Thursday, October 24, 2013

King's Speech Oops.. the Presidents Speech! Uhuru Kenyatta's Africa Union Speech

President Uhuru Kenyatta's speech delivered in Addis Ababa at the Extra Ordinary Session of the Assemblies of Heads of State and Government of the African Union was a Kantian moment in two instances. First, in terms of his presidency the president came out guns blazing against the West and their ideals of justice. Second, in terms of African Union politics the president has started a discourse that is certainly going to continue in terms of AU engagement with powers outside the continent.

In his speech the president was as blunt as they come and gave a stinging attack to Western Nations.
Some of the snippets from this speech below shows the president has had a change of heart albeit now that he is in power and as such the gloves are now finally off.
First, that world powers were hesitant to a process that might make them accountable for such spectacularly criminal international adventures as the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other places, and such hideous enterprises as renditions and torture. Such states did not, therefore, consider such warnings as applicable to pacific and friendly parties.

Secondly, it was the understanding of good-faith subscribers that the ICC would administer and secure justice in a fair, impartial and independent manner and, as an international court, bring accountability to situations and perpetrators everywhere in the world. As well, it was hoped that the ICC would set the highest standards of justice and judicial processes.

This speech represents a defining moment in Uhuru Kenyatta's presidency and as such we could start percing events in Kenya in context of the pre AU convention speech and post AU convention speech. What remain is to see if he will appear at the ICC on November 12, 2013 or he will follow the AU resolution that asked him not to show up at the Hague.

Find the Presidents full speech here

Friday, October 18, 2013

Trial Chamber V(b) conditionally excuses Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta from continuous presence at his trial starting on 12 November 2013

Press Release: 18.10.2013

Situation: The Republic of Kenya
Case: The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta

Today, 18 October 2013, Trial Chamber V(b) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its decision conditionally granting, the request to excuse Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta from continuous presence at his trial, scheduled to start on 12 November 2013. The decision was adopted by majority, Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki dissenting. The Majority however required Mr Kenyatta’s physical presence for the entirety of the following sessions: the opening and closing statements of all parties and participants, hearings when victims present their views and concerns in person, the delivery of judgement in his case and any other attendance ordered by the Chamber. If applicable, Mr Kenyatta is also required to be present during sentencing hearings, the delivery of sentencing, the entirety of victim impact hearings, as well as reparation hearings.

The Majority asserted that violations of any conditions of Mr Kenyatta’s excusal may result in revocation of the partially granted request, and/or the issuance of an arrest warrant, where appropriate.

The Majority reiterated, in a similar vein to Trial Chamber V(A)’s decision of 18 June 2013, which granted Mr Ruto a similar relief, that Mr Kenyatta’s excusal is strictly granted to accommodate the demanding functions of his office as President of Kenya, and not merely to gratify the dignity of his own occupation of that office.  

The Majority also stressed that granting such an exception is motivated in part by not only the need to ensure the fairness and expeditiousness of the trial in full respect to the rights of Mr Kenyatta as an accused, but also, the need for due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses.

Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji appended a separate concurring opinion, and Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki appended a dissenting opinion.

Mr Kenyatta is charged, as an indirect co-perpetrator, with five counts of crimes against humanity consisting of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts allegedly committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-2008. Charges were confirmed on 23 January 2012, and the case was committed to trial before Trial Chamber V(b).

In the context of the Kenyan situation, two other cases are currently before the ICC: The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang, and The Prosecutor v. Walter Osapiri Barasa.

On 18 June 2013, Trial Chamber V(a) had, by majority, granted Mr Ruto a conditional excusal from continuous presence at his trial. However, on 20 August 2013, the Appeals Chamber suspended the implementation of this decision, pending a final determination of the matter. The Appeals Chamber will issue its decision in due course.

The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stinging Criticism of Kofi Annan by Eric Ngeno - Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech Writer

The gloves are off and in the run up to November 12, 2013, the day President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to appear at the International Criminal Court. The administration seems to take all avenues to prevent such an occurrence. There has been lobbying of African Heads of State through the African Union Forum and I presume there has been other avenues that have been sought [diplomatic or otherwise].

However, as that goes one there seems to be a movement to injure the reputation of Kofi Annan, former UN secretary General and mediator of Post Election Violence in Kenya. Today's opinion piece in the Daily Nation by the President's speech writer is a panacea on what the administration thinks of Kofi Annan. Eric Ngeno goes ahead to call the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan a conductor of the International Arena.

We wait for the next few days and see the play of action from all quota's.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The World Bank Group Fellowship Program for PhD Students from the Continent

Find full information here

ICC Decision on the Request of the Kenyan Government to Submit Amicus Curiae Observations

Yesterday, 8 October 2013 the Trial Chamber V(a) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision on the case The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.

Decision on the Request of the Government of Kenya to Submit Amicus Curiae Observations
The Chamber authorises the Government of Kenya to Submit Amicus Curiae Observations in response to the “concern raised by the Court regarding the possible impact of the resolutions made by Kenya's National Assembly and Senate [...] regarding Kenya's withdrawal from the Rome Statute”.
 The Government of Kenya should file its written submissions no later than 16 October 2013 at 16:00. Parties and participants are invited to file their responses to such submissions no later than 18 October 2013 at 16:00.

Context: According to Rule 103(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICC, at any stage of the proceedings, a Chamber may, if it considers it desirable for the proper determination of the case, invite or grant leave to a State, organization or person to submit, in writing or orally, any observation on any issue that the Chamber deems appropriate.

The Chamber is currently considering the issue of the impact of the debate and resolutions of the Kenyan Parliament regarding Kenya's status as a State Party to the Rome Statute on the safety, physical and psychological well-being of witnesses testifying in the Ruto and Sang case.

Judges have considered that “submissions from the Government of Kenya on these resolutions may be of assistance to the Chamber [… and] desirable for the proper determination of the issues under consideration by the Chamber.” 
 Download Decision on the Request of the Government of Kenya to Submit Amicus Curiae Observations

For more information on this case visit the ICC website

Saturday, October 5, 2013

China, Japan and South Korea in East Africa...

In the recent past there have been a number of events cultural or otherwise in Nairobi by three Asian countries namely; China, Japan and South Korea. 

