20 December, 2007

Safaricom IPO Set To Go!

Breaking News -The Kenyan Court of Appeal has today in a court ruling delivered by Justice Emmanuel Okubasu,Justice Erastus Githinji and Justice Onyango Otieno declined an application fronted by the opposition to forestall the sale of Kenya's most biggest Company and communication giant Safaricom!It is now hoped that the shares will be offered anytime next week before the General elections on December 27th .

The current establishment has for long sought to publicly sale the shares of the telecommunication giant however members of the opposition have alleged that there currently is no sufficient legal framework available to sanction the sale (the opposition have been pushing for the coming into force of the Privatization Act passed in 2005 to come into force.The same has not been gazetted for it to take effect) and that the hurried sale by the current regime is malicious and a tittered with corruption. The Court of appeal in unprecedented move claimed that it has no jurisdiction in the issue(if the Kenyan Court of Appeal lacks Jurisdiction then who does?).I do not want to fault the Judgment having not had the opportunity to scrutinize it!But i hope that the learned justices acted uberimae fidei (in utmost good faith) and looked keenly and sufficiently at all the legal parameters.

Seeing this latest development,no doubt ,for the Kenyan populace,its going to be a tough year with the festive season,elections,new year, fees... etc but if the IPO is under "microwave speed" sold to the public through the Nairobi Stock Exchange(NSE) make sure you buy some!

MTV's New Social Network Website!

Social networks have rapidly gained prominence in the internet industry in the last three years.The popular MTV company has also joined the bandwagon having recently launched its issue based and youth oriented social network site at www.think.mtv.com .The site was launched with the joint coordination and effort of various philanthropic societies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation,Goldhirsh foundation,MCJ foundation among others.

The site which had been under beta testing since November 2005 and is aimed to be a pro -social initiative to empower young people on issues of fundamental concern especially in relation to education,sexuality,morality,human rights,health,discrimination,politics and global concerns.Its emphasis initially targeted low income and minority students who hardly finish high school or join college.The site aims at offering these groups information and resources to enable them see the benefits of pursuing a college degree course and accessing higher education as a means of empowerment.The site provides facts and information on the importance of graduating high school and resources on gaining access to college.The users are able to exchange ideas,video, and other forms of media.

In an attempt to get more youths involved in politics the group recently recruited 51 young citizen journalists in its "Choose or Loose Political Campaigns Coverage " in order for them to collate information on the USA 2008 elections throughout the country with weekly reports that will include short videos, blogs and animation that will be featured in the site.This initiative is being partly funded by the John S and James L Knight foundation,a private journalism foundation based in Miami.

The MTV Think site boasts a membership of over 5,000 individuals and though initially intended and tailor made to suit the US market is now increasingly gaining a world wide audience with membership including some African youths and bloggers.Indeed the youth are taking a pro active stance using the blogosphere to address issues of fundamental concern to them and social networks are providing such a platform.Make Money online with eBay

13 December, 2007

Inverse Foreign Investment !

Kai .A.Wulff the C.E.O of Kenya Data Networks(KDN) is certainly a great mind to reckon with and his recent TV interview on KTN Business weekly program helped me appreciate the kind of mindset and determination that Africans should adopt in order to propel the continent to greater prosperity!Mr Kai Wulff was being interviewed by Aly Satchu Khan(proprietor of www.rich.co.ke) the host of the weekly TV program.

I especially appreciate his captivating and inspiring encouragement to local entrepreneurs that its time Africans thought of being innovative enough to develop their own services,products and businesses that end up not only competing with the the leading firms in the world but also buying them out!It is this thought that i dub "inverse foreign investment".Rather than wait for a business to grow big and be acquired by American or foreign firms, the thought should be to come up with an entity that can make in roads in foreign markets or match up with the best!

The case of Bill Gates ,Larry Page and Sergey Brin is basically an encouraging point and illustrates to many of the young African Intellectuals pursuing advanced higher education in the different universities that anything is achievable with proper strategy.All it takes is a little creativity,diligence,innovativeness and persistence in order to be successful. It is hardly believable that Google Inc was formed in a Stanford dorm room in 1998 by two bright young lads who were hardly 30 years old and now command's one of the fastest growing multi national I.T. firm.

The German born Mr Kai Wulff means what he says and has an impressive background to back up his claims having owned and been, the CEO of an I.T firm at the age of 16years.Mr Wulff encouraged young entrepreneurs to embrace the concept of "creativity by default".Meaning that one can come up with a product or service that initially flops but that shouldn't be the be it and be all but rather a learning point of reference.Persistence pays.

KDN is Kenya's leading broadband solutions I.T.C firm and was licensed by the Communications Commission of Kenya in 2003 as a Public Data Network Provider .The firm has set a remarkable presence in the region as a data communications provider and is set for further heights.
The firm is set to invest a massive Kshs 12.5 billion in laying out a national fibre optics cable system.This will immensely improve internet and intranet connectivity within the region.The company has already laid over 500 kilometers of fibre optic cable in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Thika and is set to cover more grounds in readiness for the international East African submarine cable system backbone(EASSy) set to reach Mombasa in 2009.The KDN network serves as the ideal broadband access system for servicing business customers of all sizes, including banks, universities and corporations, offering them one point of access for all their business communication services, including Internet access, virtual private networks (VPNs), commercial leased lines, ethernet, and frame relay, all with enhanced capacity and wide coverage.

KDN believes that wireless broadband is the most efficient and cost effective way to ensure affordable communication services for the greatest number of Kenya's population, both residential and commercial users and has set measures to tap this market.Infact they recently ordered their first 300 Xnet Viper multi-radio systems from Hopling Technologies. The Xnet Viper mesh node is specially designed for citywide deployments and offers superior features that make it the best choice for large-scale integrated municipality mobility solutions.It further enables the network to provide wireless internet connectivity to anyone,anywhere at any time. This move confered upon them the prestigious capacity and title of being a Value Added Reseller (VAR) by Connection N&C Corporation (CN&C). KDN activities set the future stage and capacity for Kenya to become the premier destination for I.T outsourcing in Africa in the coming few years.

With that kind of mentality we certainly need more Kai Wulff's in Kenya and other emerging economies!

11 December, 2007

Sneak Preview of the Goophone

There 's been alot of specualtion about Google joining the Mobile market especially after the company announcing that it will soon buy a block of wireless spectrum from the US government and more so due to its "android" project and "xohm"(the impending nationwide WiMax network).

Bidding is expected to commence as from 24th January 2008.Speculation is rife as to how the phone will look, but should it look like the photo hereinabove, i will positively not buy it(the apple i-phone looks much better).But its certainly exciting to see the mutation of the mobile phone and the angle the future of search is taking!

Jeff Koinange is Back !

Kenya's much renowned and famed former CNN reporter Jeff Koinange is back in the country and has found his place helping Kenya's first 24 hour news chanel K24 set up its operations.

His humble gesture is certainly to be much appreciated seeing that the new tv channel K-24 is hardly a month old and has barely experienced newscasters .Most of whom are newbies from media institutions with little or no experience.Jeff is probably one of Africa's most experienced and highly profiled journalist having worked for reuters from 1995 to 2001 (during which period for the latter 3 years served as its Chief Producer-African Region) and therafter joined CNN after short stints at NBC and ABC in the United States.The year 2006 saw him collect a number of awards for his work, including a Television EMMY for coverage of the Niger Famine, in his piece entiled ‘Starving in Plain Sight’,he was also part of the CNN team that was granted the Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina,

His other accolades inlude winning the Prix des Lyceens Basse-Normandie for coverage of rape victims in the DRC, and the National Association of Black Journalists award for work on the famine in Malawi, Desperation in Malawi’. This last package also earned Koinange the 2005 Vernon Jarrett Award from the Institute of Advanced Journalism at the North Carolina A&T State University for ‘Best Feature’. In 2002, Koinange’s coverage of the crisis in Liberia earned him second runner-up in the Headliner Awards in the USA. In 1999, Koinange was a finalist in the Prix Bayeux for his coverage of the war in Sierra Leone.He was also a panellist on the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award judging committee and a regular Masters of Ceremonies for the event. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from New York University.

