Tuesday, October 19, 2010

PLO Lumumba interview at XYZ Show

The tiger doesn't shout about his tigritude. You see the skeleton of an antelope and you know that some tigritude has emanated.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Delivering Aid Differently: Lessons from the Field

Book Cover
‘Delivering Aid Differently: Lessons from the Field’, is a new book by Wolfgang Fengler and Homi Kharas that was recently launched at University of Nairobi
This book argues the 200 billion dollar aid industry faces new realities from the tradition model of development assistance. What makes this book fascinating is that the author’s backgrounds i.e. Dr Wolfgang Fengler is the World Bank's lead economist in Kenya and Homi Kharas is a scholar based at the Brooking Institution* in Washington D.C. having previously worked for the World Bank.

The book has contributions from all over the place which makes it admirable that the World Bank boys sought collaboration from their African counterparts. The World Bank country Johannes Zutt did make it clear that this book is NOT a World Bank publication BUT nevertheless it offered new insights both to him and the Bank.
Other Scholars that contribute to this book include; Cut Dian Agustina (World Bank), Getnet Alemu (College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University), Rustam Aminjanov (NAMO Consulting), Ek Chanboreth and Sok Hach (Economic Institute of Cambodia), Firuz Kataev and Matin Kholmatov (NAMO Consulting), Johannes F. Linn (Wolfensohn Center for Development at Brookings), Abdul Malik (World Bank, South Asia), Harry Masyrafah and Jock M. J. A. McKeon (World Bank, Aceh), Francis M. Mwega (Department of Economics, University of Nairobi), Rebecca Winthrop (Center for Universal Education at Brookings), Ahmad Zaki Fahmi (World Bank)

Book Overview
The book has ten chapters which contain six country case studies. These are;
  • Kenya,
  • Ethiopia,
  • Aceh (Indonesia),
  • Cambodia,
  • Pakistan, and
  • Tajikistan
The book has three thematic chapters. These are;
  • Joint Assistance Strategies,
  • Information Systems, and
  • Humanitarian Aid
NB: All country case studies written by scholars of aid-recipient countries.

Reviews of this book
"Can aid deliver the economic, social, and political transformations development demands, or is it condemned to small successes and failures? This is the central question that Wolfgang Fengler and Homi Kharas take on. Their approach is novel: to elicit the answers from scholars from the aid-recipient countries themselves. I commend this book to all those interested in reforming how aid is delivered so that it eventually becomes redundant."—Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, The World Bank, and former Minister of Finance, Nigeria

"This book highlights the problems faced by recipient countries in prioritizing and managing aid receipts. Its recommendation to strengthen and differentiate aid coordination and management at the recipient country level is very appropriate. Both development partners and recipient countries need a constructive discussion; and hearing the aid recipients can yield crucial insights."—Farrukh Khamraliev, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Tajikistan

Book Launch
The book was launched at University of Nairobi’s main campus, multipurpose hall 8-4-4 on September 30th 2010 at 1400hrs.

The dean faculty of arts, Prof. Njeru introduced us to the university and afterwards the World Bank Country Director Johannes Zutt had a few words. It is at this juncture he highlighted that this publication is not a World Bank publication. The director did point out that this publication was important since it gives the Bank new insights into this important field.

Dr. Wolfgang Fengler made his presentation which was very insightful. (Can download the presentation on this site
Some of the highlights for me in this presentation were;

