Quantexa Debuts Q Assist, New Context Aware Generative AI Technology Suite

New AI advancements are helping industry leaders get data ready for AI and make impact

Q Assist, New Context Aware Generative AI Technology Suite from Quantexa
Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of front-line and information workers
  • HSBC is among several industry leaders participating in Quantexa’s Lighthouse Program for early adopters
  • HSBC anticipates that streamlining of analysis and acceleration of processes could lead to significant productivity gains within the first year of deployment
  • Q Assist combines Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform and Generative AI to augment decisions for sales, customer service, and compliance teams in financial services, TMT, and government agencies

LONDON, June 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This Monday, on the Centre Stage at London Tech Week 2024Quantexa, the global leader in Decision Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors debuted Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of frontline and information workers. The announcement demonstrates progress against the company’s platform innovation roadmap and comes nearly a year after Quantexa detailed a significant investment in the global artificial intelligence (AI) industry and previewed Q Assist as a stand-alone LLM agnostic copilot.

With the new Q Assist Technology Suite, Quantexa customers will be able to operationalize generative AI for transformational gains without significant investment in infrastructure, tooling, and additional skilled resources.

Frontline and information workers can leverage the power of copilots, linked data, Quantexa’s knowledge graph capability, and other Decision Intelligence Platform features to enhance the accuracy and reliability of generative AI models that interact with all data (structured and unstructured), context, and insight across their organization. Combining LLMs with the rich context within Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform enables a better understanding of data, safely grounds responses, increases performance and trust, and ensures teams have the most accurate, up-to-date information in a single place.

Q Assist, a context aware generative AI technology suite to help organizations augment trusted decision-making across teams of front-line and information workersFind out what Q Assist is and how it works with Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform.
View the full video

Helping Customers Succeed in the Era of AI
HSBC is one of the organizations currently participating in the Lighthouse Program for early adopters. Each organization in the program envisions using Q Assist in several ways, including:

  • Streamlining analysis, investigation, and reporting tasks for information and knowledge workers to achieve greater efficiency.
  • Reducing the reliance on data science and operations teams for ad-hoc data requests, giving them time to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Empowering customer facing teams with access to enriched data and insights they need to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences.
  • Enabling teams across an organization to consistently make trusted decisions that are traceable and accelerate operational process improvement.

BNY Mellon is currently evaluating joining HSBC in Lighthouse effort. Quantexa worked with Lighthouse Program participants to project one-, three-, and five-year benefits from deploying Q Assist within their customer facing, data science, and investigative teams. It found an almost immediate productivity gain across three core areas: time saving and efficiency, new opportunity identification, and increased conversion rates.

HSBC anticipates that democratizing analytics and accelerating processes across these areas could lead to productivity gains within the first year of deployment. The company also expects to free up employee’s time, allowing them to refocus on other strategic tasks.

David Rice, Global Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Banking at HSBC, said: “This new solution has the potential to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of complex tasks such as anti-money laundering investigations and sales strategies by providing trusted data and contextual analytics. The introduction of contextual analytics and innovation will enable HSBC to concentrate our resources more productively and ultimately help our customers.”

Quantexa estimates that a tier one global financial institution with three levels of defense in financial crime and fraud compliance efforts, generating approximately 15k alerts a month, could realize significant efficiencies and cost savings by deploying the Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite:

  • Over £17M in savings enabled annually by enhancing and automating investigating and reporting processes across financial crime and fraud.

Quantexa’s CTO, Jamie Hutton, said: “Quantexa’s engineering principle of shaping solutions to deliver maximum customer value has allowed our clients to play an integral role in helping to shape the product requirements for Q Assist. Through the company’s Lighthouse Program for early adopters, we have the benefit of working with industry leaders that provide valuable feedback throughout our roadmap process.”

Eric Hirschhorn, Chief Data Officer, BNY Mellon, said: “We are excited to see this continued innovation from Quantexa. Our multi-year collaboration has helped us to break down data silos and unify our data with unprecedented accuracy. The next phase in our innovation efforts will see us exploring the potential of enabling frontline workers across the bank to use Gen AI to act on the data insights confidently and reach new levels of efficiency in the process.”