His illustrious career however was brought shortly to a halt mid this year after allegations that he had stage managed a story in the Niger Delta about rebeels and an alleged affair with one Marriane Brinner(that being neither here or there) but what is openly apparent is that Jeff is still highly talented and accomplished individual and like any other human had his own faults but i guess we cannot simply continue to focus on someones past or mistakes for we have our own!

The Channel K-24 is an initiative of local media moghul Rose Kimotho(proprietor of Kenya 's first vernacular and much popular fm radio station Kameme FM).The new channel faces the challenge of keeping the viewers informed with relevant news 24-7 without running the same news over and over again.Futhermore the other challenge will be reporting news live as it happens and the reporters will be breaking new grounds as news anchoring is relatively new even with the accomplished local television channels such as Kenya Television Network(KTN),Citizen Tv and NTV.It is hoped that despite apparent teething problems the news channel will pioneer new grounds in the region resulting in the populace being much more informed especially with news as it occurs.

It is further hoped that the news channel will audition more new faces to especially mirror the diversity that Kenya has and further recruit more local talent of various backgrounds and age groups as there seems to be an evident monopoly especially by very young Kenyans from a particular divide! (its encouraging but yet sometimes media talent may lie with the more experienced as is the case of Njoroge Mwaura and Catherine Kasavule ...etc).The station should be more conscious of public perception especially in this highly polarised environment.But as usual Kenyans generally support local initiatives that genuinely mirror their uniqueness and diversity and showcase the beauty of Kenya

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08 December, 2007

Ebola Outbreak - Handshake Scare !

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on Friday advised Ugandans to desist from handshakes,embraces,long greetings and other methods of close contact through which the virulent Ebola strain virus could be spread.

The death of 23 suspected ebola cases including four medics and infection of over 104 individuals according to Ugandan Health Ministry spokesman Mr. Paul Kabwa has certainly sent the East African countries in a panic -scare mode.The Democratic Republic of Congo has closed its borders with Uganda due to the high reported ebola incidences in Bundibugyo district which borders the country.On the other hand Kenya and Rwanda are screening all visitors entering their countries from Uganda(there is a high probbilty that even those screening the people are ill equiped and trained thereby exposing themselves to the risk of infection).Kenya is especially apprehensive since 2 fishermen died in Masaka ,another two people in Kampala and one in Mbale,area's which closely border the country.Futhermore there are individuals under observation in nearby Kasese in Uganda.

The question however which still crops up is are our medical personnel in Busia District border point sufficiently trained and endowed to detect ,prevent the spread,quarantine and control the spread of the disease ? The Atlanta Based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) has setup a lab in conjunction with the Ugandan Government inorder to moniter and control the spread of the disease in Uganda and it is highly expected that any person infected in Kenya will be transfered to Kenyatta National Hospital which is one of the few hospitals in the region that can efectively handle Ebola cases.

Being an election year Kenya definitely does not need a Health crisis adding up to the Mount Elgon and Kuresoi skirmishes which are giving the incumbent President a campaign scare.More so coming hot on the heals after the former Health Minister Hon.Charity Ngilu defected to the Raila led ODM opposition camp.The Incumbent Health minister Hon.Paul Sang is hardly over a month in the seat and must be primarily concerned about his re-election bid especially coming from a predominantly opposition zone.

On the other hand due to the tenacity,ferrociousness and virulent nature of the Ebola virus,the disease normally kills its victims fast enough such as to prevent further spread;what can possibly be called the "burn out effect ! ".We in the region hope that the disease subsides soon and does not turn out to be an epidemic.Otherwise we might just end up with handshakes ,kisses,embraces outlawed!

07 December, 2007

Tuskys-Business Without Ethics?

This morning i take a swipe at Kenya's second largest multi-million shillings(dollar) supermarket chain (and all those businesses in Africa exemplified by this organization)Tuskys Supermarket(formelly Tusker Mattresses).They simply lack the ethics ,custom, appreciation... etc to prize and value the most important aspect of their business-their human resource!

I was irritated and visibly angered as i listened to Caroline Mutoko on Kiss 100 relate the experience of one of the supermarkets married female employees called "x" in Kisumu who has to work from 8 a.m to 10.p.m ,7 days a week,28 days a month as a shop steward that she hardly has time for her family.She is only eligible for 2 days off in a month and I'm certain the pay must be meagre! Fellow bloggers please take this challenge to expose practices that are not only harmful but exploitative!The onus is upon you.I'm very certain that Tusky's supermarket has a HR department that simply needs to be changed as it is a non starter and non performer!
Accor Hotels 3-Day Super Sale Asia Pacific There has to be a limit to the number of hours an employee should work and i believe though I'm not an HR Guru that retail businesses in Africa should especially introduce flexible working hours and shift system so as to cater for its employees!They should further put a ceiling on overtime hours. For a certain how a business treats its employees tells us of how much you value us as customers.Honestly i also believe that the other supermarket chains such as Ukwala similarly, do not have any due regard for their employees.It stands to reason that an employee who has no time for family and works long hours with little pay and scant motivation will 99% of the time vent his frustration on customers thereby affecting their perfomance.That is contrary to the marketing mix which stipulates "the customer is king" .

I as a customer would rather spend my hard earned coin to shop at an institution that values its employees and strategically motivates them rather than at a venture where the Directors shamelessly turn all profit to expansion and their own personal benefit and disregard the human element.Such kinds of attitude are replicated through many Businesses in Kenya ,Uganda, Tanzania and Africa in General and with no discrimination intended especially in Indian owned or managed firms.The classic case of Kenya's retail giant Uchumi Supermarkets seems not to educate the management of various African establishments that despite massive capital if you do not motivate your employees in various ways the net result is pilferage among other ills and the business faults.

A close scrutiny of various companies in Africa reveals that the HR departments are merely administrative units, put there as a fashion statement to indicate that the business is modernized! but having no real output in terms of efficiently managing, motivating and enhancing the productivity of employees in a professional manner.

There seems to be a large lacunae in our employment and labor laws ,first and foremost to necessitate that businesses plough back a portion of their profits to employee benefits(many governments provide tax incentives for businesses that adopt this approach),to provide clear guideliness on staff dismisal,benefits and redundancies,to legislate against discriminative tendencies(both on account of race and sex) in businesses and to compel businesses to abide by established laws.The absence of such policy frameworks has largely contributed to the dismal performance of African economies and the huge disparities in wealth income and poverty levels.
No Government can do well without sufficiently addressing the labor issues and this narrows down to business entities also.

At the same time in Kenya the Institute of Personnel Management which is the professional body for HR practitioners is so weak in formulating policies that can translate into laws to cater for employees and or to ensure that HR administrators by and large stick to the professional ethics and persuade business to operate by certain ethics.There is need for public sensitization on this issue.I am yet to see them advertise of a seminar or a luncheon in that regard and their website is not useful(trust me i subscribed to their newsletter two years ago and have not received a single issue to date)Businesses that give lip service to catering for personnel interests are not worth any investors interest!Kudos to Nakumatt at least they exhibit some sense of direction just that for a big establishment like that i would expect Mr .M.Omondi their HR manager to be sitting on the board of Directors(at least as the 1st African-Nakumatt we are watching!).HR department is crucial and key for any business and its strategic goals!

pss I'm Happy to note that after this post there has been a lot of change on how some of this chain stores treat their employees.Its the wise course to honor your employees and truth be told employers stand to benefit more!(this post was done in 2007 , i believe much has changed and consequently i will do a second post on the supermarket and not its hr policy, i foy would love to share some facts leave a comment!)

06 December, 2007

Pop Star Idols Comes to Kenya

The much revered reality tv -'pop' star idols talent search programme will be coming to Nairobi Kenya in 2008.This heralds exciting good news to most upcoming and talented musicians within the East and Southern Africa region between the age of 18 & 27.The succesful winner will have an opportunity to sign up a recording deal with a reputable record company and as a side benefit be propelled to international fame.