  • Aid Can Work. From the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II to M-PESA in Kenya today, aid has often played a critical role in the development of countries.
  • The New Reality of Aid. The number of new players has increased rapidly and the demands of clients have differentiated. New players have brought fresh energy and approaches to the delivery of aid. But they have also added to fragmentation and volatility. 
The old reality of aid
The new reality of aid
The new aid architecture
  1. Demand Differentiation-A wide spectrum of clients: Fragile states, MICs, small states, etc
  2. Diversity of Donors-Traditional donors, “New Bilaterals”, NGOs
  3. Dynamics of Development-Innovation, Information, Evaluation, Scaling up
The total no of projects has quadrupled while the average size declined sharply (ODA only)
...and new players have added to increased Fragmentation (A case study of Aceh-Indonesia)
Aid to Kenya has been declining until recently...(Case Study Kenya 1981-2006)
... and donor funding has become increasingly unpredictable (Case study Kenya 1981-2006)
  • Delivering Aid Differently. Filling gaps is not sufficient. Today, aid needs to leverage knowledge, the hardest currency of the 21st century, to evaluate programs, identify success, and then scale up.

After the presentation there was an interesting panel discussion which was moderated by Prof. Michael Chege. The panel consisted of;
  • Dr. Wolfgang Fengler (author)
  • Dr. Kamau Thuge, economic secretary (representing the PS Treasury Joseph Kinyua)
  • Dr. Richard Leakey
  • Johannes Zutt (World Bank Country Director)
Among the things that emerged were the contentions of conditionality that the WB pegs to funding projects. Other issue addressed from the government side was the desire for consultation and fact checking before going to some civic societies.
Also Dr. Leakey advocated on the need for the WB to reconsider its aid dispensation. Perhaps, it should link up with Commercial Banks to facilitate low interest loans borrowing

Additional Information on the Authors
Wolfgang Fengler
Dr. Wolfgang Fengler
Wolfgang Fengler is a lead economist in the Nairobi office of the World Bank, where he covers Kenya, Rwanda, Eritrea, and Somalia. Previously, he was a senior economist in the Jakarta office and managed the Public Finance and Regional Development team.

Graduated from German Universities in 1996 (Masters) and 2000 (PhD)

Career history
Founded a number of companies, including Africa Consulting in the 1990’s
Left Germany and joined the World Bank in January 2000
Became Senior Economist for the World Bank in Indonesia in 2004
Moved to Kenya as World Bank Lead Economist in August 2009
He is a guest writer for rich.
Previously, Wolfgang used to blog at the East Asia & Pacific on the rise blog .

For more than five years he lived with his wife and three small children in Indonesia. He has been managing the Public Finance and Regional development team consisting of 27 members, predominantly national research analysts and economists.
While in Indonesia, Wolfgang worked on several activities, including a national Public Expenditure review, a sub-national support program to provinces, Aceh post-Tsunami reconstruction, Development Policy Loans and SWAPs.
Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a Fellow at the Research Institute for International Relations (now in Berlin) and set up Africa Consulting, LLC.

Wolfgang loves ping-pong and tries to play every Friday afternoon with the drivers and security guards in one of the Bank’s conference rooms. He was also part of the World Bank Jakarta soccer team and intends to continue his sports activities in Kenya.

Homi Kharas
Homi Kharas is a senior fellow for Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution. Before joining Brookings, he was chief economist for the East Asia and Pacific Region at the World Bank.

* The Brookings Institution is a non profit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. One of Washington's oldest think tanks. Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It is our turn to blog!

Michela Wrong the author of  'it's our turn to eat' was in town.  She was around purposely for the Story Moja Hay Festival (so me thinks) since she was a key speaker in two events there.  Where I also got the rare chance to hear her speak mostly about corruption culture in Kenya and what she is up to. Sorry, she is not writing a book about Kenya!

So I also got to catch her on Capital talk with Jeff  Kionange whom they go way back. So below are clips of M. Wrong who got some things right about Kenya.
Some of the things on this clips are;

  • Her thoughts on impunity and ICC process
  • Problem of it’s our turn to eat philosophy in Kenya
  • What she is up to i.e.writing fiction and things to do with hope
Ps: Ignore the introduction by Jeff Kionange!

