We chose Kenya as the first country to pilot Zidisha, largely because it was the world leader in mobile phone-based payments, which we use to disburse the loans and receive payments electronically. Also, internet and Facebook penetration was especially high in Kenya, and that made it easy for many people to adopt and share our service.
We currently offer loans in these countries:
One thing to note is Kiva has been doing direct lending in Kenya for about 2 years now using M-PESA via Kiva Zip. Zidisha still has some differences, but I'm surprised at the confrontational tone a lot of Zidisha posts have taken towards Kiva. We're both trying to solve some of the same problems, would be great if instead of negativity, we could work together on doing that, share learnings etc. Anytime I get the chance, I share learnings or offer to help Watsi, and I'd like to think I could feel the same way towards Zidisha.
I wrote this to provide greater clarity to our users and the public, who frequently asked how our services were different. Some readers had the impression that the post was meant to attack Kiva Zip. That was not my intention.
In fact, Kiva Zip and Zidisha have helped each other, and exchanged lessons learned, for over two years now. See https://zip.kiva.org/blogs/4
<< Zidisha Edits
Removed the lengthy section spotlighting a known competing organization, Zidisha from the interest rates section. The information is consistent with Zidisha marketing language and the editor IP is attached to a series of edits inserting Zidisha into other pages. Seems like clear COI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/67.188.17...
IP is also in Mountain View, where Zidisha is working this quarter http://www.ip-adress.com/reverse_ip/22.214.171.124 https://www.zidisha.org/forum/threads/zidisha-launches-at-y-... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Djbrusca (talk • contribs) 17:01, 3 March 2014 (UTC) >>
At the very least, you should always disclose your affiliation with Zidisha when making edits:
<< COI (Conflict of Interest) editing is strongly discouraged. COI editors causing disruption may be blocked. Editors with COIs who wish to edit responsibly are strongly encouraged to follow Wikipedia policies and best practices scrupulously. They are also encouraged to disclose their interest on their user pages and on the talk page of the article in question, and to request the views of other editors. If you have a conflict of interest, any changes you would like to propose that might be seen as non-neutral should be suggested on the relevant talk page or noticeboard. >>
That's pretty much spot on policy for Wikipedia.
"Despite being born and raised in the rural parts of Kenya, I have managed to train and get tech savvy. I grew up with no electricity and i first saw a computer when i was 19years old when i enrolled for further studies. I put in long hours after classes just to be able to catch up with my peers. I learnt to create programmes and i had my first commercial software in the second year of campus. In my fourth year of campus, I had to drop out of school because of lack of school fees. I got a job that enabled me to save up enough money to clear my studies."
If anyone reading this is interested check out the book "Success in Africa" to get an in depth look into the perception of Africa as a single homogenous place.