How the New Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite Works
Quantexa’s new generative AI technology suite will combine Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform and Generative AI through a new data integration layer, prompt builder, and copilot that accelerates the ability of teams to make critical business decisions.

Q Assist delivers trusted, extensible AI anchored by Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform. This lets non-technical teams benefit from Quantexa’s critical platform capabilities including a connected data foundation, graph analytics, modeling, and scoring to augment and automate decision making. The Q Assist Technology Suite is comprised of three components:

  • Q Assist Integration Layer: the nerve center of Q Assist. It is a framework of tools, connectors, and APIs designed to securely link Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform with LLMs and conversational AI systems right out-of-the-box.
  • Q Assist Prompt Builder: an extensible prompt management and sharing capability that easily integrates with external prompt engineering tools and frameworks, such as Microsoft’s Azure Prompt Flow, Semantic Kernel or AutoGen, to put the power in the hands of administrators to define and control prompts and responses that are grounded in contextual data generated by Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform.
  • Q Assist Copilot: allows users to query large and disparate data via a natural language interface, understand and summarize data, insights, and findings in real-time, and automate research, investigation, and reporting tasks.

Today, the company is making Q Assist Generative AI Technology Suite capabilities available to a limited set of customers, with wider public availability planned for early 2025.

To learn more about how Quantexa is helping organizations get their data ready for AI, or to download the Total Economic Impact™ of Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform by Forrester and start measuring the ROI of Decision Intelligence investments, please visit https://www.quantexa.com/discover/ai/.

About Quantexa
Quantexa is a global AI, data and analytics software company pioneering Decision Intelligence to empower organizations to make trusted operational decisions with data in context. Using the latest advancements in AI, Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence platform helps organizations uncover hidden risk and new opportunities by unifying siloed data and turning it into the most trusted, reusable resource. It solves major challenges across data management, customer intelligence, KYC, financial crime, risk, fraud, and security, throughout the customer lifecycle.

The Quantexa Decision Intelligence Platform enhances operational performance with over 90% more accuracy and 60 times faster analytical model resolution than traditional approaches. An independently commissioned Forrester TEI study on Quantexa’s Decision Intelligence Platform found that customers saw a three-year 228% ROI. Founded in 2016, Quantexa now has more than 700 employees and thousands of platform users working with billions of transactions and data points across the world.

Media Enquiries
C: Stephanie Crisp, Fight or Flight
E: Quantexa@fightorflight.com
C: Adam Jaffe, SVP of Corporate Marketing
T : +1 609 502 6889
E : adamjaffe@quantexa.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/dc615273-9f23-4d50-b6ec-62d59146a0e7

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000965413

e& lidera como a melhor marca empregadora no setor de telecomunicações no Employer Brand Index 2024

  • e& EAU é a principal marca empregadora no setor de telecomunicações no ranking de Brand Finance
  • e& ficou em 16º lugar entre as 20 principais marcas empregadoras em todas as categorias em 16 países
  • A realização reflete a reputação mais ampla dos Emirados Árabes Unidos como um centro global de talentos

LONDRES, June 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, o grupo global de tecnologia, alcançou a posição mais alta no primeiro Employer Brand Report 2024 da Brand Finance, com sua unidade dos Emirados Árabes Unidos classificada como a maior empregadora global do setor de telecomunicações.

O grupo também garantiu o 16º lugar entre as 20 principais marcas empregadoras entre as que foram avaliadas nos setores de serviços financeiros, telecomunicações, mídia e tecnologia (TMT), petróleo, gás e energia, serviços profissionais, varejo, automotivo e bens de consumo rápido (FMCG) na África, Ásia, Europa e Estados Unidos.

Ali Al Mansoori, Diretor de Pessoal do Grupo, e&, disse: “Esse reconhecimento como empregador preferencial reflete a incrível dedicação e paixão de nosso pessoal, que é nosso maior patrimônio. Ele também reafirma nosso compromisso de cultivar uma cultura empresarial unificada, na qual todos os colaboradores têm autonomia para pensar de forma diferente, experimentar sem medo e inovar continuamente. No atual cenário em rápida evolução, é mais importante do que nunca contar com uma força de trabalho talentosa.”