Bonus: Michela Wrong on Kenyan corruption and tragedy of post-colonial Africa

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Jukwaani! Which is a project organised by Goethe-Institut (German's) and Alliance Française (French) was here with us again for the second time. This festival which incorporates spoken word,  poetry, mashairi, story telling, hip hop and other forms of performance art took place towards the end of September. September 24-26 to be precise.

I attended the opening ceremony on Friday 24th at Goethe Institut albeit late but in time for the panel discussion on Swahili poetry. This session was titled; 'USHAIRI WA KISWAHILI: JANA NA LEO ‘Swahili Poetry: Past and Present’ and was chaired by Prof. Kimani Njogu, a Swahili linguist and founder of Twaweza Communications. The panelist assisting him interrogate Swahili Poetry: Past and Present were; 
  • Prof. Rocha Chimerah (Pwani University, Kilifi) ‘The classical poetry of Muyaka wa Haji’
  • Prof. Ahmed Nabhany (RISSEA, Mombasa) ‘The different types of Swahili poetry’
  • Dr. Edwin Masinde (Kenyatta University) ‘Wrestling with the past: Debate about Swahili Poetry and its form’
  • Prof. Clara Momanyi (Catholic University) ‘The poetry of Shaaban Robert’
This session also featured poetic performances by Nuhu Bakari (Nation Media) and Amira Said (RISSEA).  Nuhu Bakari kicked off the session with a poem 'Utamu wa Kiswahili ni watu kukitumia' i.e. The beauty of Kiswahili is by people using it

Thereafter, the Swahili scholars got to do what they love most, talking about Swahili in Swahili. 

Prof. Rocha  gave us abit of history into the life of Muyaka and the impact that he had on swahili poetry. Muyaka is credited with moving swahili poetry from the mosque to the market place.

Prof. Ahmed who is at the Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa gave a rundown of the different types of Swahili Poetry and discarded the myth that all swahili poetry is known as Mashairi.
Prof. Clara Momanyi talked in length about the poetry of Shaabani Robert. In there she picked some wisdom from Shaabani Robert  for the ladies on how to keep their guys! She also talked about the poet himself and the research she was conducting on him.

Amira Said closed the session with her poetic piece in praise of the organisers of the event.

Thereafter, Prof. Kimani Njogu entertained some few questions and insights from the audience so that the discourse was not a one sided affair.  What I noted from this session is that Kiswahili is now the 1st official language followed by English according to the new constitution. (Perhaps, I should start blogging in Swahili!).
Also, the Swahili linguist were in good moods since they had been pushing for this for a long time. I believe Twaweza communication was in the forefront of pushing for this when views were been collected on the new constitution

Official opening  followed this session at around half past six. The Ambassador of France, Mrs. Elisabeth Barbier (outgoing French envoy) and the Head of Press and Cultural Affairs at the German Embassy in Kenya (in her first public event. She was posted to the country recently. Mind you the lady already knew some Swahili) were there to open the festival. They encouraged us to embrace and use Kiswahili.
2010 Jukwaani! Poster
It would also be worthwhile to note Radio France International (RFI) has started to broadcast in Swahili.

Once the festival was officially opened we moved to Alliance Francaise  for the cocktail reception. Obviously, one has to enjoy how the French and Germans know to treat us. The cocktail was at the Alliance Francaise garden.

Mwana Mdogo wa Mfalme
After the cocktails, we went into the auditorium for play, Mwana Mdogo wa Mfalme (The little Prince). Translated from the famous work of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 'The Little Prince' is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults and the A/F director noted it is very popular in France in her remarks before the play started. 
On one hand, Mwana Mdogo wa Mfalme (The little Prince) is the story of an airman's discovery in the desert of a  small boy from another planet- the little prince and his stories of intergalactic travel. while on the other hand it is a thought- provoking allegory of the human condition. mind you some of the scene's was customized into the Kenyan environment.

This play marked the end of the first day of the festival and a Friday well spent in Nairobi.