Whereas China has been very active in the recent past given the Africa onslaught clearly laid out in FOCAC. Other Asian countries seem to be following suit with Japan normally a quiet actor in Kenya staging a number of public events which we're choreographed to mark 50 years of diplomatic relationship with Kenya. One of this events which I attended was the Japanese Drum Festival particulars below;
Japanese Drum ‘Taiko’ Concert: To mark 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations, Sept. 17 & 18 2013 @ National TheatreDates: September 17 & 18, 2013
Venue: Kenya National Theatre
Time: Gates Open 5.30 pm for 6 pm
Entry: Free
Occasion: To mark Japan-Kenya 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
During this occasion the new Japanese ambassador to Kenya gave his speech in presence of the Sports, Arts & Culture Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and outlined the mutual relations Japan has enjoyed with Kenya. In his speech the ambassador conveyed the sentiments of current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Embassy staff indicated a number of events at the cultural centre housed within the embassy and a concert at Carnivore. This marks a stack pattern of Japan activities in Nairobi and this can also be viewed also with the summit the Vice President William Ruto attended earlier in the year

South Korea on the other hand has an exhibition running at the National Museum and I was present during the opening where the South Korean Amb. was in attendance and from the government side was a director from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was surprised to say the least to know that Kenya has a sizeable community of South Koreans living in Kenya. In fact their company Samsung has been making tremendous inroads in the smart phone market. Now days, Samsung phones have become a symbol for middle class Kenyan.
Details of the Exhibition
Eunju's Love & Harmony of Kenya
Opening: September 28, 2013 at 2 pm
Venue: National Museum
Exhibition: Runs Until October 24, 2013 Venue: Ecology Gallery, Nairobi National Museum Entry: Museum Rates Apply
The other notable observation was the appointment of Rufftone [Kenyan gospel musician] as South Korean public diplomat. Then, of course there is the GBS TV which is owned by the Koreans and has been airing Korean Pop Music targeted to young stars.  

Questions am Contending With...
  • Is America checking China Influence in Africa by Using Japan & South Korea?
  • Are we witnessing a resilient Japan under the stewardship of PM Abe [checking the influence of China in the continent]. I contend that Japan was seeking to Challenge China way earlier but the earthquake affected that. Now that the crisis back home is over then we should expect a more proactive actor in Africa.
  • Will this overtures change Kenyan Foreign Policy

A Visual of Politician’s Salaries & Income Inequalities

Info-graph/Visual currently doing the rounds in the social media and micro-blogging site twitter. You will notice Kenya leads in this regards and this info is of no surprise to us. However, the way the info is presented drives the point home. 

Visual Courtesy of Visualizing Impact
A Visual of Politician’s Salaries & Income Inequalities ǀ Courtesy of Visualizing Impact 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mid-Week Shocker: Arrest Warrant Issued for Walter Barasa on Suspicion on Corruptly Influencing Wittnesses

Walter Barasa  | Courtesy of the People News 
Yesterday [Wednesday October 2, 2013] at around mid-day the news of an arrest warrant against Mr. Walter Barasa began to percolate in the dynamic blogosphere and micro-blogging platforms. This was through the unsealing of the arrest warrant that had been issued to Kenya a while back.

This arrest warrant being the first for Kenya and the first in the history of the court for offences of interfering with witnesses is no doubt a game changer. Immediately, folks close to the establishment read malice and posted this comments on social media;
Two weeks ago, Prosecution: "Mr. President your Honours, in the coming days Co-operation will be "tested"....two weeks later...."warrants of arrests issued" is easier to defend a guilty man than an innocent one. The Lubanga case shows that the ICC will stop at nothing; stoop to unimaginable depths while acting against even the Rome Statute, in order to TEST co-operation. - J. Mbiuki - Counsel at the Presidency
Then today came the announcement by the Attorney General Githu Muingai that the arrest warrant would be subjected to the Judicial process which will determine if the state will hand over Mr. Barasa to the ICC. So we are bound for some interesting times ahead.

Listen to the Prosecutor making an announcement that preceded the announcement of issuance of an arrest warrant against Mr. Barasa 
Press Release from ICC 
Press Release: 02.10.2013

Arrest Warrant Unsealed in Kenya situation: Walter Barasa suspected of corruptly influencing witnesses

Situation: The Republic of Kenya
Case: The Prosecutor v. Walter Osapiri Barasa

Today, 2 October 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed an arrest warrant against Walter Osapiri Barasa, Kenyan citizen, born in 1972. He is charged with several offences against the administration of justice including corruptly influencing or attempting to corruptly influence ICC witnesses. An under seal warrant of arrest was issued against him on 2 August 2013. This is the first case before the ICC where a suspect is charged with an offence against the administration of justice, in accordance with article 70 of the Rome Statute.

Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II, considered that the evidence presented by the Prosecutor established reasonable grounds to believe that Walter Barasa is criminally responsible as direct perpetrator for the crime of corruptly influencing or, alternatively, attempting to corruptly influence witnesses by offering to pay them to withdraw as ICC Prosecution witnesses in the context of the Kenyan cases before the ICC. Allegedly, he has been and is still acting in furtherance of a criminal scheme devised by a circle of officials within the Kenyan administration.

Based on the Prosecutor’s evidence, Judge Tarfusser also found that it is necessary to arrest Walter Osapiri Barasa to ensure his appearance at trial, to ensure that he does not obstruct or endanger the investigation or the proceedings, and to prevent him from continuing with the commission of the crime.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
Video of  press point by the ICC Prosecutor on the arrest warrant against Walter Barasa
Re-ducted Arrest Warrant against Mr. Barasa  can be found here: Arrest Warrant against Mr. Barasa

Friday, September 27, 2013

China Intentions Laid out in Canvas and Captured on Lens by Lintao Zhang of the AP on Sept. 22 2013 at the Great Hall of the People

Maduro in China Photo by Lintao Zhang/ AP
I came across this photo that might illustrate China's intentions. In official policy documents and in my interaction with Chinese activities and actors in Africa China I have heard of the harmonious coexistence narrative

So is the peaceful rise Beijing seeks to illustrate true?
Well, there is a whole debate on that with American watchers and Chinese analysts embraced in controversy as to what this exactly means.
  1. Peaceful Rise of China: Myth or Reality? by Jianyong Yue
  2. China’s “Peaceful” Rise? By Joseph S. Nye
  3. Review of When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques by Michael Rank

Given that events in China are clearly choreographed one can come up with the conclusion that the above mural was not mounted in the Great Hall of the People by accident.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Experience China in Kenya Events: Chinese National Day Reception & Opening Ceremony, Sept. 21 2013 @ KICC

The China National Acrobatics Troupe | Courtesy: China Concerts
The Chinese National Day Reception, the Opening Ceremony of Experience China in Kenya and the Art Performance

Date and time: September 21, from 6: 30 pm to 9: 30 pm
Venue: Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC)

Introduction of the art performance: The performance will be presented by China National Acrobatic Troupe (CNAT) with outstanding performances together with fantasy art, Chinese folk songs and dances accompanied by traditional Chinese musical instruments among others.