This is good news especially since the entertainment industry in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania(as evidenced in EATV Channel 5 shows) has become vibrant and lucrative.Kenya has also shown its capacity to host such an event after succesfully hosting the local Tusker Project Fame talent search competition ,although the same didnt miss allegations of bias eschewed againt other East African participants by the local judges.

Internationally the show has been the launching pad for several succesful musicians including Kelly Clarkson(signed a mutli million dollar deal with RCA records),Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood,Chris Daughtry,Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks,Jordin Sparks,Girls Aloud(U.K) group,Willy Young, Heinz Winckler (SA),Karin Kortje(SA) Dewald Louw(SA)Jody Williams(SA) Peter Evrard(Belgium) etc...among many others.

Originally the show debutted on ITV in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2001 with viewer participation and voting on which singer should be retained.The success of the show resulted in the concept being exported to other countries such as the U.S in June 2002,Brazil, South Africa, Australia,The Idol franchise has heard its fair share of judicial disputes in over 30 countries resulting in an ourt of court settlement between Pop Idols Producers and the creators of PopStar.International brodcasters are prohibited from using the title pop before the idol symbol.The franchise is under the management of 19 TV Ltd and FremantleMedia Licensing Worlwide.

It is sincerely hoped that Idols East and Southern Africa will be a success in the region. The Kenyan public awaits with much anticipation to see who the Judges will be and how impartially and proffesionaly they will handle their task!

All the best for the contestants who will participate but please give us dignified sensible music and we will vote for you!

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05 December, 2007

Make Big Money Through Affiliate Marketing !

Each day millions of blogs are churned in the internet and it is becoming increasingly attractive for many publishers to make their blog earn money !The critical challenge is to build up a critical mass of subscribers and make one's blog stand out so as to enable one earn money especially in Africa, Asian and Arabic Countries! The feat is achievable but one needs to take cognizance of the following:

There is no magic wand to enable one immediately get massive traffic save for
    1. Publishing interesting and captivating content

    2. Being specific and consistent on what you write

    3. Time and effort

    4. Minding one's language and dicta

    5. Let your blog be visually appealing

234x60The above are just but suggestions (i wouldn't want to reprint the massive suggestions on 'how to' prevalent on the net but you can try johnchow.com for something sensible) not a panacea to getting more traffic .Another Key to succesful monetizing depends on the marketing affiliate/advertising programs one joins.I have found bidvertiser
weblink here to be one of those affiliate programs that is true to its word and realistic in achieving substantial PPC (pay per click)payments .Google adsense and adwords rarely deliver but are a must for a serious blogger as alternative fund generating sources.For the Kenyan bloggers and African bloggers out there intent on monetizing their websites(be it South African Rands,Kwachas,Shillings,Birr,etc) you certainly ought to give BidVertiser a try!and yer ...write blog content thats captivating and really worth it!

04 December, 2007

Electoral Violence Reaches A Notch Higher!

Tis sad to see a flare of violence with women especially being the target.It is indeed regretable to see politically instigated ,ethnic oriented violence continue to rock the country(Kuresoi,Mount Elgon..etc) especially when the election is hardly a month a way.It was hoped that some thinks would be left in the past but it seems the trend still continues with "fuata nyayo "and the new Kazi euphemism.There simply must be a stop to certain things such as clashes and coruption! It is especially sad to see that politicians caught transporting arms intended for violence get released after a white washing stint of questioning!

When will man stop dominating man to his own injury!We sincerely condole the family of the late Alice Onduto a lugari politician brutally murdered on Saturday by uknown assailants.
Violence begets violence and the innocent women,children ...etc suffer.Lets sincerely stand up against any sort of violence especially against women and may the Kenya Police prove their commitment to protect and serve without favour or bias!

29 November, 2007

Call to Nobel Laurete-Wangari Mathai

The renowned 2004 Kenyan Nobel laureate Wangari Mathai recently lost Party of National Unity (PNU) nominations to pursue the Tetu Parliamentary seat. This did not come as surprise as she has met several politically significant blows ever since her winning the prestigious award and being appointed a paltry assistant minister in the Ministry of Environment!

Yesterdays KTN Programme hosted by Linus Kaikai confirmed what the public has all along been calling her to do: quit politics, as she is way above that political seat and it is certainly hoped that she will heed call. It is hoped that as a private citizen she will not be partisan and or limited by party policy but will act selflessly in defending the environment -the core duty that landed her the Nobel accolade. But the question is will she heed that voice of reason?

There is so much ahead of her including a shot at becoming the first African woman secretary general of the United Nations, but politics can certainly muddle that ambition.

Take for example, after having banned the cultivation of crops in forested areas, in an apparent attempt to win the electorate votes in the upcoming 2007 December polls, the Government through minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Hon David Mwiraria announced on November 1st 2007 that Non-residential cultivation system of certain forests will soon be reintroduced with new rules for implementation after a 8year ban. No doubt this will result in massive logging to create space for planting. It is certainly challenging for her to continue to be part and parcel of a system that negativates the gains made in pursuing ecologically sound principles! It therefore stands to reason that she should dedicate more time to her Green Belt Movement, re-energize it and adopt more policies and programmes that are sustainable in the long run and sensitize the public, the Diaspora and the continent on the same. A feat that will definately demand more time than she can currently give juggling both interests at the same time.

Infact it is a mark of greatness to delegate and handle that which one can more effectively handle, take for example the fact that Jesus said his disciples would do more than he could be able to accomplish in his three and a half year ministry! Indeed he could not by himself reach the whole world but he helped and trained his apostles who would eventually through word of mouth and other means reach the whole world(Acts 1 :8).That is a classic mark of Greatness and is certainly hoped many will heed it!

22 November, 2007

The Google March in Africa

Africa is rapidly developing to be an emerging market for many multi national corporations!IBM has just announced about a mentorship program in conjuction with many sub saharan universities with intent to develop an employee base when the company launches a major initiative in Africa.On the otherhand Google recently launched its first African office in Nairobi in July this year.Question is,what is in the offing with these new entrants in our domestic markets.

Generally, Googles mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.In attempting to reach that goal locally, Google intends to optimise the use of Google applications in the African,Middle East and Asian region . Further,in order to get more users in the sub saharan market Google is willing to go to the extent of buying international bandwidth and make it affordable to the locals so that they don’t have to pay the curent high premiums prevailing in the african market. Google also intends to develop their Maps product to make sure it has a more relevant appeal and contains local information that is searchable and useful.Thirdly,Google wants to help local webby's monetize local content. Lots of people have done local content but most times it’s flopped. By doing so,google intends to generate more jobs and work especially for the ailing African economies.

That is definately good news for African bloggers who feature local content but cannot effectively monetize since most African companies are yet to grasp and utilize the power of internet advertisement which is a multi billion dollar industry in the developed countries.Most of the top notch advertisement companies have no strategic plans to usurp and exploit this rapidly developing market.Groups such as Ogilvy and Mather,Ayton Young and Rubicam,Lowe Scanad Group,Adopt A Light... etc in Kenya tend to capitalize on print media,outdoor and television advertising and neglect the internet as a medium of massive advertisement perhaps due to the fact that a staggering majority of the African populace lack access to the internet or the computer.

But despite that vein of argument,the recent launch of NTV(a local Kenyan television channel) on Youtube attracted a massive 500 ,000 hits.This indicates that there is a ready market for local content both within Africa and in the diaspora that needs to be tapped.

Google is also set to join the mobile market this is evidenced by their recent stategic dalliance with Sprint Nextel and Cingular Wireless in the United States .Locally, Google in patnership with Safaricom, a leading mobile services provider in Kenya is offering the locals free internet access which obviously is a strategic move to ensure that of the more than 2 million safaricom subscribers get access to google search on the go and remain users of google products especially as it chats its way through the mobile market.It also a preparatory stage for googles attempt at being and remaining the leading search provider in the world.The mountain view based company recently unveiled a free cell phone software package,which it intends to use to more easily peddle ads and services to people who aren't in front of a PC. Thus Google is set to dominate the mobile web market as part of its expansion programe.It is hoped that phones running the new software will be cheaper hence more accesible and affordable to users.