Jukwaani! is a joint initiative supported by the special fund for cultural projects established by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both France and Germany created on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty sealing reconciliation and friendship between the two countries who were bitter rivals when there was chaos in Europe.

Jukwaani Website

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SAMOSA Festival

SAMOSA Festival is billed as a festival of cross cultural interaction in Kenya, which showcases the best in African, Eastern and Western cultures in the region, and at same time celebrating race, cultural and ethnic difference.
Samosa festival is a biannual event and the organisers believe that art, music, dance and poetry are some of the easiest and most expansive ways for humanity to embrace diversity.
Samosa is a name of a Swahili dish that uses many ingredients to prepare and so the name Samosa Festival

The organisers of 2010 SAMOSA Festival were mashing up the nyatiti with the sitar, putting together Rangoli with bottle tops and tile chips; having Zulu and Indian dancers stamp their feet to the same rhythm; and having poets sketch with words, as artists weave with pens; asking
What does it mean to be Kenyan in Kenya?

The tag line for this festival was "Different is Exciting."

The events that I managed to attend we two out a week long of activities. These are the play My Moving Home and A Panel Discussion on Cohesion & Ethnicity
  • My Moving Home
My Moving Home is a play by 'T
he Theatre Company' which is a stage performance inspired by Rogers Otieno’s tough past in rural Nyanza, and first love in

Play Info:
My Moving Home by Rogers Otieno
DURATION: 1 hour 10 minutes
CAST: 4 actors, 1 Musician
SYNOPSIS: A story inspired by the upbringing of Rogers Donatus Otieno who moved form his grandparents’ rural home to the urban community of Eastlands,
Nairobi. Rogers has to make a choice between protecting his closest friend and his high school love.
LANGUAGE: Swahili/ Sheng/ English.
STYLE: Dramatic Musical & Narration

  • A Panel Discussion on Cohesion and Ethnicity

The Organizers of Samosa wanted to know; 
From Perspectives of Culture and Arts , History, Identity,  Politics and Economics , Values and Socialization.

Panelists: Alice Nderitu, Julie Gichuru, Keith Pearson, Ngunjiri Wambugu, Dr. Rafique Keshavjee and Tazim Elkington 

Alice Nderitu
Alice is a commissioner with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission which was one of the commissions formed as part of Agenda 4 borne out of the negotiations after the 2007/8 post election violence. Alice Nderitu was previosly the Director (ESJ) at Fahamu. She has worked as a journalist, a teacher as well as programme head on education and media programmes at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Prisons.

Julie Gichuru (Moderated the debate)
Julie is a renown TV personality and a leading news anchor who is great with TV interviews. Julie is responsible for spearheading the move towards establishing a global presence through the internet and raising revenue through digital platforms. Julie is the first African woman to receive the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness Award for Advocacy of Active Non-Violence and Peace during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008.

Keith Pearson
Keith Pearson is The Managing Director of ‘The Theatre Company’. He is a man of many talents. Arriving in Nairobi in 1979 to teach English, Keith made Kenya his home almost at once. He has been at the forefront of some of the most pioneering theatrical productions Nairobi has ever seen. The Theatre Company is performing at SAMOSA 2010. Co

Ngunjiri Wambugu
Ngunjiri is the CEO of Ngunjiri Management Co. (a concepts development consultancy), the Executive Director of Change Associates Trust & Convener of Kikuyusforchange. He is a social justice activist and has been in the forefront of advocating and agitating for national reconciliation and peace.

Dr. Rafiq Keshavjee
The Head of Academic Planning for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in East Africa is responsible to develop the academic vision and framework for the Faculty. The Head leads a team of curriculum designers to develop a detailed curriculum plan and also inform key issues in the design and set-up of the FAS. Dr Rafique holds a PhD in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology.

Tazim Elkington
Tazim Elkington is the embodiment or living example of an inspiring and authentic life being lived. Tazim has a mission to bring about change in society. Her compassion extends from the individual, to groups of people, businesses and KENYA. She strongly believes that progressive change is an integral and essential path in life.