CNAT was founded in 1950 and is the first national performing arts troupe of China. It has now become one of the best acrobatic circuses boasting the largest scale and the most comprehensive programs in the world. CNAT’s unique talents, mastery and artistic creations have produced a number of acrobatic masterpieces.
So far, it has won 55 Golden Awards at various famous festivals both in China and internationally, including Golden Clown Awards at the International Circus Festivals of Monte-Carlo, the France International Circus Festival of Tomorrow, and the China Acrobatic Festival.

What to expect: Prior Performance Video

Opening Ceremony ǀ All Performers
  1. Fluent - Ball Catching
  2. Element – Meteors
  3. Jiaozhou Yangko Dance
  4. Love China
  5. Exhilaration
  6. Swan
  7. Gorgeous Girls
  8. Climbing – Moving Poles
  9. Happy Carpenter
  10. Gleaming
  11. Equilibrium
  12. Mongolian Dance
  13. Holy Warriors

End ǀ All Performers

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

D-Day: Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua Sang at the International Criminal Court

Khan, Sang and DP William Ruto. Photo Courtesy of DPPS
Ruto and Sang Case
Press Conference September 9, 2013 at The Hague

Pre Trial Reads
  1. Reporting Kenya. - ICC Prosecutor, Defence Gear Up for Kenya Trial by Simon Jennings. 
  2. Daily Maverick. - Analysis: Ruto and Kenyatta are still one step ahead of the ICC by Simon Alison
  3. Daily Nation. FULL COVERAGE: Ruto, Sang stand trial at The Hague
  4. Financial Times. - ICC under scrutiny as Kenya’s deputy president faces trial by Katrina Manson
  5. Washington Post. - International Criminal Court tries Kenya deputy president Ruto for post-election violence by AP
  6. RFI. - Phil Clark: "The ICC has a certain political naivete" by Olivier Rogez
  7. New York Times. - Justice for Kenyan by Kofi Annan

'One concrete outcome was the Waki commission, a national inquiry into the postelection violence. It concluded that the violence was not just spontaneous, but, in at least some areas, a result of planning and organization, often with the involvement of politicians and businessmen. This was not surprising — politicians hungry for power have long exploited Kenya’s ethnic divisions with impunity.' – Kofi Annan 
Trial Watchers Kenya
The Open Society Foundation funded ICC Kenya Monitor is a good resource to track the Ruto and Sang Case.

The other site to check one's in a while is the africog site

Download OSF briefing paper of the trial here

Slum Film Festival: Closing and Awarding Ceremony, Sept. 9 2013 @ Alliance

SFF Logo
The third Slum Film Festival came to a spectacular end yesterday at Alliance Francaise. This finale served both as an awarding ceremony and screening of the winning films. For a festival that has been in existence for just three years this was an outstanding feat given the challenges it has had to endure. I was first involved in this festival last year when I was invited to their presser and one year down the lane one can see tremendous growth of this festival.

During the closing night the representative for the Spanish Ambassador to Kenya pointed out the two reasons as to why they we’re involved in this project which they have been involved since inception with Hot Sun Foundation. The two main reasons for getting on board this festival were to;
  1. Get the voices emanating from the informal settlements in Kenya, and
  2. To expose, mould and mentor the talent that resides in the slums

During the screening of the winning shorts films reason number one was evident. The screening of the winning documentary, The story of the Urban Poor gives one a firsthand account of the life of one family with ten children living in one of the informal settlements of Nairobi. Every day is a hustle and the head of the family has to contend with providing one meal a day at most. The children go often go to school without breakfast. The documentary also, shows the government’s efforts of providing meals to schools around the informal settlements.

The other interesting observation from this documentary is one man’s waste is another man’s daily bread quite literally. One is exposed to the economy of waste. People in the informal settlements have to do with industrial and supermarket waste to live their lives.

The two other winners of the night were The Young Smoker – Nigeria and The Dream Catcher – Kenya. The young smoker is a short film on child smokers and the latter is about life of a young person in living in the informal settlement. The Nigeria film was excellently executed since in a span of less than five minutes it was over and one gets the point and the memory sticks to your head hover the same cannot be said about the dream catcher.

Slum Film Festival is a nice initiative which needs to be supported since it presents us with voices and narratives we normally do not come across and the festival provides the much needed distraction in the informal settlements of daily hustle. It is also serving as a launching pad for young film makers who otherwise might not have a chance to pitch their films to a wider audience. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tyranny of Unemployment in the Region: Country Studies on Employment Challenges in the EAC

This post originally appeared in FES Tanzania website and formed part of the resource materials for the YLTP 2013 Dar es Salaam conference. 
Scholars in each of the EAC country and Ethiopia we’re commissioned to come up with resource materials that would serve to inform the delegates invited.
The issue of (youth) unemployment is much debated in Eastern African countries. 
Find below different country studies on employment challenges. 
·   Burundi - Employment Challenges in Burundi, Compilation from Several Sources, FES Tanzania, August 2013.
·    Ethiopia - Employment Challenges in Ethiopia, Martha Kibru, September 2013.
·    Kenya - The Role of the State in Economic Development: Employment Challenges in Kenya, Jacob Omolo, September 2012.
· Rwanda - The Role of the State in Economic Development, Employment Challenges and Policies, A Case of Rwanda, Felicien Usengumukiza and Pacifique Barihuta, September 2012.
· Tanzania - The Role of the State in Economic Development: Employment Challenges in Eastern Africa, The Case of Tanzania, George Nangale, September 2012.
·  Uganda - The Role of the State in Economic Development: Employment Challenges in Uganda, Lawrence N. Bategeka, 2012.