For along time google has been indexing web pages with intent of having the largest database.This will make google eventually the leading and most comprehensive information portal.Due to this vision being championed by Larry Page (founder),Sergey Brin(co-founder) and Eric Schmidt(C.E.O Google inc.) critics have labelled google as "googzilla" and perhaps this fear of monopolization of the information market may be the driving force behind the stalling of googles bid to buy ad tracker Double Click,the leading visual advertisement content provider by regulators in Europe and America.At the same time many rights activist have raised concern over googles attempt to provide books online terming it as attempt at copyright infringement and an abuse by the company.

Their rescent third quarter financial statements(September 2007) are a proof that emerging foreign markets are proving to be the core revenue generating sources for MNC's and microsoft Corp is indeed taking cue from this.Googles revenues from outside of the United States totaled $2.03 billion, representing 48% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2007, compared to 44% in the third quarter of 2006 and 48% in the second quarter of 2007. Thus the foreign revenue curve can be seen to be exponentially growing for this company founded in a stanford university dorm and which is hardly a decade old!The example of Google portends the growth and potential that the emerging markets have and the short duration wherein profits can begin to be harnessed !If only local investors could take cue.

The march of Google in Africa will definately yield alot of benefits especially for the local information and technology industry.Their entry into the markets and attempts in creating a presence through launching products with alot of media presence bear evidence of googles attempt at exploiting the opportunities available in emerging foreign markets .This bear evidence to what this investment markets have in store for multi nationals that are willing to take the leap and who will be pleasantly suprised at the opportunities Africa has to offer.

17 November, 2007

Flavoured Straws Hits The Market

Couldnt help but post on this exciting product courtesy of strawtech that has just cropped up in the domestic market-granule packed flavoured straws!

Do your kids hate drinking healthy milk!do they frequently need much persuasion inorder to drink their milk,Then straw tech has just come up with an inovation that will leave them going gaga-flavoured straws!I must say that is ingenuous !Think of it ,the straws come in different flavours from strawberry,to banana,chocalate ...etc all made from natural ingredients.The straws are packed with granules and when one drinks normal healthy milk it is instantly flavoured. The sugar content in the straws is negligible hence the straws are diabetic friendly.And as a parent you need not fear your childrens teeth getting messed up as the straws delinver the milk to the back of the mouth .Truly bespoke dental compliant!When it comes to the environment,the straws are made from recyclable material hence the environmentally conscious need not fear.

The innovation is credited with an australian baby boomer and will be produced in Kenya by strawtech Limited ,the patent holder in conjunction with HACO Industries.The local director of Strawtech Mr Andrew Robson was quite enthusiastic in a radio interview this morning about the product launch and promises that the product will soon venture into the East African market.For now i cant wait but get my son and nephews their flavoured straws from the local hypermarket!

16 November, 2007

Dick Morris Strokes a Political Furore

Dick Morris the former President Clinton scandal ladden political strategist has just stroked a political furore in a third world country by joining the campaign team of a leading Presidential Contender Mr Raila Odinga!

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Dick Morris Strokes A Political Furore!

Top American political author,campaign strategist and newspaper columnist recently stroke a political furore in Africa by joining the Kenyan Presidential Aspirant Raila Odinga's election campaign team.His entry into the Kenyan political arena heightened the stakes and gave a new angle /twist to the scramble for the Presidency.

The incumbent President His Excellency the President Hon.Mwai Kibaki did not fail to mention at a rally in Nyayo Stadium shortly after Presenting his nomination papers to the Electoral Commision of Kenya that Mr Dick Morris had been misguided by the opposition and that he would be of no consequence in the elections scheduled for December 27, 2007!

The Government spokesman Mr Alfred Mutua yesterday mentioned that Mr Dick Morris risked facing deportation as he had visited the country on a tourist visa and had no valid work permit as a political stategist.It is however alleged that Dick may have jetted out of the country way before the Governments announcement of the impending deportation.That by itself was an admission that his presence and entry in the political scenery was unwanted and unappreciated by the ruling elite.

Mr Dick Morris is a former Clinton stategist but now turned harsh critisist after a fall out with the former US president .His life is dogged with scandals including an alleged affair with prostitute Sherry Rowlands which resulted in his resignation from the Clinton campaign on August 29th 1996.A further scandal errupted recently when Dick was listed by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services as the 7th largest delinquent tax payer.It is hopped that this background will not dint the Rails Odinga Presidential campaign but as has been seen in the political atmosphere prevailing in Nairobi.Chances are that the ruling PNU party will definately capitalise on this misdeeds.However Dick has an impressive foreign polical campaign portfolio having offered services in the U.K, Ukraine, Mexico ....etc.His vast experience may easily help him waddle against the avalanche of critisiscm headed his way.

Much lefts to be seen whether the other Presidential Aspirants will higher foreign consultants in this tight paced presidential race which is too close to call!

14 November, 2007

More Local Content on Kenyan TV

Ever since the demise of the popular tv comedy show Redykyulass! featuring Walter Mongare(aka.Nyambane,nyams etc), parliamentary aspirants John Kiarie(K.J)Peter Kaimenyi(Kajairo)Maurice Otieno(Mdomo Baggy) and Antony Njuguna ...etc few Kenyans hardly spend considerable time watching the telly.

That has changed with the introduction of more localised content starting with the famed "Kobra Squad!" airing on NTV which betrays the mentality of the official Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua. The 'action packed' program reeks the influence of the days of rambo,chuck norris and the likes what is actually missing is that local narrator at the popular tv dens who commentates with much gusto at the unveiling action packed scenes.But the program is descent! features innovativenes and may go along way if the on screen advertisement bits are minimized considerably.That's a start for now but we hope it will be more realistic,convincing and eye catching as we go along.

Other tv s that have captured our attention is the two popular comedy shows being aired by Citizen TV i.e 'Papa Shirandula'(a stereotype of a lughya watchman leaving a double life with many clandestine wives ).I must say that this program is intriguing and the plot catching.Keeps you glued on the screen.The other popular comedy is Inspector Mwala,featuring the famed Vitimbi on screen character Mwala!Who in certain episodes takes the jokes too far but still the sitcom achieves a fair rating.

On sundays Kenyans relax to popular tunes of Africa,afro fusion etc !the real Music!likes of Manu Dibango, Seif Keita, Lucky Dube, Achieng Abura,Ladysmith Blackmambazo... etc This on the program Afro Dizzia.Hosted by non other than the local Kenyan Celebrity Kaz(Kora Award Nominee for most promising female artist).I find her hosting quite tasteful and professional(thumbs down for all that hullabaloo,gossip rumors on the web, dont believe and i aint going searching..but if tis true....*#***!).I invite kenyans to celebrate the innovativeness that is being mirrored through local content especially in the acting arena!While recognition of local music artistes has come of age little can be said of the performing arts,film industry and acting fraternity! We need to recognize the beauty and preciousness of local content otherwise gifted artistes loose the zeal.

Kudos to all who continue to entertain us from within the local fraternity

13 November, 2007

Poverty Eradication!Just for thoughts!

Its election year and come to think of it Kenyan Mp's(especially those of the 9th Parliament) are/were the richest and most fortunate fellas ever!With their frequent salary hikes, perks... etc.These guys fall in the top bracket of the most highly paid members of parliament in the world and non in both political divides is least bothered!Talk of hungry Hyena's

Come to think of it as part of poverty eradication if Kenyans elect 220 non- millionaire new MP's then we will have 220 new millionaires.So this election----will you vote for a millionaire???