  • The  SAMOSA Festival Programme was as follows:-


Story Moja Hay Festival

Friday 1st October 2010

On Fridays I attend British Councils Creative Enterprise Programme and since the Council is one of the major/global partners of the Story Moja Hay Festival we are reliably informed that there is no class in the afternoon (Hooray!). We are to prepare ourselves to attend the festival. In particular, we are to attend the British Council lecture series on creative industries.

After lunch we walk to Nairobi Railways ground the venue of the festival and by 1500 hrs and we are sitted in the British Council Marquee where a creative enterprise panel made up of environmental entrepreneur Andy Middleton, novelist Tiffany Murray, Julie Grigg and moderated by Anita Sethi (Journalist) is almost winding up its discussion.
However, I manage to get a few insights from the debate. Especially, how successful the UK has been in its venture of creating jobs by encouraging young people to venture into the creative industry. Andy Middleton encourages the people to be creative and try to learn as from many people as possible i.e. ‘If you steal from many people, its called research’
Thereafter, a discussion between the audience and the panel ensues and Andy passes his notebook for contacts so as to continue the discussion.

I take a walk around the tents and discover that there are few people than I had anticipated. This could be attributed to the fact that perhaps guys are still at work. However, going by what we know is that the most Kenyan’s are not into books and by the same breath the pubs would be full come 1701hrs. That explains why poetry is so doing so well of late. This is because the poets have discovered where to find people and bar owners have reciprocated because the patrons enjoy the pieces!

At 1600hrs I head back to the British Council Marquee where Benjamin Zephaniah is to perform some of his works and talk to Anita Sethi the journalist. I had been informed by a friend to look out for Benjamin Zephaniah and boy did he bring the house down…Oops tent!

Benjamin Zephaniah
Benjamin Zephaniah serenaded us with some of his poems for about ¾ of an hour. Some of his poems we got to hear are; black consciousness poems white-comedy, Love poem I love my mother and a get real poem wrong radio station (video ), Man to man (about macho man) and one of his commissioned poem London. The latter poem London he informed us that he had been commissioned by the London metropolitan. However, he had moved out of the city after writing it!
Thereafter, he sat down for a conversation with Anita Sethi. It is in these conversations I got to know he had rejected his OBE from the queen and had convinced another recipient to return their OBE on live television.
Benjamin also got political at times. Knowing this is where the US president Obama has his roots. He noted that the British should also be proud of Bob the Builder for the ‘Yes we can!’ phrase used during the US elections. Talking of US he did point out that he missed President George W. Bush and shared some of his favorite quotes from the 42nd president of US such as ‘the French do not have the word Entrepreneur’ and ‘English is our language, it was the language of Jesus’.
He also talked about the Iron lady (Margaret Thatcher) times. How it was offensive to talk about black coffee so as not to offend the blacks within the British society under the banner of ‘race relations’. While, at the same time the conservative government maintained deals will the apartheid regime in South Africa!
To crown it all Benjamin talked partly about his experiences growing up, his turning point and encouraged the young lad’s presents not to despair in life. Asked what kept him such a strong performer on stage. His reply was ‘I don’t eat meat, I run and I do not have a girlfriend’

At 1800hrs I was pretty much done with the first day of the festival.