[RE] Screening: God Loves Uganda, Sept. 6 2013 @ the NEST

Friday September 6, 2013 I got the chance to see God Loves Uganda that was first screened at the nest on August 31, 2013. I missed the first screening because I was out of the country and I am glad the Nest yielded to public pressure to screen this flick again.

God Loves Uganda takes an investigative ‘look’ into the affairs of the American conservative movement which has had a significant influence in Uganda. The American conservative’s activities in Uganda have resulted in the mushrooming of evangelicals, the introduction of legislation which are anti homophobic and the rise in the number of street preachers.

This documentary brings to light some aspects that I did not know and after watching it I was able to connect the dots on the recent anti-homophobia public sentiments coming out of Uganda and the killing of David Kato, one of the gay activists whose death was given prominence by CNN.

What emerges from this documentary is that the American conservatives are exporting the American Cultural wars into Africa. They are doing this through youths and students in their gap years. The young folks are flown into Uganda to come and spread the gospel in the pearl of Africa. 

This North-South gospel interaction has also resulted in benefiting a small number of African pastors who are living lavish lifestyles and have amazing worship venues which are financed by American dollars. These pastors are gaining influence and traction and are being used to influence politics of Uganda. A case in point was the anti-homosexual bill in which the bill sponsor seemed to enjoy the patronage of the conservative pastors in Uganda. Also, in the documentary you have American pastors coming to Uganda to conduct workshops and in a surprising move even addressing the Ugandan parliament!

Obviously, this documentary is funded by the Ford Foundation and as such it seems to take a certain line. However, as is always the case with Ford Foundation activities they showcase some activities in society that are not being reported due to their nature.   

Bottom line God Loves Uganda is this is an insightful documentary which portrays the fallacies of American Conservative practices in Uganda, the politics of contraceptives in an African Country and the plight of minorities.

Event posting on NairobiNow

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reads on Nairobi as an Emerging Cultural Hub: Slums on the Reel by Maria Grazia Pozzi

SFF Poster
Sentiments on Nairobi as a cultural Hub
'It is notable that Nairobi has become a global metropolis, where a truly diverse Kenyan cultural identity is growing solidly, thanks in part to initiatives such as SFF, whose real contribution is to make these stories visible promoting talent and restoring dignity for people living in urban slums, while purporting only the facts, without rhetoric.' by Maria Grazia Pozzi in the huffingtonpost

[Event] Nairobi Forum & Oxfam Meeting: Remittance Transfers to Somalia, Sept. 11 2013 @ KICC

Date: Wednesday 11 September 2013
Venue: KICC – Aberdares Room
Time: 10am – 12pm
Entry: STRICTLY Prior Registration

Every year, Somali migrants around the world send approximately $1.3 billion to friends and families at home, dwarfing humanitarian aid to Somalia. Individual transfers are usually less than $300, and often as little as $35. Families depend on the money for basic costs such as food, water, education and healthcare, and to cope with new crises.
A recent report by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation shows that up to 40 percent of families receive some form of remittance, and that the money is integral to their survival. However, banks and regulators are in danger of inadvertently undermining this financial lifeline and driving it underground, as interpretation of UK and USA money laundering and counter terrorism legislation becomes tighter. Banks in the West are closing down the accounts of money transfer operators, thereby threatening to cut the lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Somali families.

This meeting will examine the impact of the decision by UK and US Banks to discontinue their services to the Somali remittance companies and explore challenges raised by the international remittance sector.

This post was originally posted in NairobiNow

Great Read on America's Growing Military Footprint in Africa by Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt

China might be doing some brisk business with Africa but Uncle Sam seems to be increasing the size and the scope of its Military. The Pivot to Africa: The Startling Size, Scope, and Growth of U.S. Military Operations on the African Continent  By Nick Turse offers some great insights.

Read AFRICOM’s Gigantic ‘Small Footprint’ here

Thanking Aly Khan Satchu for bringing it to our attention through his Newsletter.    

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In anticipation of a FES Youth Regional Summit: from Addis Ababa to Dar es Salaam

Ethiopian YLTP Gig last year was pretty awesome and for a moment I wanted this year’s YLTP to be in Addis however this was not to be. When news percolated in late July that the next YLTP was going to be in Tanzania my expectations of what to expect in Tanzania began to crystallize

Naturally, we have had good news about our Tanzanian friends especially their warmth, friendliness and affection. However, in trade matters it was pretty clear from the offset that Tanzanian’s fear their Kenyan neighbours’. This might have been as a result of misrepresentation by the Kenyan Citizens who sent to Tanzania and gave Kenya a bad reputation. So when the two countries are involved stereotypes are bound to fly. However, given Tanzanian’s we’re the host of this annual Gig and having met and made some excellent contacts in Tanzania I decided to let this pass.

In the run up to my visit this blog post [of trials and tribulationsof when visiting Tanzania]came to the limelight. So I made sure all my travel papers and the necessary documents we’re in check least I fall under the same fate.

I happen to have a friend who has been working in Tanzania from last year and he has been singing about Dar es Salaam life like a bird. So he suggested a few things I should do while in Dar. 

My Bucket list for Tanzania
  1. Drinking Kilimanjaro
  2. Chips Mayai
  3. Visiting Zanzibar
  4. Listen to Bongo by the Ocean.
Serious matters up for consideration
  1. Youth Unemployment in the region
  2. Challenges of African Leadership
  3. How to manage the Regional National Resources
For more info on the Gig and EAC Case Studies

ICC Debate: Can the ICC work for Kenya if Kenya does not want to work with the ICC? Sept. 4 2013 @ Strathmore Law School

The Panel
The conversation and public debate which has occupied the public space in the recent past has revolved around devolution. However, the ground is shifting with the International Criminal Court taking center stage. The ball has been set rolling with Hon. Aden Duale the Majority leader in Parliament introducing a motion which has seen the legislatures resume today from recess to debate and vote on Kenya pulling out of the Rome statute.

It is in this context that four actors namely Institute of War and Peace Reporting, Wanyamo Communication, Reporting Kenya and Strathmore Law School came together to organize a debate to better inform the public on the road ahead. 
The fourth debate which was held at the Strathmore University auditorium yesterday (September 4, 2013) brought together both proponents and opponents of the court, government and non-governmental actors, law scholars and the ICC representative who jetted in from The Hague. The event was set off with the dean of the law school Dr. Luis Franceschi giving some background context as to why Strathmore law School decided to host the debates. In his mind he had to contend with a few questions;
  1. Would the hosting of such debates be considered a political act which could be construed wrongly by the establishment?
  2. What business was it for a law school and for that matter a young one to toss itself into the limelight of international jurisprudence. 