08 November, 2007

Activism Against Gender Violence-Blog Carnival

Black looks .org draws our attention to the 16 days of activism against voilence starting from 25th November, to 10th December 2007 (an inititiative by the Center for Womens Global Leadership now in its 16th year) and invites all African bloggers to participate in a blog carnival sensitizing people against Gender Violence.This two dates coincide with the International Day Against Violence Against Women and International Human Rights Day.The theme for the blog carnival is "Demanding Implementation,Challenging Obstacles:End Violence Against Women"

The theme is quite appropriate and timely as we have seen quite some level of violence(i.e violence aginst Ms Asha Ali an Aspirant for the Dandora Civic Seat, Pollyne Owoko ,Mrs Orie Rogo Manduli,Mrs Flora Igeki Tera amongst many other unreported cases)during this election year in Kenya especially against aspirants seeking parliamentary or civic seats.That is a shame and definately calls upon increased and concentrated efforts against this vice by all stake holders.In this vein i do welcome the formation of Electoral Gender Based Violence Rapid Response Unit(GRRU) an initiative of Education Centre for Women In Democracy and other stake holders .The efficacy of the unit is yet to be ascertained as it may be severely limited without political goodwill and immediate and rapid assistance by the police and other relevant authorities.

There is quite an increase in the presence of activist groups in Kenya advocating against Gender violence such as COVAW (Coalition Against Violence Against Women),FIDA, FEMNET...etc.But they have a scanty presence in the blogosphere and cyber space.Perhaps this would be an opportune to them to increase their activity.I do agree that sub saharan africa has very few people with access to the internet.But yet the power of activism vide the internet cannot be down played especially in directing international attention and resources towards fighting repriesive practices against the African Girl Child and women such as Female Genital Mutilation, domestic abuse, gender violence,spousal rape etc. It is important to note that many Africans have migrated within the diaspora and would like to now synergise their efforts with local communities to fight some negative vices that they left back home.The blogosphere is a facilitative forum for their efforts and also for other well wishers.

I earnestly urge all Kenyan bloggers to take this opportune period to actively participate in voicing their disapeal against gender violence and use this period as a launching pad towards better and equitable treatment of women and children as they are the backbone of society.In response to the call,i intend to take a comprehensive look at the various legal instruments currently in force in Kenya that tend towards protection and prosecution of gender violence with specific reference to women and the Girl Child!Watch the space!

31 October, 2007

Nairobi-City Within A Market

When the Narc Government took power in 2002 an all out campaign to rid Nairobi city off hawkers was commenced with great vigor and determination by both civic authorities and the Kenya Police. For a most part of the Kibaki administration the city was a glowing gem with the presence of albeit few to almost no hawkers. Security and movement of citizens was at a prime and the beauty of the city was restored. That has changed drastically!

For the past two weeks from around four p.m in the evening, masses of hawkers like a plague of locust have thronged the city streets bringing human traffic almost to a stand still due to the overcrowding. The city can aptly be said to a city within a market! With the prelude to elections on December 27th 2007, a sinister attempt has been made to bribe hawkers for their votes. With a former Nairobi mayor eluding that allowing hawker’s back to the street is a ploy to garner votes.

As a parent I am concerned with the kind of morals are being imparted to the youth, children and nation as a whole by virtue of such acts or apparent inaction by the authorities. It is apparently open that the unbridled spirit of competition at all costs has been let loose. The prevailing philosophy being one should do all that he can including subverting and breaking his own principles as long as they get what the want. Elections must be won at all costs despite backtracking on any gains that may have been made. This will be replicated in the upcoming generations leading to violence and short cut measures to get what one wants at all cost and shortest time and we always wonder what has gone wrong. It’s important to note that we lead by example.

And that is the folly of human leadership! No wonder more than two thousand years ago the wise man Jeremiah under inspiration of the holy spirit wrote at Jer 10:12 “it does not belong to man who is walking to direct his own step” the gist of that statement is that man was simply created not to lead himself and as such he cannot lead others. Frequently his incapacity to lead others is manifested by acts of violence, strife, hatred, ethnicity, murder, lack of ethics etc

While indeed hawkers have a right to earn a living! Time and again when allocated places of operation they have simply declined to use the allocated zones. Their crowding the city centre frequently results in increase in violence and theft since many thieves masquerade amidst the crowded streets and use opportune moments to snatch, pickpocket or even strangle their victims in their attempt at stealing. By allowing the hawkers back into the city without designated lanes and a modus operandi the interests of the everyday nairobian has been periled at the altar of vote seeking.

At the same time the hawker’s plight for affair share of the market will be short lived since once the authorities are elected back into power the daily battles between the city council Askaris, the police and hawkers will resume with loss of innocent lives in the skirmishes. But who cares anyway!

We simply must not forget the injustices and the value of life that results due to faulty policies. For the Nairobi hawkers it may be the proverbial two months of honeymoon and four and a half years of hell. With the political leadership hoping to ride on the ignorance, forgetfulness and hunger of the hawkers.

Simply put even if the hawkers are allowed to operate within the city the same must not be an attempt at getting votes but should be under well laid out and thought out plans that adequately cater for the continued development of the city, enhanced security and benefit of the citizenry by and large!

24 October, 2007

Keep Nairobi Clean !

Nairobi is a beautiful city!a wonderful place to live in .To maintain its beauty its every nairobians civic duty to ensure it stays that way!

Every morning thousands of commuters travel to the city centre using public transportation.After paying the requisite fare they are normally issued with receipts.For the past one week or so i have been quite observant of the commuters after they alight from the buses.Interestingly most commuters after alighting do not hesitate to throw away their receipts haphazardly on the pavements,bus seats,road etc without any hesitation or their conscience bugging them.That kind of behaviour simply has to stop.

By necessity it is incumbent upon all Nairobians to ensure that the city stays clean.That is not the preserve of the City Council,its askaris or National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)officials.

I have heard the priveledge of visiting several european cities and the level of cleanliness was astounding.In essence i am not saying that the europeans are beter than us but their citizenry evoke a high level of environmental consciousness.It is shameful and even absurd for a normal citizen in those countries to damp a sweet wrapper,receipt,garbage... etc haphazardly!And they maintain this high standard of cleanliness notwithstanding the presence or absense of securlar authorities.I believe the same sense of civic responsibility is within our reach!

There are many trash cans within the city centre so let us make use of them.Failure to do so indicates arrogance,dirtyness,lack of civility... etc.And at the end of the day we end up blaming the city council for not performing their duties while we have failed on our own.Nairobians next time you use a City Hoppa,KBS or Double M ,please ensure you dump the receipt in a trash can or pocket it.It is good manners !As for the transport companies please provide more trash bins at your passenger points with apolite notice for your customers to use the same.The receipts may be recycled at lesser cost to your benefit.

At the same time i call upon corporate sponsors to engage in a massive public education and sensitization programme against this vice after all this is part of Uraia mwema(good civic duty)!

19 October, 2007

Lucky Dube Is Dead !

Iconic African Reggae star renown for famous tunes such as 'liquor slave' 'prisoner' etc is dead after a botched car jacking attempt on thursday evening at Rossetenville, Johannesburg.Too sad for Africa to loose such a legendary artiste due to the cruel hand of a robbery attempt.

My sincere condolences to the family and the rest of his fan base!

18 October, 2007

Buru Buru Matatus-Madness or Menace!

Life in Nairobi is Interesting but it gets more interesting or rather annoying when you venture into its traffic system! Matatu is the swahili word for the Mini-vans (14-32 seater mini vans and buses) which are the predominant public mode of transportation.

The drivers of the matatus often contravene laid down traffic laws,rules and regulations sometimes with abject impunity as is the case of Buru Buru Matatus!While the 'Michuki (former Minister for transport) rules' stipulate that all public transportation vehicles shold be of one colour and have a painted yellow strip(ribbon) around them.Buru Buru matatu's dont have this.
Further they are the only matatus in the city that overload and carry excess passengers who have to stand(shame on the passengers-you are the ones taking Kenya backwards).They often drive on the kerb when there is traffic exhibiting gross impatience and break haphazardly!

Most of the matatus have tinted windows ,often play loud distorted music and usually have more than one turnboy (makanga!)usually around four.This is absurdness and has immensely contributed to pick pocketing!carjackings,sexual harassment etc.Sincerely are this matatus being owned by the policemen and is this a classic case of corruption that continues to steer this country down a road to apathy and self destruction? if not are all the traffic policemen on Jogoo Road and City center lacking the capacity to see or are they simply grossly lethargic?