David Haigh, CEO da Brand Finance, disse: “As marcas de telecomunicações do Oriente Médio vêm ultrapassando cada vez mais a concorrência europeia e americana como lugares desejáveis para se trabalhar. Isso se deve às oportunidades de carreira e aos empolgantes desenvolvimentos tecnológicos criados pelos investimentos consistentes e de alta qualidade no Oriente Médio.”

Na vanguarda em termos de marca empregadora e desenvolvimento de talentos nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, o grupo alcançou uma pontuação alta em vários quesitos, inclusive como “marca de prestígio”, “visão inspiradora”, “trabalho agradável e gratificante” e “empresa bem administrada e dirigida”. A conquista da e& reflete a reputação geral dos Emirados Árabes Unidos como um centro global de talentos e o destino preferido para pessoas que buscam construir um futuro próspero.

“Na e&, temos o compromisso de equipar nosso pessoal com as habilidades necessárias para transitar e prosperar na era digital. Nossa visão não consiste apenas em acompanhar o ritmo das mudanças, mas em liderá-las. Estamos constituindo uma força de trabalho resiliente e com visão de futuro, capaz de levar nossa empresa e nossa comunidade a patamares mais elevados. Nossa estratégia inclui programas de treinamento completos, parcerias com instituições de ensino e um ambiente que premia a criatividade e o pensamento arrojado. Estamos comprometidos com a criação de oportunidades de crescimento profissional e com o apoio à nossa equipe enquanto ela desenvolve as habilidades tecnológicas e a mentalidade essenciais para o futuro”, acrescentou Al Mansoori.

O primeiro relatório do “Employer Brand Index” apresenta as principais marcas do mundo com tabelas de classificação globais e regionais. O estudo baseado em pesquisa é o primeiro do gênero, medindo as percepções internas e externas das marcas empregadoras de 16 países. O Índice é calculado com base nas respostas de uma pesquisa anônima com o público de vários setores, realizada por meio de painéis on-line independentes.

O Employer Brand Index 2024 da Brand Finance ocorre após a divulgação, em janeiro, da classificação global de marcas, na qual a e& EAU foi classificada como a marca de telecomunicações mais forte do mundo (classificação AAA) e a marca mais forte do Oriente Médio e da África (MEA) em todas as categorias.

A Brand Finance é a principal consultoria mundial de avaliação de marcas. Há mais de 25 anos, a empresa vem preenchendo a lacuna entre marketing e finanças, avaliando a força das marcas e mensurando seu valor financeiro para ajudar empresas de todos os tipos a tomar decisões estratégicas. Todos os anos, a Brand Finance realiza mais de 5.000 avaliações de marcas, respaldadas por pesquisas de mercado originais, e publica mais de 100 relatórios que classificam as marcas em todos os setores e países.

Uma foto que acompanha este anúncio está disponível em http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5ab3f4e1-ad68-4a1f-b513-0f6dd6ce45d1

Nancy Sudheer

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000965380

e& se classe au premier rang des meilleures marques employeurs dans le secteur des télécommunications dans l’Employer Brand Index 2024

  • L’entité e& des Émirats arabes unis, élue meilleure marque employeur dans le secteur des télécommunications selon le classement Brand Finance
  • e& classée 16e dans le Top 20 des marques employeurs toutes catégories confondues dans 16 pays
  • Cette réussite reflète la réputation plus large des Émirats arabes unis en tant que pôle mondial de talents

LONDRES, 10 juin 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — e&, le groupe technologique mondial, s’est hissé à la première place du tout premier rapport Employer Brand 2024 de Brand Finance grâce à son entité des Émirats arabes unis qui se classe au premier rang mondial des employeurs dans le secteur des télécommunications.

