30 August, 2011



…….As a record 450 films are received surpassing the set target of 365 films.

Nairobi August 30, 2011: The First grader, the movie about Mzee Maruge, the Kenyan octogenarian who enrolled in primary school in 2003 at the age of 84, will be the festival opener during the ten-day Kenya International Film Festival (KIFF) that will run from October, 21 this year.

The award winning film was selected by the Kenya International Film Festivals (KIFF) Trust as the festival opener because of its relevance and stature among so called “Kenyan films” that have been produced this year. The Festival organisers are currently reviewing over 450 films that have been received in preparation for the annual festivals that will have simultaneous screenings in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu.

The Kenyan based film which was produced by Richard Harding of Sixth Sense Productions has already received ten awards from film festivals worldwide. The film which is based on the true story of Mzee Maruge who started school at the age of 84 features Kenyan actor Oliver Litondo starring as Maruge, also in the cast is award winning actress Naomi Harris as Maruge’s teacher, Vusi Kunene and Tony Kgoroge.

The film is based on the true story of Mzee Maruge, depicts him as an 86 year old man with a desire to read a letter from the Office of the President that had been addressed to him and he wanted to understand the contents of the letter, he is however unable to read as he has never been to school. He then enrolls to begin school upon the government’s directive to offer free primary education.

Mr. Charles Asiba the festival director said: “The film is very much in tune with our theme on leadership as it explores the opportunities that came in with a change in governance in Kenya that ushered in a new government that offered free primary education for all”.

This year’s film festivals whose themed is ‘Leadership; the Next Generation’ has surpassed its target of having 365 film. Forty five of the 450 films received by KIFF are Kenyan. The categories with highest entries were 106 short stories and 87 documentaries.

The country which sent in the most films was Kenya with 48 film entries, followed by Germany with 37 films and Poland with 32 films.

Other films that were received were 22 films in the Student films category, 21 Experimental films, 44 animation and 45 feature films.

Mr Asiba said : “From the few films that we have so far classified and had a quick look through, shows that the quality of entries this year have improved. We are very impressed by the level of creativity, style and approach displayed by film makers this year” remarked Asiba.

KIFF jury is currently reviewing the films and will announce and award the winners of each category during the festivals. The categories that will be awarded include Best Short film, Best Student film, Best documentary, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, Best East African Film, Best Feature Film as well as Special Jury prize.

23 August, 2011

AMI-SPI partnership boosts bid for strong, diverse African media

AMI-SPI partnership boosts bid for strong, diverse African media

NAIROBI and GRAHAMSTOWN – Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership, the convener of the Africa Media Leadership Conference (AMLC) in the past nine years, has teamed
up with the African Media Initiative (AMI) to strengthen their common goals of working to create sustainable, diverse and pluralistic African media.

The two organisations also seek to provide a range of platforms and learning initiatives so that African media become “learning institutions which continuously seek to improve their performance
to audiences and markets by providing high quality and ethical management and management systems and editorial and advertising content”, AMI and the SPI announced today.

They will work to create and promote “greater collaboration among African media” and with other news organisations across the world that share their vision and goals. They will also collaborate on a
range of programmes, including media management and leadership research and training.

The SPI, the only university-level institution in Africa and the developing world offering high level editorial and business management training programmes, has hosted the annual, pan-African AMLC
in the past nine years, providing a critical platform to African media leaders to network and discuss key common challenges facing their companies at a time of rapid change brought by digital channels
such as the internet, mobile phones and social media networks. For nine successful years, the AMLC has been funded and organized in close partnership between SPI and KAS Media Africa, the sub-
Saharan media programme of the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

AMI seeks to strengthen the media, from an owner and operator perspective, so that the media can play its full role in promoting social development, economic growth and in empowering citizens to
hold governments and other institutions to account. Since 2008, AMI has organised every year the African Media Leaders’ Forum (AMLF), the largest gathering of African media owners and operators,
to discuss and seek practical solutions to issues of common concern among themselves. Earlier this year, KAS Media Africa and AMI announced a strategic partnership beginning with the hosting of a
joint annual media conference on the African continent later this year - under the banner of the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF).

“Given that both the AMLC and the AMLF were focusing on similar issues, it made better sense that both organisations joined hands, strengthened their reach and impact and leveraged on their
combined economies of scope and scale,” SPI Director Francis Mdlongwa said.

“We at the SPI are delighted to see the birth of this common-sense partnership, which will make it possible for Africa to speak with one voice on common issues.”

AMI Chief Executive Officer Amadou Mahtar Ba said: AMI is delighted to enter into this partnership with a leading learning African institution. The media community on the continent at large and
African media owners and operators in particular will directly benefit from this new endeavour. In a context marked by serious challenges to the media industry worldwide, AMI and the SPI will work
together to help African media leaders to seize the real opportunities in this digital age.”

The joint efforts of AMI, SPI and KAS media Africa mean that from this year onwards there will only be one pan-African media leadership conference, which will be hosted under the aegis of the AMLF.
This year’s summit will be held in the Tunisian capital Tunis on 10 and 11 November.

British-American IPO raises Ksh3.5 billion

British-American IPO raises Ksh3.5 billion 

Nairobi, August 23rd, 2011- The IPO of the British-American Group has raised Ksh3.5 billion amid a slump in both local and global markets, the Group Chairman Nicholas Ashford- Hodges has said.