Through this blog i raise my voice against the culture of impunity that continues to be displayed by certain members of the matatu fraternity and further strongly advocate the enforcement of measures that guarantee public safety!As for Double M transport Company Kudos, we hail you for being the choice customer friendly passenger service!

05 October, 2007

The Switch from Analog to Digital Tv!

Kenya is poised to change tv signal transmission from digital to analog .This is according to Kenya Minister for Information Hon.Mutahi Kagwe

While this is a ready welcome technological advancement, pertinent issues rise up!For one the National Environmental Management Authority(NEMA) should raise a red flag.This development will render redundant the hundred of thousands TV sets in the market.Atleast a majority of the households in Kenya own an analog TV,in the abscence of a set disposal mechanism or exchange criteria we shall have mountains of hazardous material in the form of unwanted tv's and this will definately have a negative impact on the environment.

So before we take the switch let us look at all logical consequencies and how to manage the adverse effects!Fellow brethren let us continue to environmentally conscious.ITS OUR WORLD AND THE ONLY ONE WE'VE GOT!LETS TAKE CARE OF IT!

03 October, 2007

When is Paypal Coming to Africa?

I must be among the many Africans who are wondering on the question' when is paypal coming to Africa?' and more particurlarly to Kenya.

The online system of payment operated by Paypal was founded in 1998,San Jose California and now boasts of operating 153 million accounts worldwide ,available in 190 markets and 17 currecies all over the world except in Africa.Due to its inadequate presence in hinterland Africa,the E-Commerce provider losses out on massive profits which it could rake in due to emerging robust markets in Africa.

PayPal boasts of being a safer, convenient and easier way to pay and get paid online. The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing sensitive financial information.Pay pal is currently owned by ebay pursuant to an acquisition in 2002.It is just too unfortunate that Paypal is continuing on a sluggish pace to venture into the African Market.We certainly deerve access to use of this service ...ama?

Songstress Valerie's new Album

Valerie Kimani of tusker project has finally launched a 13 track album entitled "Baisikeli" and from the sound of it as evidenced in this weeks Nsync programe on NTV hosted by Tim Njiru.The album is bound to be a rocker for those who love afro fusion,jazzlike/ neo soul kind of love ballads.

All though its too early to call the shots,im certain that there is earnest interest by critics and fans alike of all sorts to examine the album in the critics crucible and see whether it fits her having won the much famed Tusker project fame to the exclusion of her close rival Alvin. For the romantically inclined this is a must have album.

For now thumbs up valerie.cant wait to buy n listen to the cd it will be a recluse from the Genge kind of music that continues to dominate the Kenyan airwaves and which lacks lustre due to lack of content and foul language!

02 October, 2007

Ineptitude at Lands Office !

I lodged a duly filled application for an official search of a certain property at the central lands registry Ardhi house Nairobi some time in August.It is quite dissapointing that two months down the line i have not obtained a certified copy of the official search/title from the Lands Registrar.

Its not that the file is missing nor is it an isolated event as i am constantly engaged in conveyancing matters of this kind.Its basically ineptitude and inefficiency at the Lands registry.
There is an urgent need for what i may call an OPR an acronym standing for an Organisational Process Restructuring.The continued ineptitude and inneficiency at the lands registry does not only contribute to increased loss of earnings but also corruption.

An OPR should be undertaken with the input from Business Process Re-engineers so as to reinvent the modus operandi of the lands registry so that less resources are utilized to achieve greater utility value to the consumers who are in this instance the local mwananchi(citizen).

I am particurlarly impressed by the Companies Registry at Sheria House which has recently been restructered and had its service halls renovated to a modern look.The companies registry has also been computerised greatly aiding and improving service and retrieval of information at the Companies registry.But i Look foward to the time i can be able to search company information such as Directorship,shareholding ,name search... etc online.We must remember that a Company's file is basically public information and that anyone has a right to view and peruse this documents.It would also be prudent to enable company's be able to file Annual Returns online.This would achieve greater ease for investors to comply with this requirements and also enable the registrarof companies de- register defunct companies.

The lands registry should also be computerised and an online search facility be enabled.While it is true that the ministry has begun an attempt at computerisation of the registry as a strategic objective,the same is being done at a snail pace thereby increasing concerns for anyone transacting in lands. Land is a precious commodity and frequently investors/purchasers are called upon to search on the ownership and status of particular pieces of lands before commiting themselves for purchase of the same. The delay and hustles at the registry forces some to abandon their quests to purchase real property mid way.

Computerisation will curtail corruption to an extent, save time, energy and other expenses that need not be for the end user-the mwananchi.At this day and age it is highly embarrasing for one to wait months on end for a search because a photo copier machine has broken down at the Lands registry.Shame on you Mr. Kivutha Kibwana alongside with your Permanent secretary Mr Kombo Mweru, because the buck stops with you as the Minister for lands and PS consecutively.The continued ineptitude by the staff at Lands registry continues to hinder economic growth and ease of trade.Its so sad to see Kenyans treat matters of great importance casually and to frequently avoid embracing technological advancements just to save jobs of people who are chronically lethargic and ineficient at most times.

Hon.Kivutha Kibwana
Reform the Lands registry now!That may be more important and urgent than a clamor for a new Constitution!

01 October, 2007

Nakumatt Westgate!

Kudos to the retail giants Nakumatt Holdings Ltd for setting up the 24 hrs-7 days a week multi million shillings store Nakumatt Westgate at westlands(A first of its kind in East Africa).The most attractive feature of the new convenience store is that it is virtually operational 24 hours a day making it convenient for its shoppers.300x100

Other industries should follow suit especially those in the service sector.The 21st Century simply has no space for sleeping dogs to lie.However the retail group is sleeping with regards to its website.It is hardly updated, visually un-appealing and does not offer the convenience of purchasing goods online.The internet has become such a powerful medium for e-commerce and many superstores have virtually gone online.Nakumatt has to follow suit in order to maintain a leading edge in the industry both locally and internationally.

Mr Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, the operations director of Nakumatt alongside with your marketing counterpart,take heed and diversify at the same time go regional in order to maintain and enhance your competitiveness as a superstore!

Electoral Code of Conduct-Kenya

Its an election year and most Kenyans are virtually euphoric in the support of the Leader they deem fit to lead the country for the next five years.

Interestingly all the campaigns have started on a high notch with President Mwai Launching his bid for Presidency this saturday to a mammoth crowd at Nyayo Naational stadium.With the onset of the campaigns the work of the Electoral Commision of Kenya(ECK) now truly begins.I have just looked at the ECK website and found it to be quite nice.Actually one of the best websites in terms of Government/Statutory bodies website.My main interest was to find out what does the electoral code stipulate in terms of enforcement of breaches by political parties against the code of conduct.

Unfortunately the Electoral commision seems to be atoothless bulldog,more precisely a bulldog that doesnt want to bite.The website lists(for the link http://www.eck.or.ke/index.php/Laws-and-Regulations-Governing-Elections/The-Election-Offences-Act.html) Acts of Parliament,laws and regulations that it is seized with enforcing .But i am more specifically interested in their rider after theElections Offences acts i.e. :

"As the title indicates this is the Act which contains and creates Offences
relating to registration of voters and election and the punishment of offenders.
By making it an offence to tamper with the voters’ register it enhances its
security and integrity. It forbids bribery of voters, and generally,
electoral corruption, intimidation and coercion of voters and candidates.
Indeed if it were enforced fully the conduct of elections in Kenya would be
I find this to be bi-partisan, defeatist and an excuse by the body not to perform its statutory obligations.As per the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Electoral Code of Conduct, Civil Servants are not supposed to actively participate in promotion of a political candidate but evidently both opposition and Government rallies have featured Government resources and or Government employees(one being a diplomat) actively promote a certain candidate.
Obviously this demonstates that human elections wherever they may be cannot fail to have improprieties and two that those seized in enforcing enabling laws and statutes while expected to be neutral and forthright will always continue to turn a blind eye on manifest infringement of the said laws!
Free and fair elections! hardly not here not in America!Prevailing interests will always prevail.Indeed democracy is just a term that exists in the books and at best has been dictatorship by the majority!