Le groupe a également obtenu la 16e place parmi le Top 20 Employer Brands lors d’une évaluation effectuée au sein des marques employeurs dans les secteurs des services financiers, des télécommunications, des médias et des technologies (TMT), du pétrole, du gaz et de l’énergie, des services professionnels, de la vente au détail, de l’automobile et des produits et biens de grande consommation (PGC) en Afrique, en Asie, en Europe et aux États-Unis.

Ali Al Mansoori, Directeur des Ressources humaines du groupe e&, a déclaré : « Cette reconnaissance en tant qu’employeur de choix reflète l’incroyable dévouement et la passion de nos collaborateurs, qui sont nos meilleurs atouts. Cela réaffirme également notre engagement à favoriser une culture d’entreprise unifiée où chaque employé est encouragé à penser différemment, à expérimenter sans crainte et à innover en continu. Dans le contexte actuel en évolution rapide, il est plus crucial que jamais de disposer d’une main-d’œuvre talentueuse. »

David Haigh, PDG de Brand Finance, a confié : « Les marques de télécommunications du Moyen-Orient dépassent chaque jour un peu plus leurs homologues européennes et américaines si l’on se place du point de vue de l’entreprise où il fait bon travailler. Cela reflète les opportunités de carrière et les développements technologiques passionnants rendus possibles par des investissements constants et de haute qualité réalisés au Moyen-Orient. »

En chef de file des marques employeurs et du développement des talents aux Émirats arabes unis, le groupe a obtenu d’excellents résultats dans plusieurs domaines, notamment en tant que « marque prestigieuse », porteuse d’une « vision inspirante », où le « travail est agréable et gratifiant » et une « entreprise bien gérée et gouvernée ». La réussite de e& reflète la réputation plus large des Émirats arabes unis qui s’affirment en tant que pôle mondial des talents et destination privilégiée pour les personnes qui cherchent à façonner un avenir prospère.

« Chez e&, nous nous engageons à doter notre équipe des compétences nécessaires pour s’adapter et prospérer à l’ère numérique. Notre vision n’est pas seulement de suivre le rythme du changement, mais de l’initier. Nous construisons une main-d’œuvre résiliente et visionnaire, capable de propulser notre entreprise et notre communauté vers les plus hauts sommets. Notre stratégie englobe des programmes de formation complets, des partenariats avec des établissements d’enseignement et un environnement qui récompense la créativité et l’audace intellectuelle. Nous sommes déterminés à créer des opportunités de croissance professionnelle et à soutenir notre équipe dans l’acquisition de compétences technologiques et d’un état d’esprit indispensables pour l’avenir, » a ajouté Al Mansoori.

Le tout premier rapport « Employer Brand Index » met en avant les meilleures marques au monde avec des classements réalisés à l’échelle mondiale et régionale. Cette étude axée sur la recherche, est la première du genre, mesurant les perceptions internes et externes des marques d’employeurs dans 16 pays. L’indice est établi à partir des réponses à une enquête anonyme menée auprès du public dans divers secteurs d’activité au moyen de panels en ligne indépendants.

L’indice Employer Brand 2024 de Brand Finance fait suite à la publication, en janvier dernier, du classement mondial des marques, dans lequel e& UAE a été classée comme la marque de télécommunications la plus forte au niveau mondial (note AAA) et la marque la plus forte au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique (MEA), toutes catégories confondues.

Brand Finance est le premier cabinet de conseil en évaluation de marques au monde. Depuis plus de 25 ans, son objectif est de combler le fossé entre le marketing et la finance en évaluant la force des marques et en quantifiant leur valeur financière afin d’aider les organisations de toutes sortes à prendre des décisions stratégiques. Chaque année, Brand Finance réalise plus de 5 000 évaluations de marques, étayées par des études de marché uniques, et publie plus de 100 rapports classant les marques dans tous les secteurs et tous les pays.

Une photo accompagnant ce communiqué est disponible à l’adresse suivante : http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5ab3f4e1-ad68-4a1f-b513-0f6dd6ce45d1

Contact :
Nancy Sudheer

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000965380

Bomet Moves To Assess ECDE Construction Projects

Bomet Governor Prof. Hillary Barchok has directed education officials in the region to closely monitor the contractors undertaking the construction of Early Childhood Development and Education centres.