Some of Benjamin's Poetry;

Saturday 2nd October 2010

I made my way to the venue of Story Moja Hay festival (Railway grounds) for the second day this event was going down. I arrived at 1145hrs just in time to catch the British High Commissioner, Rob Macaire leading a discussion on Muslim in Kenya and Muslim in the UK.
The High Commissioner had an eminent panel made up of Ahmednasir Abdullahi former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chair and Hassan Ole Naado, CEO of Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance.
The High Commissioner began by giving a brief background of who he is. Pointing out that he is a professional diplomat who has served his country in Romania, US and his last posting was India. The High Commissioner’s last posting was, India which has a very large Muslim minority. Therefore, from this background one can say he is well versed with the topic at hand. Mind you, he also has considerable experience of working at the Middle East complex political situation so he is no push over (I respect those guys who have put their fingers on the line for the never unending problems of this region).
The High Commissioner with his eminent panel

So having done what diplomats do, he let the other members of the panel introduced themselves. Starting with, Mr. Ahmednasir Abdullahi who is a lawyer by profession. He practices in the city under Ahmednasir Abdikadir & Co. Advocates and pens down opinions for the Nation newspapers. The other member of the panel was Hassan Ole Naado who is the CEO of Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance.

So the High Commissioner kicked off the debate with his own account of ‘Muslims in Britain’.  According to the High Commissioner Britain has a high proportion of Muslim legislators unlike any other European Country.

So how have Muslim population changed the UK society?
Muslims have changed the Britain in many ways. Among this are;
  1. Food
  2. Academia
Muslim Statistics have also had an impact on;
  1. Unemployment
  2. Isolation
  3. Education
The above three issues being major issues in the UK political landscape.
So this has necessitated the UK government to begin interactions with the Muslim community in the UK so that they can find solutions to;
·        development of extremism and
·        terrorism
The High commissioner finished his account of ‘Muslims in the UK’ by pointing out that he does not buy the ‘clash of civilization’ theory.
The ‘Clash of Civilizations’ is a theory, which was proposed by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington after the end of the cold war. In his theory he argued that with the end of Cold War, Civilizations were bound to clash based on their cultures and religions i.e. Christians vs. Muslims.
Clash of Civilization?

Hassan Ole Naado began the Muslims in Kenya debate by pointing out that Muslims were among the first foreigners to settle on the Kenyan coast and brought with them civilization. He also posed why most Muslims live mainly in Majengo.
According to Hassan, the Muslims were late entrants into the civic society movements in Kenya. However, they have set up associations such as the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance so as to put Muslim youth issues to the fray. 
Some of the major issues faced by the Muslim youths in Kenya are;
  • Intimidation from government security agencies
  • Foreign policies also affect the Muslim youths in Kenya e.g. Issue of Palestinian
  • Neighboring countries such as Sudan & Somalia provide a danger for Muslim youths
Hassan also pointed he does not buy the clash of civilization theory but stands at the point of ‘dialogue among civilizations’.

Mr. Ahmednasir Abdullahi began this discourse at hand by pointing out that in a BBC interview a former Prime Minister of Malaysia was asked if he was a ‘fundamentalist’. Well, his reply was that he is a fundamentalist of his religion NOT a fanatic.
Ahmednasir further pointed out that Muslims are normally contested on how they observe their religion. However, he pointed out that most liberal democracies especially in Europe allow Muslims to practice their faith.
He also noted that the standard system in UK is adorable unlike French, Spain or Belgium. Likewise, America was tolerant to Muslims before 9/11 and had proved a system for minorities to agitate their rights dating back from 1940’s when Jew’s Italian’s, Japanese and Chinese were discriminated.
Noting this, Ahmednasir emphasized on need to use appropriate venues for Muslims to ask for their rights.
Ahmednasir also alluded to the fact that good constitutions do not make good countries BUT it is the courts that make sure that a good constitution is implemented to the letter.

In the question and answer session the British High Commissioner alluded on the need not to confuse religious issues to political issues
The High Commissioner noted that the Somalia issues was a high priority issues of his government
Eminent audience
NB: For you bloggers out there it would be worthwhile for you to note that the High Commissioner does indeed blog. You can catch here: Rob Macaire blog
Also, Story Moja/Hay Festival British Council Marquee photo stream

In the afternoon (1400hrs-1530hrs) I attended the AfriCOG Marquee which was having a session on ‘whistle blowers’. This Panel was composed of Michela Wrong and Judy Kibinge. This session was moderated by Rasna Warah

M. Wrong
This seemed to have been the session everyone was waiting going by the numbers that were at AfriCOG Marquee. Everyone wanted to hear from Michela Wrong who got everything write on Kenya especially the corruption, corruption in high places!

