodies to pay interns a stipend. According to PSC Internship Policy Clause 2.6, internship shall be non-remunerative, but interns will be paid a stipend as may be determined by the Commission from time to time.
Some private organisations pay interns a small stipend to cater for daily expenses related such as transportation. However, others chose not to do so for various reasons such as cutting down on staff costs.
Sam Gichuru CEO Nailab who is opposed to paying interns tweeted, “Interns can be assets, but mostly they are a liability to the company until they learn the job and deliver results.”
So, should all organisations pay interns? Standard Digital asked Kenyans to comment on the issue and below are their positions on the matter:
Stephen Ngari CEO and President Toodaa Group told Standard Digital that internship should not be a paid-up job since organisations incur certain costs to facilitate the intern learn.
“Office space is paid, telephone is paid, office teas or coffees are provided, toiletries, transport to company meetings are all provided for,” he said.
Ngari lamented that most of the graduates nowadays cannot fluently express themselves in an official language let alone perform professional duties.
“They need training. They must accept to meet the cost that pertains to themselves. Interns do not give a guarantee to perform; it is their duty to demonstrate value. My advice to the youth is, everyone is willing to pay for value. Value is never perceived; it is demonstrated and earned” he said.
George Karimi Founder and CEO Swiftaide also was of the opinion that interns should work free, but advised them to look for other ways of making money to cater for their expenses.
“You should take advantage of the opportunity a company gives you to work with them to network and learn the tools of the trade. I understand you cannot fulfil your basic needs without money but in today’s digital age we have so many avenues to make money on the side especially in the gig economy and if you are passionate enough, you will find a way to survive” George said.
Mark Mwithaga an Intern at Pulse Live Kenya told Standard Digital that interns should be paid just like other employees rendering services to the company employed.
“They also contribute to the company’s growth just like paid employees. What most employers forget is that times have changed. As much as interns are people in the learning process, they are like every other person working to earn a living, meaning they have bills to pay and other expenses to sort out. The cost of living has gone high, and certain things have to be sustained” he said.
According to Mark, “interns can’t keep going back to their pockets each time to fund their transport to work if they even do not have the money for that. The stipend given goes a long way to boost even their morale, as they feel appreciated and part and parcel of the company.”
Nelly Mutula advised graduates to accept an unpaid internship.
“This is an opportunity for you to prove to the employer that you can be helpful and proactive in growing the business. If they are fair, they will reward you with either a stipend, fixed contract or permanent opportunity within the organisation. Remember if I pay you for a service, I will expect more from you. At Fuzu, some of our best employees now were once interns. Did we pay for them? Yes, we give a stipend which motivated them to do more” she added.
Among the companies that pay, interns are Safaricom, BBC, and Standard Group.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.