The Governor said this was to ensure quality work so as to ensure not only value for money but also provide a conducive learning environment for the pupils.

The order was followed by a rigorous inspection led by the Director of ECDE, Thomas Bii, and the Public Works Department officials who conducted the exercise at Kapkoitim, Ngocho, Kapletundo, and Judea centres, among others, last week.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Govt Puts Measures In Place To Accelerate LPG Uptake

The government is on course to actualize its ambitious goal of universal access to clean cooking energy by 2028 by facilitating the establishment of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bulk import handling and storage facilities to bridge the supply gap in the country.

The government’s interventions in the LPG sector are guided by the Kenya National Cooking Transition Strategy (KNCTS) 2024-2028.

The 2022 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) shows that there is a high dependence on traditional cooking fuels. ‘In total, 68.5% of the population, or 9.1 million households (1.7 million in urban areas and 7.4 million in rural areas), rely on traditional cooking fuel,’ reads in part the DHS report.

The Principal Secretary for the State Department for Petroleum, Mohamed Liban, made an extensive tour of LPG bulk import facilities in Mombasa and Kilifi County on Monday to assess their level of preparedness to handle and supply LPG.

PS Liban toured the Kenya Pipeline Refinery Limited (KPRL) in Changamwe, where the Kenya Pi
peline Company Limited (KPC) is constructing an LPG import, storage, and handling facility.

The project will provide existing shippers and other new entrants with bulk storage, road/rail tanker loading, and cylinder filling facilities for LPG gas, thus boosting supply in the local and export markets.

According to KPC, the proposed new facility is to be designed as a ‘common user’ facility for dispensing LPG to interested parties through rail siding, truck loading, and bottling facilities. The facility will mainly receive LPG from pressurized LPG ships berthed at Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT-2) Jetty into the storage tanks using a product import line.

The PS also toured private LPG investments, including Gapco (Total Energies) Terminal, Africa Gas and Oil Limited, and Lake Gas.

Liban said that the Regulation Policy is currently in its final stages of development, a collaborative effort between the State Counsel and the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). This comprehensive policy aims to streamli
ne the sector’s operations and ensure greater transparency.

Alongside this, the implementation of an open tender system, similar to the one utilized in the fuel sector, is also nearing completion. This new system is expected to enhance competition and efficiency, ultimately benefiting consumers and stakeholders alike.

Addressing the challenge of gas cylinders being lost and misused by middlemen, the Principal Secretary announced that the Ministry is developing an advanced ICT system. This project will assign unique tracking numbers to each cylinder, linking them to specific supplier companies to simplify record-keeping and enhance traceability, ensuring that cylinders remain within the legitimate supply chain and reducing the risk of unauthorized use.

He noted that they are now working on the regional mapping for assigning the companies to distribute the cylinders.

The PS said that it is important to closely monitor and support the operations of these facilities to ensure the main Key Performance Indicato
rs (KPI) of the government regarding the supply of LPG are achieved.

The KPIs he said were the accessibility of the LPG. He stated that more than 12 million Kenyans are not yet accessing LPG. On affordability, he noted that LPG is meant to be very affordable for Kenyans to utilize. The safety and security of the LPG supply is also one of the key aspects the government is working on.

‘Many Kenyans are either partially using LPG or relying entirely on firewood, this includes institutions such as public boarding schools, prisons, hospitals, the National Youth Service, and the police. Our goal is to eliminate the negative environmental and health impacts associated with these practices,’ Liban said.

He assured that over the next ten years, the Ministry aims to ensure that 40 per cent of the 12 million people currently without access to LPG will be served through the Gas Reticulation Initiative. This initiative, championed by the President, aligns with efforts to provide affordable housing and improve living st
andards across the country.

‘We are looking at the value Chain of LPG from the common user facility (infrastructure) so that private players can chip in, leading to consistent distribution and how it can be accessed. We are also focusing on the value chain of the production and the impact it will impose on Kenyans,’ Liban said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Stakeholders Want Men Included In Period Poverty Conversations

Human rights stakeholders have encouraged more men to raise awareness about reducing the stigma associated with period poverty among women.