28 September, 2007

Coca Cola Vj Search

Congrats ! to the three East African Coca Cola ,Mtv Vj(video jockey) Search finalist and winners;to wit Emukule Ekirapa(Kenya),Carolyne Mugasha(Uganda) &Venessa Mdee(Tanzania).

Emukule Ekirapa

Special congrats especially to Emukule since he represents the male voice amongst these top notch presenters who are bound now to join up with other new african elitist presenters in hosting the MTV -Coca Cola Chart xpress which will be broadcasted in Africa via DSTV &GTV and to the rest of the world through MTV.It wasnt an easy feat but they made it and we hope that they ill give an african face to it and not simply ape their counterparts in Mtv America,U.K,Europe etc.

I especially say so to the Kenyan Vj Emukule a former Michigan State University class (2004)valedictorian and model with Surazuri Modeling and cast agency who has an american tweng,walk,talk character to it.As you can currently see in the world entertainment scene what is genuinely unique is selling as is the case of Akon, 2face Idibia,etc.Be proud of your heritage n stick to it.It helps alot in the long run.As for Sheila Rabala a kenyan runners up,Cheer up-the sky is the limit going through the whole selection process was a refinement and will certainly open opportunities for you if you keep up your efforts.

For now we will be glued to the screens as the African continent show cases its rich musical talent and rich diversity to the world.MTV here they come!
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27 September, 2007

Google Jobs!Nairobi, Kenya

It was only recently that Google appointed a Kenyan to run its first office in Africa.It is nice to see that this step has borne fruit as google seeks to recruit the following positions in its Nairobi office(more opportunities available also for the jo`burg office):
  • Associate Product Marketing
  • Geographic Consultant
  • Geographic Supervisor
  • Strategic Partner Development(SPD) ,Local Markets
  • Technical Support Associate -Google applications

Nairobians if you are interested and are apt to the challenge apply to jobs@google.com or visit the website at :http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/static.py?page=intl.html&jobslc=africa All the best!

NB:Googles local office is located at 7th FloorPurshottam Place(an exquisite new building next to Club Afrique at Museum Hill Round about)
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26 September, 2007

Daily Metro:Nation Media Group Latest Addition

The Daily metro has joined the ranks of Nairobi Star as medium sized full colour newspaper.The paper will hit the streets this Wednesday the 26th of September, 2007.

According to nation media groups General Manager for Marketing and Publishing Miss Neema Wamai the newspaper seeks to target the low income earners and youth.It will retail at Kenya Shillings 20 which is affordable for most of the populace as compared to the other newspaper dailies such as Daily Nation, The East African Standard,Nairobi Star etc.

The Daily Metro has been modelled after the daily advertiser but will feature more editorial news.The debut of the Daily Metro will definately eat into the niche that the Nairobi star had started to carve for its self especially since it is cheaper.

We readily welcome more players in the market and more products as this increases the level of objectivity in reporting, improvement in content and definately a more wide array of choice for the consumer!

25 September, 2007

African Weddings in the Wild !

There is an emerging trend in the African tourist circuit of weddings in the wild “bush weddings” at African game parks and game reserves raking in millions of dollars and pounds in foreign exchange. The South African tourist circuit is steadily taking advantage of this trend with agressive international marketing.

At no less than 500 British pounds a couple, the bride and groom can be hosted at prestigious hotels within such epic national parks such as Sabi Sands game reserve within the Lake Kruger national park or Phinda Game Reserve in Zululand.Many wedding couples have decided to have their weddings on the banks of Zambezi River upstream from Victoria falls in Mosi-oa-Tunya Park in Zambia .Definitely, the African tourist circuit is not short of beautiful, epic ,utopian scenery and I sincerely hope the Kenyan tourism board shall take advantage of this emerging market to show case the diversity and beauty of Kenya.

A typical bush wedding package normally includes:

Guided tours and nature trails
§ Outside catering ,Exotic African cuisine, bush meat etc
§ Beauty therapy ,spa treatments
§ Dhow trails and dinners riding the gentle monsoon winds
§ Hikes into beautiful African hills and mountains such as Mt Kenya, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Elgon, and the Ruwenzori ranges etc.
§ Traditional African wedding songs or live bands for the total African feel ,Presiding Minister etc

The Kenyan tourist circuit has also caught up with the flare for bush weddings with bookings of weddings this summer at resorts such as Mount Kenya Safari Club, Ngulia lodge, Kilaguni Serena Lodge, Lake Naivasha( with its beautiful flamingoes)Severin Safari camp in Tsavo west national park, The Maasai Mara. Indeed for a crème de la crème romantic safari Kenya offers the most opportune and unforgettable backdrop.

Too sad I came to know of this kind of weddings a year latter from my Garden wedding! But that need not be the same for you. The advantage being after the wedding you simply embark on a wild safari honeymoon with no hustles of booking, flights…et cetera.

So if you intend to wed soon and would like something authentic, tranquil, unique and a memoir for ages to come. Come to Kenya and enjoy a unique one of a kind wedding in the most unique setting: the wild!

Karibu! Welcome!

24 September, 2007

Electoral Violence in Kenya-Year 2007

It is indeed sad to see that Kenyans under instigation of misguided leadership have begun to fight each other in the runner up to election 2007.Of concern is that those who are exploited in these regard and put in harms way are mere peasants,the lowly and the poor for such a small price.

Those funding such acts of atrocities often claim to be religious and whenever they attend their religious meetings are given the most prominent seats.What a fallacy and height of hypocrisy both by the masses of christendom and the political leaders.

For the lowly,please do not be a victim of the selfish, power hungry politicians who are out to fend for their own economic interests.Violence is and should be condemned at all levels of society!Throwing stones,arrows,pangas,knives etc at political opponents will achieve no gain at all but bring to the fore hearts full of wickedness,hate,murder,strife ,violence etc.Any God fearing person should vehemently deplore perpertrators,promoters and planners of such acts!LET US SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT!

Remember each one shall soon render an account for all his activities before the Almighty no matter their stature in society in this present system of things!

22 September, 2007

Kenya Traffic Police and Bribery-ouch!!!

I happened to chance upon an email post with the following caption(no pun intended) .While i sympathise with their meagre earnings however something needs to be done to curtail this inappropriate fiasco and chain of bribery!

The payslip of a sample traffic cop was stated as follows:

Basic Salary 15,000
Hse allowance 0
Gross salary 15, 0000
Magereza SACCO 3000.00
NHIF 320.00
NSSF 200.00
PAYE 2740.00
Loan repayment 3260.00
KCB LOAN 2250.00
Total Deductions 11770.00
Net Pay 3230.00

That notwithstanding! the fella can still afford to look as he does!

This is a problem that definately needs a solution.After mulling around the Chief Magistrates Court at Kibera for half a day on thursday waiting for a clients matter to be heard on a minor traffic offense.I propose that the attempt to introduce on spot traffic fines with official receipts be speedily adopted. Many Nairobians do prefer to part with"kitu Kidogo!(read bribe) rather than be taken to Court and waste a whole day and even admit a non existent offence just to save on future attendance to court,waste of time, etc.

The nuisance value is just too much. Fellow Nairobians let us clamor for the change of this archaic mediaval practices that only fends to feed some few stomachs.Our judicial system especially with regards to traffic offences needs an urgent overhaul! Dont you agree?

14 September, 2007

Re-Branding Kenya National Music Festival

Just the other day i happened to muse over a KBC programme airing past kenya national music festival competitions.It suddenly downed on me that little or less has been done to re- brand this event so as to market and showcase the richness and diversity of Kenyan Culture. Whereas the potential of this event is tremendous!

