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Staring slowdown in the face

During the calendar year January to December 2005, the Central Bank of Kenya says the county�s economy grew by an estimated 5 percent. This is in comparison to a GDP growth rate of 4,3 percent registered in 2004.

Tis the corporate catwalk season

THE SECOND half of this year has seen the Kenyan business community in a competition of sorts with event mangers of beauty pageants. For a long time the main beauty pageant in Kenya was Miss Kenya.

It is time to call the G8�s bluff

The self-reliance bug is beginning to bite. Donors need new rules of engagement with the African continent, but they are all caught in a time warp, refusing to believe that the �hopeless continent� can make it without their patronage and big brother hectoring.

Time to tell our own story

There is a general trend by journalists in Africa to report on their countries as if they were observers. They report in a detached, removed and cynical manner on critical issues affecting their people.

Time to solve land issues

Land is a highly emotive issue in Africa. It was at the root of agitation for freedom from colonialism in most African countries, and remains a source of simmering discontent even today.

Donors play differently

The posse of Kenya�s development partners known as the Consultative Group was in town again in April to assess the Government�s record in implementing economic reforms and fighting graft.

Uganda�s woes hinder union

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania can expect a relatively smooth march to full economic integration, which promises their people growing economies and prosperity. But wait a minute. Economic integration per se has never really been a problem. The main issue has always been the political orientation of leaders

No time for fuzzy leadership

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa is a man in a hurry. And he intends to impart this urgency to the people he has given the responsibility of assisting him in turning his nation from one of mass poverty to a land of milk and honey

Africa dances to the beat of �peace drums�

The Eastern African region, encompassing the Horn of Africa, is beginning to relish the prospects for peace. From Burundi to Somalia to Sudan, former belligerents are laying down their arms and signing agreements with much backslapping, camaraderie, hugs, hearty laughs and firm handshakes. The ironies of this life

Picking up the gauntlet

The cabinet has remained divided, making it difficult to assess their efforts as a collective whole. But some ministers have decided to push their ministerial agendas and make something of their portfolios

Darfur: A test case for Africa

One is even reminded of the fact that since Sudan became an important oil producer, the US Government has substantially softened its stand against that regime.

Beware the ides of August

With the death of Kenya�s minister for tourism and wildlife, Mr Karisa Maitha, the ill wind that has followed the Narc government since it was inaugurated almost one and a half years ago has shown that it is yet to blow over

Saying No to foreign aid

This company was introduced to the country during the Kanu regime, and inherited by the Narc Government. Apparently, it had been contracted for major security projects. It was single sourced, and start-up fees were paid. That was until the whistle was blown......

How times change!

President Mwai Kibaki has expanded his cabinet by bringing in members of two opposition parties. This was in response to a citizenry increasingly impatient with a government that seemed more obsessed with scoring points off each other than delivering on the numerous pledges of a new start that they made when they were campaigning in 2002.

Churches step in

Ironically, Africa's leadership is widely travelled, especially in the Western world, which they like to visit regularly, living in plush hotels, driving on good roads, using efficient telephone systems, and shopping in stores stocked with high quality goods. They, therefore, know what life is like in a rich country.

Nairobi-Kampala integration

I recently took a business trip to Kampala, capital of Uganda, and it struck me how similar it was to Nairobi. So much so that one could almost talk of the creation of an East African culture.

Criminals rule

One of the most talked about issues in Kenya today is the upsurge in crime. Not a day goes by without media reports of all manner of violent crime, ranging from carjackings to highway robberies, bank heists, and sexual assault. Some major highways in the country have become high-risk roads, where you travel at your own peril.

A love-hate relationship

When South African Breweries launched its products in Kenya, they had no idea they were unleashing a furious trade war that would define business relations between Kenya and South Africa. A then napping Kenya Breweries Limited was ambushed by South African Breweries, which set up a plant in Kenya under the name of Castle Brewing. A major battle was enjoined in which the major winners were advertising agencies, media houses and consumers, who were treated to freebies almost every weekend.

Who dares wins

A transport crisis in Kenya, the result of the government's enforcement of new rules and regulations for commuter buses and minibuses, brought home how much grit and determination will be necessary to transform the entrenched and institutionalised "organised chaos" that has characterised a lot of business sectors in the country.

Kibaki � just ANOTHER MOI

Is this leadership? If not, then what is this? Whatever this is, the man who reneged on this agreement is the president and will be for another four years.

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