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Popular online taxi firm employing more than 2,000 in Hargeisa

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More than 2,000 young men in Somaliland are now behind the wheel earning a decent living with the new online taxi company, Dhaweye.

Dhaweye launched its mobile phone taxi hailing application in March 2019.

Abdullahi Ahmed Hassan, 32, is one of the 2,080 drivers signed up with Dhaweye in the past six months. He is driving a saloon car owned by the taxi company.

“You get passengers easily,” he said.“Now we have a market.”

Abdullahi, who was a taxi driver before, had been depending for two years on $50 monthly support from a relative after his car broke down and he could not repair it.

His family’s living standards have improved now that he has a predictable daily income of between $30 to $40 with Dhaweye. He is paying for the school fees of four of his brothers at $50 a month.  Smartphone users can call a taxi or find a shared ride in Hargeisa using the mobile app. Passengers are charged a fixed rate of $0.50 per 1 km.

Guled Ibrahim Ismail graduated two years ago from Hargeisa University and was working as a taxi driver. His income of $6-8 a day was not enough to maintain his car. He signed up with Dhaweye in May.

“Since I joined this taxi system, there have been changes in my life.I secure a good amount of money. The least I get daily is $30,” he said.

He is able to pay school fees for the children and basic daily needs for the family.

However, whilst the earnings are good, Guled said there are times the work is interrupted by internet outages.

Farah Ayanle Dayah-werar, spokesperson for Dhaweye, told Radio Ergo the company was founded by local and diaspora youth and aimed to reduce unemployment.  They place high importance on safety and security, which attracts customers.

“Goods that are forgotten by the customers inside private taxis used to be taken by the drivers, and women had no trust in the taxis at night. Personally, I used to make sure I gave my number to a relative when I got in a taxi at night for security,” Farah said.

Farah said Dhaweye is serving up to 10,000 customers a day using the app. On a normal day each driver gets about three or four rides.

Drivers pay a $10 a day commission to the company for use of one of its cars.  From next year, fees will also be introduced for drivers using their own cars.

Source: Radio Ergo

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Business and Finance

Kenyans to start paying more for Zoom calls starting next month

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Starting from next month, paid users of Zoom in Kenya will have to fork out an additional fee for their subscription, as the government is set to impose value-added tax (VAT) on several online services to operate in the country.

In an email sent to paid subscribers yesterday, Zoom announced that starting Aug. 1, the Kenyan government will levy a 16 per cent VAT to be borne by the customer.

“Like many companies with a growing international presence, Zoom is routinely evaluating its indirect tax collection and remittance obligations,” the company said.

“The application of these taxes to business with online activities is a complex and evolving area. Zoom continues to review such developments, as well as the nature and extent of its activities in different jurisdictions, and, based on such regular review, will start charging indirect taxes where applicable,” the message read in part.”

Zoom currently prices its lowest subscription package, which offers unlimited group meetings among other perks at Ksh15,000 (about $150), while the highest-paid package costs Ksh25,000 ($250) per year. With the VAT implementation, Kenyan individuals and companies will now pay at least Ksh2,500 ($25) more for the cheapest package and at least Ksh4,100 ($41) more for the highest-priced package.

Zoom is not the only digital service to recently fall under the microscope of the Kenyan taxman. Last year, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) introduced the Finance Act 2020 Digital Service Taxes (DST) on income from services provided through the digital marketplace in Kenya, which is charged at 1.5 per cent of the gross value of a transaction (exclusive of VAT). The regulation requires individuals and firms that supply or expects to supply taxable goods and services worth at least Ksh5 million ($50,000) in a year to register for VAT. However, Kenyans registered for VAT will be exempted from paying the tax.

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Science and Technology

Clubhouse is now open to everyone

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Mashable.

The app has ditched its invite-only policy to grant everyone access to its audio chat rooms. Now anyone can host an audio panel about business strategies for sustainable wealth growth.

The update was announced during Clubhouse’s Town Hall on Wednesday. Previously, those who wanted to enter the Clubhouse had to be invited by someone already inside, like being vouched for by a regular at an exclusive club. Now you can simply rock up and jump straight into a room full of men who are in love with Elon Musk, just like a regular bar. All users on Clubhouse’s waitlist are being granted immediate access, with the app available to everyone globally on both iOS and Android.

Clubhouse has long had plans to expand to the general unconnected public, though we had no indication of when that might be until now. In a blog post published last July, Clubhouse co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth stated that the app’s invite system allowed it to grow its community slowly, enabling them to finetune features and fix problems as they arise, as well as putting less strain on their small team. Now it seems they’re finally confident enough to throw the doors wide open.

The social media audio app probably could use the burst of new users that opening up will bring. Though Clubhouse enjoyed significant interest in the months after its March 2020 launch, it seems to have cooled off notably since then. Vanity Fair reports that engagement is down in some areas of the app, and downloads of Clubhouse have also noticeably slowed, dropping to below one million in April this year — a far cry from its impressive Japan-driven surge of 9.6 million in February.

The app’s Android release being made available worldwide in May did significantly help figures. Clubhouse’s installation numbers swung back up to 3.7 million in May and 7.7 million in June, with 76 percent of June’s installs coming from India’s marketplaces according to Sensor Tower. But that spike seems to be temporary as well, with this month’s download numbers sinking to 1.7 million as of July 20.

To be fair, the likelihood that people who want to join Clubhouse are already on it increases as time goes on, which would contribute at least a bit to dropping signup numbers. Still, those aren’t figures any app wants to see drop.

Clubhouse also recently made efforts to improve its user experience by adding text messaging feature Backchannel earlier this month. Audio conversations may be Clubhouse’s big drawcard, but convenience is the real appeal of any social media app, and some things are better read than said.

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Science and Technology

How to connect your iPhone to a speaker

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You’re at a party. The music is terrible. You want to jump on aux, but you don’t know how to connect your iPhone to the speaker. Sounds like a nightmare, right?

Good thing it’s very simple and easy to connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker.

Your iPhone is equipped with the ability to connect to speakers via Bluetooth, which comes in handy anytime you want to play music or anything else on a speaker.

Follow these steps to connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker.

How to connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker:

1. Open Settings.

2. Select “Bluetooth.”

3. Make sure your iPhone’s Bluetooth is on.

If it is on, the oval next to Bluetooth will be green, and you will see “My Devices” and “Other Devices” below Bluetooth. To turn Bluetooth on, tap the circle in the oval next to Bluetooth.

4. Make your speaker available to pair.

Hold down the button on your speaker that makes it available to pair. This may be different depending on your speaker.

5. Find your speaker under “Other Devices” on iPhone, and tap it to connect.

If you follow those simple steps you should be able to connect to any Bluetooth speaker.

If your speaker is not Bluetooth, you can connect your iPhone to it the old fashioned way…simply by plugging it into the aux cord.

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