“We have surpassed the minimum success threshold of 50% set out in the prospectus and also  met the minimum shareholder’s requirement of 1,000 to list on the Main Investment Market Segment of the Nairobi Stock Exchange.  In addition, we have met the minimum shareholding requirement that at least 25% of the shares in the company be held by not less than 1,000 shareholders and that at least 40% of the Offer Shares are allotted to local investors” said Ashford- Hodges.  

The Chairman went on to say: “The shares reserved for retail investors and for employees, agents, and policyholders both recorded oversubscription; however, international and institutional investors did not take up their allocations fully. The high take-up by retail investors shows the strength of the British-American brand amongst East African investors. We now have over 28,000 shareholders and are very grateful for the support our local investors have given us”.
“The positive market reception clearly demonstrates local investor confidence in the Group’s long-term value proposition. We are also happy that several institutional and international investors also responded, though not to the levels we expected,” he added.
The offer which opened on July 12th and closed on August 5th sought to raise Ksh5.85 billion by floating 650,000,000 new ordinary shares at an offer price of Ksh9 (nine) per share. 
“A 60 percent subscription is a commendable outcome in the light of what is currently happening in the financial markets. It was unfortunate that the US debt crisis escalated right in the middle of the offer period, causing loss of appetite amongst institutional investors especially those outside Kenya. Even though the offer has not been fully subscribed, we have surpassed the minimum success threshold of 50% set in the prospectus” said Ashford- Hodges.
Commenting on the outcome, Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi said “the level of subscription will still enable us to meet the strategies of the Group”.

“We are very bullish about our prospects. Our strategy is on course and the Board of Directors will now have to prioritise on some of our projects and the timing for their implementation. The IPO has given us the opportunity to increase the scope of our operations and widen our footprint across the East African region. Locally, we now have the resources to tap the economic potential nascent in the newly created counties as earlier planned. Our balance sheet is even stronger and we should not have any problems financing the high value projects we had envisaged,” said Mr Wairegi. 

“Through this  listing, British-American, has reached a significant milestone in its long history in Kenya” he concluded.     
IPO Results by Numbers

No. of Applications
Total Shares Applied
Amount Applied



East African Retail Investors



Qualified Institutional Investors



Foreign Investors

The local Retail investors pool was over oversubscribed by Ksh.736,587,900 while Staff, Agents, Policy holders category was oversubscribed by Ksh. 5,850,000

10 August, 2011

Cisco Expo South Africa 2011

Sun City, North West Province, is hosting the next Cisco Expo which will take place in South Africa on November 9-10, 2011.

A two-day event focused on innovation and technology. Cisco Expo is the perfect platform for business leaders and technology experts sharing the latest solutions and trends, all supported by Cisco's best of breed architecture.

Register now and take advantage of the early bird price     http://csc0.ly/CE11ZAB

04 August, 2011

Difference Between A Blogger and A Citizen Journalist !

Many of writers online use the two words blogger and Citizen Journalists interchangeably but as the online sphere develops and the issue is critically analyzed a dichotomy is starting to emerge.So is a Citizen Journalist and a blogger one and the same thing? what differentiates or defines the two? This question is pondered upon by Susan Cormier of the National Association of Citizen Journalist(USA)  in the following YouTube Video:

In an attempt at defining Citizen Journalism Wikipedia offers the following definition /opinion:

Citizen journalism (also known as "public", "participatory", "democratic",[1] "guerrilla"[2] or "street journalism"[3]) is the concept of members of the public "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information," according to the seminal 2003 report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information.[4] Authors Bowman and Willis say: "The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires."
Citizen journalism should not be confused with community journalism or civic journalism, which are practiced by professional journalists, or collaborative journalism, which is practiced by professional and non-professional journalists working together. Citizen journalism is a specific form of citizen media as well as user generated content.
I believe differentiating the two offers fine lines for critique and Divergent viewpoints,question is which preceded the other? are the two terms mutually exclusive ?is there a point where the two converge? Well the purpose of this post is not to theories the application or definition of the two terms but to highlight the emerging trend of differentiating the two and to solicit diverse opinions on the issue-your take?

03 August, 2011

Sample Code Of Ethics for Citizen Journalists/ Bloggers

The following is a draft code of Ethics formulated at  a workshop in Beirut organised by the National Democratic Institute, and the Lebanese NGO ASWAT on "Citizen Journalism, Professionalism, and Ethics". The code was derived by young citizen journalists from the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, and Iran, along with traditional journalists, namely Kelli Arena [a former CNN journalist] and Magda Abu-Fadil [former editor at AFP].

Guidelines for Good Citizen Journalistic Practices
-Be accurate.

-Be transparent about who you are/your role in the story, your methodology, any conflicts of interest.

-Be fair.

-Disclose any funding.

-Be careful posting developments that not have not been confirmed or that you have not witnessed yourself.

-Do not distribute copyrighted material or plagiarize.

-Always link to original sources.

-Do not post anything that will endanger someone's life.

-Do not sell information about your subscribers or followers’ list. 

-Do not fabricate stories, or digitally alter pictures or video.

-Avoid profanity.

-Put a disclaimer before especially disturbing post.

The code is also available in Arabic & French Languages  

I am certain that many of you who write content online will find this pretty useful!


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