Posts

Solutions for The Matatu

Image
Here’s the thing. There is no country in history that has grown their economy without having a highly efficient transport system. Kenya will not be the first. For the avoidance of doubt, the matatu is actually the antithesis of a transport system. It’s unreliable, extremely inefficient, overly susceptible to the weather, energy intensive and quite simply unsustainable. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the idea of the matatu being an important urbane cultural symbol that should be preserved and revered, I just think that when it comes to transport, form MUST follow function. Several years back, Mir Michuki had a crack at sorting this mess out and in my humble opinion he did quite well for himself. Too bad he was clueless and his analysis of the problem was intrinsically flawed. You see, public transport is really just about efficient movement, comfort is a secondary concern. The second reason Michuki’s plan failed to hold was that he assumed the matatu situation was unique to K…

My un-educated Sufuria is sick

Image
If you ask me, the real cancer of successive Kenyan governments has been the reliance on the philosophy of reactive management. It seems to me that with almost everything in our great country the KE government is always acting after the event. It’s almost as if there are no statistics, no intelligence no rumors , nothing to help people plan for things. It’s just amazing. I mean if you look at any sector across our economy you are likely to find myriad situations where the KE government is caught absolutely flatfooted. The annual flood and drought famine issue are the best example for this, but the hardest hit sectors are surely without a doubt education and healthcare.

PRESIDENTIAL SUFURIAS SSn 1

Image
10 things Kenya’s next president MUST do (In my humble opinion,) 1.Forget his mother tongue
Seeing that successive Kenyan governments have governed the country in “mothertongue”, this will be his hardest task. That said, if Kenya wants to move away from this ethnic cocoons that we are building the new president will have to very vocally and boisterously govern from the middle.

It's Vision 2030 OR KPLC. We can't have both.

Image
Let’s put it plainly. In this century, at least in my own opinion, the key to success or failure in economic advancement is energy. Technology may come a close second, but with the advent of the “open source-open use” ideology and the growth in the relevance of social media in business, there is little or no chance that any one entity, or country, can have any kind of monopoly on technology. I mean, an innovation today in the US will land in Nairobi within a day or maybe two at the most. In fact in some cases we are actually ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to tech stuff. If you don’t agree then maybe you have never heard of a thing called MPESA. Still, this is another discussion altogether. This great country has the biggest economy in the region and the most potential to achieve the much touted “African Tiger” status but we run literally on air. Between KPLC and the ERC we have designed the perfect system for failure. In fact, things are so bad that KPLC themselves have a…

Privatisation of Energy is like a sufuria on my head

Image
Generally, if you have lived in Kenya at any time in the past 25 years, then you are aware that the GoK has probably the worst imaginable record as far as management of any kind (and of anything) is concerned. We appoint our houseboys to lucrative parastatal jobs, and regularly use any revenues accrued from these parastatals to buy socks for our children who are enrolled in “proper” schools abroad. Any losses are simply written off, or offset by printing more money. Needless to say that our energy and communications sectors are among the worst hit by this cancer, that had reached the highest stages during Moi’s latter years in power. As a response to this, we have a new found fanaticism for privatization, which in my opinion, is intellectual poverty of the highest degree. Don’t get me wrong, privatization is great, but as America showed us over the last few years, the free market can be extremely brutal and unforgiving.

8 lanes to Thika is the same as taking the aorta to your shoulder

Image
Every Kenyan loves tarmac. Indeed in our great land, you cannot prove to anyone that your area is developed, if you have no tarmac. It is the most complete sign of prosperity and development in these parts and especially in these times of CDF and LATF. Nevertheless, I have a theory that, some tarmac is a total waste of money, and further that some is ill advised. The Eldoret International airport, for instance, is a great example of tarmac that was sorely miss-placed, (but that is another article). My focus today is to share my thoughts on the Thika road project which to me is a painful reminder of the intellectual poverty that afflicts our policy makers.