In the deans mind it was of utmost important for the law school to enhance the public debate by giving an avenue for the proponents and opponents to debate in public.

The Panel
  1. Kioko Kamula, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions representing the DPP
  2. Gertrude Angote, executive director, Kituo cha Sheria
  3. Prof. Peter Kagwanja, Chief Executive Africa Policy Initiative and former Government Advisor
  4. Winfred Nderitu, Legal Representative of victims at the International Criminal Court
  5. Phakiso Mochochoko, Head of Jurisdiction, Complementarily and Cooperation Division, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

Moderator: Bettina Ambach, Director, Wayamo Communication Foundation

Highlights of the Debate
The ball was set rolling by the moderator asking the convening debate question; can the ICC work for Kenya if Kenya does not want to work with the ICC?

The entire panel pointed out that Kenya is a signatory of the Rome Statute and has as such been cooperating with the Hague based court. However, fireworks in the initial stages of the debate were generated by Prof. Kagwanja who in all means seems to be an opponent of the ICC process now that the status of two of the persons facing trial at the ICC have changed. Prof. Kagwanja argued that the 2013 elections was a referendum on the ICC and 50% +1 of the population in voting for Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto both as President and Vice President respectively was a vote of no confidence in the ICC. This is because the president’s party Jubilee coalition had pitched the election as a referendum on the ICC.

Redefinition of Victims
The other interesting outcomes of this debate were the apparent redefinition of victims. We are all aware that there are victims who suffered as a result of the Post Election Violence. Slightly over 1000 people lost their lives, women we’re raped and people lost their life savings and others were displaced and currently live in IDP camps. However, it seems the narrative of the victim may be changing as Prof. Kagwanja pointed out that in his opinion the case ICC has resulted in formation of two victims.

Peculiarity of the Kenyan Case
Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko the head of jurisdiction, complementarity and cooperation division in the office of the prosecutor from the onset made it clear he was only going to speak on the legal aspects of the case. However, he pointed out that in all cases witnesses do pull out however the Kenyan case had a high number of witnesses pulling out. 

Who is on Trial?
Analysts have pointed out that the Kenyan cases have put a spotlight on the ICC court and this came to the fore when Prof. Kagwanja pointed out that three entities we’re on trial namely;
  • The three individuals
  • The Government
  • The ICC

Legacy of the ICC
When the moderator asked the panelists their views on the legacy of the ICC Mr. Kioko Kamula pointed out that the ICC has enriched the Kenyan law.

Bottom Line

This debate offered clarity on issues that are in the public space and the decision by the Head of Jurisdiction, Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko to attend the session in person was an excellent move.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mindspeak Postmortem: My impressions on the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Follow Up on his Charm Offensive on Kenyans!

Mindspeak in Session. Picture Courtesy of Belgium Embassy in Nairobi
Aly Khan hosted the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders at Intercontinental on August 17, 2013. Apart from the expected aloofness of diplomatic security that decided to conduct a security check just before the session started the session insightful as they come. The deputy prime minister demonstrated his grasp of current affairs and geopolitics of African continent. He and for that matter both Belgium and EU seemed to know that Africa is the land of rising opportunities and that the Chinese we’re way ahead of them in terms of footprint and influence in the region. Although Europe might have been colonized Africa the tables seems to be stuck against them.

Therefore, a visit by Didier Reynders an old hand in the EU seems to be a game changer in the dynamics of Africa Geopolitics. Didier was on a visit to Africa which saw him visit DR Congo before he came to Kenya. His visit to the DR Congo was the first significant visit by a high ranking Belgium government official. Also his visit was preceded by the abdication of the King to the throne in favor of his eldest son. Hence one could say a new beginning was emerging in Belgium and hopefully the rest of the EU countries will follow suit.

The Deputy Prime Minister talked about the following key topics in his two one hour presentation and later question and answer session;
Peace and Stability in the Regional
He did mention his trip to DR Congo and talked in length about his impression of Katanga and the significant role Kenya plays in the great lakes region. Also, on this issue he talked about Somalia and the enormous opportunities that exists there now that the country was experiencing stability after a long conflict. He talked of the input of the EU in bringing about and safeguarding the peace in Somalia.

The EU Market the EPA with EAC
In a response to a question from the audience he tried his hand in answering a question on the long negation between European Union and East African Community in sealing an Economic Partnership Agreement. He was aware that the head of negotiation from EU has been coming to the region and that could be a sign that the negotiations are in their penultimate stages.

China in the Region
The Deputy Premier told us his firsthand accounts of observing one of the biggest mosques in North Africa being constructed by the Chinese. However he pointed out the new emerging trend where European and Chinese are merging and doing business in Africa.

European Union and the reason why Africa ought to Integrate
Didier Reynders having participated in the formation of the Euro in the EU in the late 90’s observed that regional integration was the way to go for Africa if it seeks to be a significant player in the 21st Century.

Bottom Line
The Belgian DP and foreign Minister showed his intent of diversifying and engaging Africa. It is up to our government to do its homework and seek meaningful engagement with Belgians which could be an opening gambit to the European Market.

Follow Up On the Deputy Prime Minister Charm Offensive in Kenya
Immediately after Mindspeak the Belgium Ambassador to Kenya hosted a lunched at his residence and invited members of the business community who we’re addressed by the DPM.

Thereafter, the DPM enjoyed a Safari in our National Park and the proceeding week signed a 27 million Euros agreement with the Finance cabinet Secretary and later met our deputy president William Ruto

Screening: My Kenyan Story by Ingrid Berlanga, Aug. 17 2013 @ Phoenix Players Theatre

My Kenyan Story by Ingrid Berlanga
Ingrid Berlanga the outgoing political, commercial and cultural attaché to Kenya screened a documentary titled My Kenyan Story by Ingrid Berlanga at phoenix players. This is a documentary that was made by Immortal Media.

The documentary starts with recollections of Ingrid in her first posting at the UN headquarters in New York and how she did not achieve personal fulfilment though she was in what would be considered every diplomats dream location.