So both Michaela and Judy Kibinge were provided with opportune moments i.e. John Githogo (former PS Governance& Ethics) arriving in London and seeking a place to stay while for Judy it was the tenth anniversary of Transparency International (TI).
M. Wrong also pointed out that she came to Kenya about 3-4 times in an year to conduct her research on the book it is our turn to eat.

In the question and answer session, Lee B. the deputy chief of Staff US embassy in Kenya first pointed out that when he was posted to Kenya M. Wrong’s book was one of the books he read. He asked for Wrongs assessment of the country 2-3 years now that the country got itself a new constitution. M. Wrong who pointed out that she was an pessimist stuck to that!

In the evening session 1600-1800hrs I was all over the place. However, I cooled my heels by watching a play my moving home at the Kenya Buzz Marquee. Thereafter, I called it a day.

Sunday 3rd October 2010
On the third and final day of the Story Moja Hay festival I attended;

The British Council Marquee: Hay on Earth-Future Scenario’s. This discourse was lead by Andy Middleton and Anjali Saini.
Among the issues discussed here were getting the product right before taking it to the market as opposed to what happens i.e. the reverse!
Andy Middleton talked about innovations especially in tourism circles. A case in point is innovation in Wales’s camp sites.
Andy Middleton also talked on how technology platforms can be used to bring people together to make things cheaper. A good example is in the design of cars. Technology platforms have been used to design cars at a much lower price and the end product is far much better as opposed to current models.
Andy also talked of how they have created a club called Club 1. Club 1 goal is to plough 1% of all the revenues of a company or 2.5 working days to charity. Through such endeavors it is possible to change the way the planet looks like.

Anjali Saini talked of eco-tourism. She had been involved in a venture to rate tourist resorts in terms of how best they were eco-friendly. The resorts had not changed with the times BUT are now forced by operators from Europe to be rated so that they can conduct business with them. A classic case of change from the top as opposed from the bottom!
We the audience also participated in the thought provoking debate.

One of the resolutions of attending this discourse was to travel widely in my country.

In the Afternoon I visited the Tandaa ICT Board Tent where Al Kags and Jane Delorie lead a discussion on the Colour of philanthropy.

Al Kags took us through the procedure KCDF goes through in setting up a community project. This procedure involves;
  • A discussion with the community on the problems they have as opposed to implementing a project without getting the opinions of the community
  • Asking the community why they have not done the said project
  • Asking the community what it can contribute ‘if’ KCDF was to assist them to implement the project
  • Getting an expert to the community to enrich the discussion at the community level and to better inform the community
  • Getting the community to contribute to the project through fund raising, housing the experts during the implementation of the project. Thus, keeping to a bare minimum.
  • Getting to know how the community will look after a project once complete

Afterwards we had a though provoking discussion lead by Al Kags who fronted this question. How come not many Kenyan’s contribute to charity?

At 1600hrs I headed back to the British Council Marquee for ‘Verse of Fire’. This was a conversation with poets; Benjamin Zephaniah, Tony Mochama, Njeri Wangari and moderated by Kerugo Macharia.
This was a thought provoking session and we got to enjoy more poetry from the entire panelist who recited their works.

Thereafter, I got to attend the US Embassy Stage where I was able to catch some story telling extravaganza from Mshai Mwagola, Eric Omondi and Moses the winner of the Story telling competition.

Bottom Line:
Story Moja Hay Festival is a good thing we have and I hope Kenyan people will get to appreciate it. To quote the US Ambassador, 'this was a festival of the mind and soul'.
I had myself a good time and I look forward to next year’s festival.