In Nairobi National School i frequently participated in the festivals by virtue of being in the Nairobi School Band and also due to the fact that the festival would bring together a host of girl schools such as Kenya High(Our Sister school),Precious Blood Riruta, Moi Nairobi Girls,Pangani girls,State house girls, Loretto Msongari etc etc. The Music festivals were austere occassions and very entertaining at it.Alot of talent was normally displayed,nurtured and brought to fruition due to the music festivals.

Unfortunately majority in the audience as has been and continues to be primary,secondary ,university and college students together with their teachers and invigilators.Majority of the Kenyan Citizenry have left this affair to be merely an educational discourse. That is a sad factor indeed!While the events to an ordinary Kenyan may just be normal, usual or boring,on the other hand to a tourist it can be fascinating, intriguing and even attractive.

While embracing modernity and taking into consideration that the world has become a global village.It has become necessary that we harness such events,identify their potential, weaknesses, threats and strengths and then enhance and explore this strengths.The Music festial is certainly one such strength we need to exploit to showcase our beautiful culture!

It would be readily welcome if the Kenyan Tourism Board ,the Ministry of Education,stakeholders in the tourism industry and the Ministry of Culture, heritage and home affairs could take ample advantage of the music festivals and market this as a tourism event. The money generated could also be used to enhance the appeal, management and conduct of the Kenya Music Festivals so as to even attract and appeal to the common mwananchi.At the same time this can create an intense love of Kenya and its heritage among the tourists who attend this annual event.

Futhermore the money generated could be used to award scholarships to the winners enabling them pursue their talents and interests in this arena.Create a future and a source of income that can be marketed abroad. We need to see more upcoming groups and talents reminiscent of Muungano Choir, Jabali Africa,Kayamba Africa ...et cetera.The festivals need to embrace the ambit of not only entertaining but also empowering the locals!

The spill over effects of such aggresive marketing to the locals,taxi drivers, hotels and tourism resorts, craft sellers,foreign exchange earnings would definately be immense.I t is increasingly evident that promotion of cultural tourism in africa has taken a dynamic angle with more and more inputs being directed to this area.Some of the events and festivals being massively promoted include the Reed dance in Swaziland(raking in massive foreign exchange)the Ashanti Kente Festival in Ghana,the festival in the desert in Timbuktu Mali and the Sauti Ya Busara festival in stonetown Zanzibar. The Kenya National Music festival should as a matter of extreme urgency join this ranks.

To make a wider appeal the organising secretariat should fast track the attempts to make the music festivals not only a regional festival but an international event!It would also be highly desirable that the management of this event also focus on embracing the benefits of internet advertising and or make live intenet feeds of such events for consumption of the international market particurlaly those Kenyans out there who are proud of their cultural heritage and seek to show this to their friends. Infact the winners gala should be digitized and sold as DVD pack to the already willing and eager market.

We have alot of cultural capital which is under utilised and unexploited as it necessarily should be.The Government and Kenya Tourism Board should take a cue from the Swazi,s who have capitalised on their reed dance and in the consequence attracted international attention and generated a lot of tourism and foreign exchange for their country.The Music festivals are not just a school event they are our highly precious natural heritage. Let us be proud to enhance and cultivate it's international appeal!

12 September, 2007

A Kenyan Blog Carnival !

Blogs are powerful tools for communicating on almost all aspects of life.
More and more Africans are joining up the intenet bandwagon to blog on areas
that concern their daily lives from politics,to social affairs,hobbies, interests etc.
While this is laudable much more must be done to capture the diversity that permeates the
African diaspora.

While more and more africans continue to embrace the use of the internet,emphasis
needs to be placed on encouraging people to blog on their social issues and
topics of utmost concern to the African people.I would sincerely appreciate
more blogs focusing on the demerits and evils being perpetuated by outlandish
cultural practises such as female genital mutilation as practised among various
Kenyan Indigenous communities such as the Ameru, Abagusii, Somali,Rendile etc.
It would also be much appreciated if we can have more and more blogs detailing the
perpetrators of ethnic animosity, political hatred or sharing information and intelligence
on such heinous deeds.

Certainly im yet to read on a blog espousing the benefits of traditional medicine, food etc of the Kenyan people.Perhaps i am naive on this issue but even a perusal of the posts on the Kenyan Webring or using search engines specifically for blogs onsuch issues yields not much results.

Itis estimated that there are 10 million bloggers earthwide with more joining each second as it counts.This is indeed alot of web space that we need to scramble for and partition.Ironically when the colonialists came to Africa, they did not hesitate to grab and partition to themselves our land.We now have an opportunity to maximise on the 'land' that the internet has created so that weare not left behind in this modern phenomena.
Coming closer back home to Nairobi,Kenya one can state with certainty that
we are yet to embrace the potential benefits that blogging can generate to businesses, organisations,political parties,banks et cetera.We have few pundits willing to comment on issues that the mainstream media views against their 'strategic interests'.This in itself curtails many rights and freedoms tht should be embraced.It is with such background that i propose the development not only of a webring but a blog carnival for the Kenyan people.

A blog carnival is basically a post with links narrowed down to a particular topic, such as fashion, traditional food, cars, herbs,politics etc.I would love to post articles on river wood, Gikomba market,Kiondo Basket, Jua Kali Industry, Need for toilets in South Nyanza,Poverty eradication in Kenya, Youth employment .With a blog carnival people basically post blogs on a specific topicthat has been highlighted by the carnival.The net effect is that the different bloggers with a shared interest then get to raed each others items,share ideas, etc.The main purpose for blogging is for ones blogs to be read;to generate aiudience and thus use of blog carnivals should be embraced especially in Kenya.

11 September, 2007

Get it @ !

Im sure many Nairobians would like to know places where they can obtain certain gisty stuff at affordable prices.Perhaps at one point or time you may have visited your neighbor, friends or relatives and noticed an item/s that captured your attention and you desired it so badly!You may have wondered where did they get it from

.Mhhh...that has prompted me to begin this thread where we can share information on where to get certain stuff at a price to kill for!

  1. Looking for cheap wall paper and borders in Nairobi? Try Town Centre (for the widest variety)at Capital Centre(Uchumi) ,Mombasa road, or Tile and Carpet Centre,

10 September, 2007

Kenyan Clergy & Politics:An interdict!

On Saturday the 8th of September, 2007 members of clergy from different denominations met together for the purpose of praying for peace during the forth coming elections.We might say that was indeed noble of them and chasticize those who failed to attend.

But on the strength of Gods word consider the following:
  1. 2 Cor 6:14-18, in light of the difference in faith is it possible for those who share different faiths,pray to different gods in one breathe and vain obtain the Almighty's backing?hardly atleast not in light of this scripture.1 cor 10:18-22 chasticizes such kind of behaviour as not all the faiths are drinking from the same cup.
  2. It is no lie that time and again the pulpit has been used to forment violence, fundamentalism, hatred,apathy for members of other race and denominations, will one act of coming together on the premise of national day of prayer cover up over such issues : Isaiah 1:15 answers that.
  3. Majority of the prayers on that day are repetitious,mechanical,type written thought and insincere, Jesus answers them on that regard in Mathew 6:7 &8.A meaningful prayer emanates from the heart and the venue is not necessarily the issue but an environment where one can have maximum ,undisturbed and undettered communication with the Creator is what counts.Christ even recommends a closed room rather than hypocritical public prayers.

After the prayer sessions the clergy had an opportunity to lunch and dine with the head of state, nothing is really wrong with that except the comment by one clergy man that you cannot separate the Kingdom of God from kingships of this world,what a fallacy against Christs command in John17:6 that his followers are no part of this world including its political empireship and that"his kingdom is no part of this world" in John 18:36, futhermore in Dan2:44 this Kingdom will put an end to worldly rulerships.We pray for Gods kingdom to come and put an end to where human rulerships have failed.It is ironical to place our trust again to them remember "It is when they are saying peace! peace! that sudden destruction is to come upon them(1 thess 5:3)

Nairobians Caveat emptor!Politics and Religion are strange bedfellows.Its like mixing water and wine!


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