She was subsequently posted to Kenya in 2009 or thereabout and met folks from immortal media who convinced her into making a documentary. Subsequently they followed her around as she settled around in the country and worked. As a commercial, political and cultural attaché Ingrid engaged with many people but key among this are the Mexican population living in Kenya. Most of the Mexicans in Kenya are working in the religious field so the documentary at some point takes a religious angle. Hence for an atheist this documentary might not be recommended.

Despite the almost religious angle the documentary does show the work of a diplomat living in Kenya. It might not be all rosy and the work involves a sensible amount of creativity. 

 My Kenyan Story by Ingrid Berlanga is available on DVD which can be sourced from immortal media. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Happens to former Presidents who Retire and Presidential Candidate who lose Election in Africa?

This is a qustion which has been on my mind considering we have now two retired presidents [retired President Moi and Kibaki] and a former Prime Minister Raila A. Odinga who was a co-principal in the Grand Coalition formed after disputed 2007 polls.

Also, joining this exclusive club is the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai. I looked around and realised there is a 'retirement' home of sorts for this statesmen. There is an African Presidential Center in Boston which offers residency program to former democratically elected African leaders [I guess we can count out Robert Mugabe!] The Mission of this centre reads;
The African Presidential Center (APC) at Boston University is an unprecedented and unique approach to studying democratization and free market reform in Africa.
This year they had the African Presidential Roundtable 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa from June 5 to 7 where it is indicated that they discussed the cost of democracy. Looking at the participants you will notice former Presidents Moi and Mwai Kibaki are conspiquosly absent. The old leader from Kenya is the former Prime Minister. Perhaps, we can allude that our former presidents we're NOT democratically elected or that they are not into those sort of things! It could be they shall be attending one but albeit when the Chinese come up with an equivalent platform they might be more comfortable with such [tongue in cheek]
APR 2013  I  Photo credit to Prince Eno Bassey
The heads of state/governments who attended the 2013 African Presidential Roundtable at Constitution Hill, from June 5-8. From left to right, Ambassador Charles Stith, Prime Minister Sumaye of Tanzania, President Chissano of Mozambique, President Pires of Cape Verde, President Mbeki of South Africa, Prime Minister Odinga of Kenya, President Offmann of Mauritius, President Mwinyi of Tanzania, President Soglo of Benin, and President Karume of Zanzibar.

Photo additional info from African Presidential Center Facebook Page

[Events in Nairobi] Mindspeak: Aly-Khan Satchu Hosts Belgian Deputy Premier HE Didier Reynders, Aug. 17 2013 @ InterCon Nairobi

HE Didier Reynders – Belgian Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs
This event which I first posted in NairobiNow showcases the influence Nairobi is gaining as a regional financial/investment hub;

Date: August 17, 2013
Venue: Inter Continental Hotel
Time: 9 for 10 am

Chief Guest: HE Didier Reynders – Belgian Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Didier J.L. Reynders is a Belgian politician and a member of the Mouvement Réformateur (MR).
Didier is the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Di Rupo government. Previously he has served as a Finance Minister for 12 years

Aly-Khan Satchu is the CEO of RICH and convenor of mindspeak. Other prominent guests to grace mindspeak sessions in the past include sitting African heads of state [HE Paul Kagame & HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni] and industry captains

An Eye on the Horn of Africa: Commentary by Prof. Peter Kagwanja on the EastAfrican – Aug. 3-9 2013

Last week’s commentary by Prof. Peter Kagwanja* on The EastAfrican caught my eye because it paints a picture of the role of international actors in the region. Perhaps my take away from his commentary is that we may be witnessing the entry of Somalia as the new play ground of global actors.

The unveiling of Unisom is also taking place against the backdrop of the discovery of valuable mineral and energy resources. This is raising fears in America and the European Union over a ‘Chinese takeover’ on the region and thrusting Somalia into the forefront of the fierce scramble for Africa’s strategic resources. This, in turn, is fueling renewed militarism, now everywhere fashioning the geopolitics of the horn. - Prof. Peter Kagwanja

Considering the considerable interest Somalia has been getting be it the Western interests as the professors points out to the interests of China as feared out by the west plus the invasion of the Turks to the party as it were things are bound to get interesting. Given also Kenya has a military presence in Somalia and would want to reap the peace dividends it remains to be seen if the entry of Somalia will be through Kenya. The unfolding Foreign Policy under Uhuru administration seems t be going that route given the president has spoken of strengthening intra Africa trade plus the rise of new wave of pan-Africanism.

* Prof. Peter Kagwanja is the CEO of Africa Policy Institute

Report: The OGP Conference in Mombasa, May 29-30, 2013 @ Serena Hotel

OGP Africa Conference Mombasa
Dates: May 29-30, 2013
Venue: Serena Hotel, Mombasa

The OGP Africa conference in Mombasa was an eye opener for me and I learned a lot of things despite my participation in webnars organized by ICJ at the country World Bank Offices.
I was able to make for day one despite some logistical problems. The formal opening of the conference was conducted by the then new ICT secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi. This was one of his first public events in his new capacity as the secretary of ICT in the new Jubilee administration. Thereafter, we’re welcomed to Mombasa by the deputy governor.
When government officials from other African countries stood to address the conference you could pick pan-African overtones. This was due to proximity of OGP Africa Conference to African Union at 50 celebrations and most of the government officials had flown to Mombasa from Addis Ababa. This trend was to change in the mid morning session when CSO leaders addressed us and the panel discussions we’re conducted. However, the time allocated seemed little since the panelist we’re many and this left little time for Q&A.
Afternoon presentation by Joe Powell and Paul Maassen on OGP was most informative. However, in my opinion this needs to have been scheduled earlier.
The breakout sessions were the best part of the day for me because in this sessions we we’re few in number and the panel was small and thus a lot was covered in this sessions. I attended managing public resources more effectively breakout chaired by Robert Hunja from WB. In these sessions the panelists shared their experiences. One of the panelists was a government minister from Tanzania who shared how their government goes about managing resources. There was also voice from the civil society and women organisation in this session.
Gala dinner was served in the evening and during this session I got a chance to speak to the Sierra Leone Information minister who was in our dinner table. We had a fruitful engagement at end of it I came to know Sierra Leone far better from the diamonds stereotype 
Day two was similar to day one however what sticks to my mind to date is the superb manner in which the moderator Rakesh Rajani handled the session. Rajani advised CSO’s to indentify champions in government who they can work with to progressive push their agenda. 
In the afternoon there we’re informal session and I attended the one organized by Open Institute Kenya on Open Data.