Speaking in Nanyuki over the weekend after a 10-kilometre race organised by Binti Mwangaza, a Community-Based Organisation (CBO) that aimed to sensitise Laikipia residents about menstrual hygiene, many of the speakers said a majority of women and girls, especially those from poor families, need support to break taboos and discrimination due to period poverty.

Binti Mwangaza is a Nanyuki-based CBO that targets to support rural women through menstrual hygiene.

‘It’s very important to support women in eliminating period poverty stigma through awareness and make men understand it’s a normal thing. Please ensure there is no shame in speaking about it,’ said James Maina, a 10km run participant.

Additionally, Maina noted that creating safe forums for young girls to speak out about menstruation was crucial in eradicating the challenges they undergo in their daily lives, inclu
ding dropping out of school due to lack of basic commodities like sanitary towels.

‘Young girls drop out of school, and others are taken advantage of by men, and as a result, they get pregnant when trying to get sanitary pads. As men, this is something we should all partner on and eradicate,’ he urged.

Data from the Ministry of Education shows that girls from poor families miss about 20 per cent of their school days due to lack of sanitary towels.

According to Binti Mwangaza, CBO Ann Gakii, availing sanitary pads for girls and women was one way of ensuring they are not left out since the majority can’t access them as a result of poverty, hence being taken advantage of by a section of men.

‘In our society, young girls and women feel shameful about menstruation, and creating a safe space for both men and women to come together openly to discuss it is important,” she said.

She added that for the past 13 years they had been in operation, they had supported over 30,000 women and girls with free reusable sani
tary pads in the county in a bid to have dignified lives for them.

Meanwhile, according to the Africa Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), only 50 per cent of girls openly discuss their menstruation cycle at home.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Contribute To Finance Bill, Senator Urges Residents

Bomet Senator Wakili Hillary Sigei has urged Bomet residents to make their contribution heard on the finance Bill before it is presented before the National Assembly.

Sigei said the Finance Bill was to be passed after incorporating the views of the common Mwananchi through public participation.

He said this at Kapletundo Ward Sunday during a church service as well as a fundraiser for Chebilat Catholic Church in Kapkatet Parish.

The Senator said the Bill was meant to make legislation that would allow funds to trickle down to counties so as to enhance socio-economic development as well as welfare programmes such as bursaries, among others.

At the same time, Sigei urged leaders to work together for the benefit of the people, since they voted them in.

Others present at the function included Immigration PS Prof. Julius Bitok, who was the chief guest, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot; and a host of Members of Parliament, as well as Members of the County Assembly led by their host, Dennis Busienei.

ce: Kenya News Agency

Turkana Out To Boost Food Security

The Department of Agriculture in Turkana County has endeavoured to sensitise the County Assembly Committee on Agriculture on the new agri-preneur model and the Food Systems and Resilience Project (FSRP) in its mandate to make Turkana County sustainably food secure.

The model is an extension initiative designed by the national government to be implemented by the county government and supported by the FSRP.

The County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock Development, and Fisheries, Dr. Anthony Apalia, stated that the training aims to build the capacity of Members of the County Assembly (MCA) to aid in the implementation of the model and the FSR Project.

He noted that the agri-preneur model is a strategy to create employment opportunities for young people in agriculture through sustainable practices.

The coordinator for the new FSRP, Victor Lochee, observed that the model is a transformative approach where individuals, particularly youth, are trained and developed into agricultural entrepreneurs. He also pro
vided a brief on the FSR Project.

‘The agri-preneurs were competitively selected and will guide farmers on the best agricultural practices and irrigation techniques. They will also connect farmers with suppliers for quality input and link them to markets for fair prices,’ said Lochee.

The Chair of the Agriculture Committee, Etubon Samal, emphasised the importance of the Committee’s involvement, and praised the inclusivity of youth across all Wards. He also called for close collaboration with partners in all activities to boost food security.