Transparency and accountability initiatives in different sectors
Transparency being one of the pillars of OGP movement was addressed both in the conference sessions and on the corridors. There is a tendency for CSO to pontificate on the need for governments to become transparent while they remain opaque. This notion was questioned by the then ICT PS Bitange Ndemo who in his hilarious presentations pointed some of this issues.
Also, in the breakout session I attended which was moderated by Robert Hunja went to great lengths to look into the assertions of transparency both at government level and at the CSO level.

Lessons learnt
In my breakout session on managing public resources I learned how the government tendering process works and how we have come far from an opaque process to a far better process that is not in any way perfect.
The need for CSO to identify champions and reform heads in governments they can work with.  After identification, seek for ways to work with these reform persons using an approach given to as by Rakesh Rajani of Twaweza, Tanzania.
The OGP was explained very well by Joe Powell and Paul Maassen
I got to appreciate different context and operating environments esp. the antagonism witnessed between
Uganda government and the CSO operating in that country.

  • OGP should have allocated more time for breakout sessions because they had the optimum number of people to conduct meaningful interaction.
  • The proceeding of this OGP in Mombasa should be made into a documentary which can be assessed by people who were not lucky like us to attend the conference.  Documentaries should also be made on countries going through the process of joining OGP movement so that they can be used by countries that are seeking to join this movement.
  • After the conference there is need to look for administrators who are in touch with what is happening in the African OGP movement to be updating this site: so that it is as vibrant and up to date like the international site:
  • OGP Africa movement should partner with a local university or research hub to quantum the benefits of OGP to the local ecosystems. 

Overall the Mombasa OGP Africa conference was a good exposure for me and I am currently working on my application for the London OGP Annual Summit. 

Emerging Trend: Jubilee Themed Narrative in Contemporary Art Spaces

The is an emerging trend in Kenya where artists are coming up with compositions which are pro-jubilee. This narrative is what is expected from a team that emerges victorious in an election contest. However, one must give credit to UhuRuto team with coming up with a unique name which had the right contest [Kenya celebrating 50 years of independence]. 
It would be interesting to know if these artists who come up with such compositions get any advantages from the current administration. Also, would be good to know if this is the start of a unifiication project by use of the art space.
  • Jubilation Remix by Ringtone
  • Kenya 50 years

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thought Provoking Read: Africa's Big Brother Lives in Beijing by John Reed

John Reed in an investigative piece on Foreign Policy contends that China might actually be spying on Africa. One of the question he possess is Is Huawei wiring Africa for surveillance? 
"Generally, most of the employees operating these systems are Chinese and the arrangements usually include delegating maintenance and decisions about future updates to Huawei as well, thus ensuring the Chinese firm's control of the basic technological architecture's foundation, evolution, and operations,"  - Chris Demchak, co-director of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies at the U.S. Naval War College
Looking at this from a Kenyan perspective and given the happening on the ground this might actually be true. If you look at Safaricom the biggest player in telecommunications you will notice that it has close relationship with Huawei. One of the goals of Safaricom Ltd is to offer it's services to anyone and that means getting in agreements with Huawei which offers affordable phones to the base of pyramids. This agreements between Huawei and Safaricom usually extend to other areas apart from the hand-set market.

Also, sometime back I happened to have gone to an official launch at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation headquarters and I noticed most of the equipments and renovations of the state broadcaster were installed by the Chinese. This was during Kibaki administration who found a win win situation with the Chinese government. 

When one also looks at the Chinese Consulate in Kenya one will notice that they have a substantially huge complex which is next to Hurlingham plus another office dealing with trrade matters along Ngong Road. Certainly if the all countries snoop on each other but Chinese seem to be on the look out for new trade deals for their companies.

Also, looking at the Chinese benevolence in providing the African Union with a state of the art new headquarters in Ethiopia. This is the same building John Kerry the American Secretary of State marvelled upon in his first visit to AU headquarters. 
The Chinese certainly seem to have done their homework on the continent and now they unlike Americans do not need an African Drone Programme! 

Euro-centric Reads: What to Read on Kenyan Politics by Prof. Joel D. Barkan

Prof. Joel D. Barkan presents a commentary on Kenya’s foreign affairs syllabus reads in the Council of Foreign Relations hosted publication Foreign Affairs. When I read the article I noticed some glaring omissions and deliberate characterization of Kenya’s history. First, to come to my eye was the division of Kenyan history into three epochs.
Its [Kenya’s] history can be divided into three eras: the late colonial period and the transition to independence in 1963; the post-independent period from 1963 to 1990; and the country’s two-decade-plus struggle since to become a modern democratic state. - Joel D. Barkan
In my opinion the post 1990’s period cannot be balked into one set and as much as the Kenyan state has had its struggles in transforming to become a modern democratic state. The new millennium should have merited an era by itself so that in the least we had at least four eras. The most notable and significant events in the Kenyan state have happened in the new millennium. The most notable being the smooth transition of power in 2002 from the then monolith KANU to the opposition party NARC. The election period and coming into force of a coalition government in 2008 after a bundled general election in 2007 and almost eventual collapse of the state. Then there is the coming into force of a new constitution in 2010 and challenges thereafter and problems within the framework of the coalition. Throughout the period of 2008 to 2012 Kenya has had its fair share of influence and interventions by international actors. Also, it’s during this period is when the ICC court came calling with significant consequences in the long haul.
My second problem with Prof. Joel’s piece is his collection of publications which he curates. The readers of this piece are typically non-Kenyans and they might not have the local knowledge we possess and thus they might miss some quintessential narratives. A good example is his analysis below that follow the era one reads.
Like most African countries, Kenya is a multiethnic society created by European colonialism. Unlike most former colonies, though, its territory was extensively settled by Europeans. That process resulted in a system of racial domination similar to those that emerged in Zimbabwe and South Africa. - Joel D. Barkan
While it is true Kenya is a multiethnic society with its fair share of problems tribalism being one of them. The settlement by Europeans could be considered extensive however this settlement happened in the fertile areas within the country. This resulted in the phrase ‘white highlands’ being coined .  
My bone of contention with Prof. Joel is in analyzing the present day contemporary politics he did not branch out of academic circles to explore modern day contemporary literature. Kwani? Publications offer insights into the contemporary political landscape. Also, his curated list lacks some African voices especially the pre-independence era. Facing Mount Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta is a book he ought to have considered for inclusion plus Not Yet Uhuru by Jaramogi Oginga for the second era.
In the same breath I must say I agree with most of the assertions presented in the article especially concerning few publications covering the present day contemporary politics.
Regrettably -- and somewhat surprisingly -- no concise overviews of contemporary Kenyan politics have been published in recent years. - Joel D. Barkan

Perhaps this could be explained by the mere fact that unlike the West where there are foundations which support such endeavors. Plus, universities which have a strict tenure system where a professor’s tenure is based on the number of publications and research projects they have done. In Kenya there are very few foundations which engage in supporting universities to conduct and publish this kind of research. This has lead to a phenomenon where you have researchers from the north jetting in to southern countries and conducting research funded by foundations from the northern.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Art: Backlash on Kenya’s Performance at 55th Venice Biennial Continues..

Backlash on Kenya's de-tasteful performance at Venice continues this time on a well written post in the blogosphere. I like his assertion below; 
The presence of a national pavilion, especially for countries participating for the first time, signifies a confidence; a newfound progressiveness and cultural involvement by governments, which demonstrates to the world the brilliance of contemporary artists available within the nation’s borders. It also goes to demonstrate a society with a heightened creative capacity, one that continuously speaks to itself and possesses a cultural consciousness that the government continuously supports. - cryptic paradoxes
You can read the whole article here 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nairobi Graffiti Train: Keeping the Peace by All Means before the March 4 2013 Elections!

Kenya in the run up to the March 4, 2013 General election was awash with peace campaigns of all manner. A good example is the graffiti peace train. The logic behind this was the train passes smack in the middle of one of the informal settlements in the city which was a hot spot in the disputed 2007 elections.

Creative Kenya: Just a Band's New Video Dunia ina Mambo

 Listen to Just a Band latest music video with some subtle political overtones of the 1980′s and based on the soundtrack of a popular detective sitcom of early 90′s called Tahamaki

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Research Findings: From Theatre Royal to Pop-up Galleries - Timeline of Art Venues in Nairobi by Olivier Marcel

Maybe one day Nairobi will be laid out with tarred roads, with avenues of flowering trees, flanked by noble spaces and stately squares; a cathedral worthy of faith and country, museums and galleries of art, theatres and public offices. - Dutton Eric in Kenya Mountain, 1929
In Volume XI n° 3 – 2013 of Mambo! [IFRA Publication] Olivier Marcel takes a closer look at art venues in Nairobi from 1910 to present day. Then, he goes ahead to give a visual representation/mapping of art venues vis a vis key political events in Kenya and East Africa.
In his finding Oliver posits that most of the art venues and institutions in Nairobi lack institutional memory.
An astonishing example is the fifty year old Goethe-Institut, which has virtually nothing but testimonies to account for the activity that preceded the arrival of the current director in 2007. Additionally, when a venue shuts down, as did Wahome Mutahi’s popular Citrus Whispers Theatre in Ngara, its memory is only shared orally in small circles of theatre enthusiasts and progressively fades into oblivion.
Marcel also observes that there might be differences of intention between local organizers and their western counter parts. Western donors will usually partner with art organizers with the sole agenda of putting Nairobi on the Map! 

This paper also points out how foreign donors came to settle in the art space. As is always the case most of the foreign donors have a role play and an agenda they seek to push.  Marcel makes this clear by pointing out how informal settlements have become attractive for art projects which are usually financed by foreign donors.
Download the publication here [pdf]

Olivier Marcel is a PhD student in geography who is currently completing his thesis titled “Tracing Art from Nairobi, Geog­raphy of Art Mobilities in an East African Metropolis” (Bordeaux 3 University - LAM, UMR 5115).

Monday, July 15, 2013

European Union Election Observation Mission to Kenya: Final Report

EU Election Observation Mission Report
Download the EU election observation mission report here

Kenya Rising: Record Sales figures achieved by Kenyan Artists at AfricaNow Exhibition at Bonhams London

AfricaNow Poster
Bonham's has an exhibition and sale aptly titled AfricaNow which has been take place each year from 2009. The focus of AfricaNow exhibition is to bring to the world the flourishing modern and contemporary African art. 
This year’s exhibition has seen the hosting of a charity auction of eight lots by eight contemporary Kenyan artists, in association with The African Arts Trust and Circle Art Agency with the generous sponsorship of Afren. The proceeds from this auction are intended to go directly to projects that support the development of visual art education in this country
The eight artists included in this auction represent all that is best from the current crop of Kenyan contemporary artists. These artists were selected by Danda Jaroljmek of Circle Art Agency and Robert Devereux of African Arts Trust.

Download the AfricaNow catalogue here

Artists who participated and Prices their work fetched
1.  Joseph Bertiers (Kenyan, born 1963) Yesterday afternoon, 2013 Sold for £4,000 inc. premium
Yesterday Afternoon by Joseph Bertiers
Yesterday afternoon depicts a busy market scene after the announcement of the failure of the biometric BVR vote-tallying system at the recent Kenyan elections in March 2013. The IEBC announced they would be counting the votes by hand, which caused panic-buying by Kenyans anxious to get home. In the ensuing rush, traders got top prices for their wares.
2. Michael W. Soi (Kenyan, born 1972) China loves Africa 6 Sold for £3,250 inc. premium
China loves Africa by Michael Soi
China loves Africa 6 is part of a series of ten works created between 2012 and 2013 which addresses the presence of China in Africa. Soi views China’s involvement in Africa as a type of economic recolonisation.
3.  Anthony Okello (Kenyan, born 1976) Masquerade, 2013 each 42 x 63cm (16 9/16 x 24 13/16). diptych (2) Sold for £6,250 inc. premium
4. James Muriuki (Kenyan, born 1977) Untitled (from the series 'Undefined Constructions'), 2013 Sold for £1,250 inc. premium
5. Beatrice Wanjiku (Kenyan, born 1978) This constant yearning, 2013 Sold for £2,500 inc. premium
6. Peterson Kamwathi (Kenyan, born 1980) Untitled (from the 'Peri-Urban Encounters' series) Sold for £3,250 inc. premium
7. Paul Onditi (Kenyan, born 1980) Half Life, 2013 Sold for £3,125 inc. premium
8. Cyrus Kabiru (Kenyan, born 1984) C-Stunners Mini Morris Sold for £1,500 inc. premium