‘The model will greatly enhance agriculture in the county. However, there is also a need to support farmers with certified seeds,’ he said.

In the first phase of its implementation, seven agri-preneurs from each Ward have been selected across the 18 in the county. The remaining 12 Wards will benefit from the second phase.

The presentation of the agri-preneur model underscored its critical role in enabling efficient investment in boosting food security, nutrition, and
livelihoods in the county.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Anti-FGM Heroine Calls For Continuous Campaign Against FGM

At the tender age of 11 years, Winsum Jebiwott underwent the cut.

Jebiwott says she had gone to visit her uncle during the circumcision period and unfortunately found herself becoming a victim.

However, at the time, she never quite understood what had happened to her and continued with her life like any other girl who had undergone the same procedure.

At the age of 15, when she joined Form 1, Jebiwott suffered another setback in her life after she became another statistic in the rising cases of teenage mothers in the country.

The 22-year-old said she was forced to drop out of school to take care of her baby. Being the only girl in a family of five, she was lucky because her two older brothers were willing to take her back to school.

After rejoining school, she was narrating to one of her friends the excruciating pain she went through when she was giving birth to her baby.

‘My friend asked me whether I had undergone through Female Genital Mutilation and when I answered in the affirmative, she told me tha
t was the reason why I underwent through so much pain when giving birth,’ she said.

It was then that she was able to relate what happened to her at the age of 11 and its repercussions during childbirth. ‘There and then I resolved to do what I can to save other girls from what I went through. I may not save many, but even if I save only one, I will have done my part in the fight against FGM,’ she told KNA.

Jebiwott said her church, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Embobut, provided her with the platform she needed. According to the young girl, she was a Sunday school teacher, and therefore every Sunday when schools close, apart from other church activities, she made it her duty to teach the young ones the dangers of FGM.

Her efforts were noticed by her parish priest, Fr. Amos Kimutai, who proposed to have her assist in the activities of an NGO started within the church when she did her Form 4.

‘After sitting my Form 4 exams, my brothers told me to give them time to educate my younger siblings first, then the
y would take me to college.

Meanwhile, I continued assisting at the church where I go every Monday and Friday,’ she said.

Last year was one year that all who have been fighting against FGM would like to forget. Hundreds of girls were forced to undergo the rite in Marakwet East, with young men hell-bent on ensuring that the girls were circumcised and attacking anyone fighting the vice.

In the process, a police officer was killed, and the priest, Fr. Kimutai, and a chief were attacked by gangs of youths. But even in that dark phase of the fight against FGM, a light shone as hundreds of girls, having been sensitised to the dangers of the outdated culture, ran away from home to escape the rite.

Despite the prevalence of FGM in the area, there is no rescue centre where girls can find refuge, despite calls by the County Gender Sector Working Group (CGSWG) for the establishment of one. Therefore, for girls running away from FGM, their first stop is either in churches or with any individual who is known for campa
igning against the rite, which is risky given the attacks that took place.

Initially, she received a total of 13 girls who went to the church, and when they didn’t find her, they all went to her home.

‘When they didn’t find me at the church, they came home, and the following day another group of 20 girls followed. I had to accommodate them, and fortunately we had just harvested, so getting food was not a problem,’ she said.

She accommodated them for two days, during which they slept on seats and maize drying mats. However, on the third day, more girls flocked to her home, and that was when she sought assistance from the area chief, who sought accommodation from the nearby AIC church, and a temporary rescue centre was established.

Jebiwott was overjoyed that her efforts had paid off, saying over 500 girls were saved from the cut. This gave her the impetus to continue with the fight against FGM, and with the support she gets from her church, she says she is making a difference in many girls lives.

She says
that, for her, the fight against FGM is a continuous process that should be sustained all year.

She still continues to use the church, saying members are very supportive and will assist the girls from all over the parish whenever she asks for them.

Jebiwott said she was saddened by the events that took place in her home area, especially the killing of the police officer. She said they consulted with the priest, and through the provincial administration, they managed to trace the family of the officer.

‘As part of our apology to the family, we decided to educate one of the daughters of the police officer through our NGO. ‘It’s the least we could do; while we cannot compensate for the loss of their dad, at least we can lessen their pain by assisting the young girl by paying her school fees,’ she said.

Jebiwott called on all those dedicated to the fight against FGM to sustain the campaign, saying that while funds are scarce, the individual efforts of all concerned can go a long way in winning the war against

While FGM cases have been on the rise in the county, the in-charge Office of Public Prosecution, Judith Ayuma, told the CGSWG that for the three years she has been in the county, she has never prosecuted an FGM case, wondering why such cases are never reported.

The CGSWG said the lack of conviction of perpetrators of FGM has emboldened them, which indirectly abets the vice.

Given the risks involved, the establishment of a shelter in the area, which girls are aware of in advance and from which they can seek refuge against FGM, cannot be gainsaid.

According to a performance audit on prevention and response to Gender Based Violence, the Auditor General, Nancy Gathungu, called on the national government to work with the county governor to establish safe shelters for victims of GBV.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Say No To Child Labour, Pastor Dorcas

The Deputy President’s spouse, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, has asked parents within the gold mining areas to restrain their children from working in the mines to help combat child labour within the country.

Speaking at Osiri Primary School in Nyatike Sub County of Migori County, where she issued certificates to registered miners, Pastor Dorcas said children must be taken to school for the sake of their future lives.

She also handed over various working gears to selected miners, including helmets, reflector jackets, and a brand new vehicle, to the department of mining in Migori County.

The deputy president’s spouse pointed out that education is the best investment parents can offer their children, instead of sending them to do menial jobs, some of which are dangerous to their lives.

Pastor Dorcas said the boy-child must be protected and jealously guarded well like the Girl-Child, saying the Kenyan boy-child faces a lot of challenges that must be addressed urgently.

‘The boy child must be protected from peer pr
essure, drugs, and other hard substances that spoil their life,’ she told the gathering.

She said that apart from the boy-child, she was also looking forward to promoting the lives of orphans, widows, and physically challenged people by giving them the necessary assistance.

Concerning artisanal mining, she noted the Kenya Kwanza government’s effort to ensure that the mining sector is growing and that artisanal miners are offered good prices for their minerals and supplied with protective gears to save them from the dangers that they are always exposed to while prospecting for the precious minerals.

The government, she said, has constructed the gold refinery plant in Kakamega, a facility that would ensure that artisanal miners reap well from their work.

Mining Permanent Secretary (PS) Elijah Mwangi, who accompanied Pastor Dorcas, said mining is a business venture that needs to be promoted at all costs.

Mwangi said artisanal miners would be allowed to work in a conducive environment by issuing them with pe
rmits and licenses to enable them to do their work freely.

The PS said in Migori alone, some 23 mining groups have already been formalised to operate legally, adding that the government has initiated a programme that is geared to bring registration and issuing of permits and licenses closer to the miners.

‘The state has also acquired gadgets worth over Sh600 million to help determine the correct amount of money they would get from buyers of their minerals,’ he announced.

He regretted that currently, gold and copper miners are losing a lot at the hands of middlemen who underpay them for their minerals.

At the same time, the state wants to delve into a programme to collect data on all places where gold is extracted and how much is extracted per day for the sake of developing the region.

Migori County Executive Committee (CEC) Member in Charge of Environment Caleb Opondi asked the government to assist the local miners in modernising their activities by giving them the right tools.

He also urged that the co
ntroversial 6,000-acre land in Nyatike, gazetted as forest land, be returned to the local community.

The chairman of the county artisanal miners and small business groups, Kepha Ojuka, appealed to the government to gazette the Migori artisanal Committee that has taken years to be in place to enable it to start work to promote mining in the region.

He said there are over 20,000 artisanal miners in Migori who make their living from extracting gold and copper.

Earlier on, the Mining PS paid a courtesy call to Migori Governor Ochilo Ayacko, where he announced that the government has vigorously started registration and licensing artisanal miners in the county.

Source: Kenya News Agency