December 30, 2007

Kenyan Elections a fraud

It would be difficult for anyone to deny that Kibaki has managed to win the elections by rigging. The young voters who turned out in large numbers and queued for hours to express their constitutional right have been spat at. They were told their weapon was their vote. Someone lied. And these unemployed poor humans are now as I type on the rampage…

The Electoral Commission of Kenya sold itself. Who will believe in democracy and voting come 2012?

The international media has not truly and quickly reported all that has gone on in this nation over the past few days.

and what kind of country has 7 public holidays in a month? of which 4 are on consecutive days? If anyone wishes for a month of Sundays – move to Kenya. Just remember you will not be able to exercise your (?) democratic rights.

December 15, 2007

Blog has moved

Writing about web page

This blog has now moved. Goodbye WarwickBlogs.

November 18, 2007

Where's the election hype?

It seems the hype and excitement of the 2002 Kenyan elections has not carried on to this year. Or maybe its because I’m sitting 5,000 miles away from the theatre of comedy?

Last time Kibaki on his NARC (National Rainbow Coalition) ticket was helped by Gidi Gidi Maji Maji’s “Who can bwogo me” song. What a hit it was! and the beat still makes me want to get up and rap along with them. The song was so popular it was performed at the Big Brother Africa finale…

anyways back to the point.
The presidential race seems so open that Mwai Kibaki might not finish his 40 years+ political career in the highest seat. There are many reasons for this…

Tribal power is still a big thing – there’s no such thing as national unity during a run-up to an election. The diasphora and those outside the country may seem united as one nationality but the divides are rampant when in the country. Tribes are uniting to oust the ones in power. But ousting the one will mean the tribes that are united will start fighting should they win on December 27th.

Kibaki did not deliver the new constitution in the 100 days he promised. 5 years on and we’re still waiting. I am fed up like most of the 35 million Kenyans. The 17 million eligible voters will make this known.

Corruption. Some say its reduced. Some say its increased. The police remain on top of the corruption league. I honestly don’t see a solution to this problem for the next 50 years. But the majority will decide on whether corruption has increased or not.

Kibaki does have one trump card: the economy has completely turned around since 2002. Whatever the growth figure is, the average Kenyan now has disposable income and a flood of foreign goods has brought the country closer to being part of the globalised world. Exports have also gone up as has tourism. But with growth comes inflation and rising operating costs…

Raila “The Hummer” Odinga might just win for the sake of ‘positive change’. Whoever wins, the country is on its way forward.

June 17, 2007

Moving soon…

This site will soon be moving to when I get some time to sort the pages out.

17th November: Blog remains here for now.
15th December: Blog has moved.

June 01, 2007

Lions, Buffaloes, Crocs…

Kruger National Park, South Africa…

May 31, 2007

Engineer Crisis Hits Africa

Kenyans missing out as engineer crisis hits – Published in the Business Daily Africa

Written by Mwaura Kimani
31-May-2007: As the country ramps up preparations to start mining titanium at the Coast later this year, a glaring shortage of mining engineers in the country could mean prime jobs will go to non-Kenyans.

Like oil exploration jobs, which have largely gone to expatriates, Tiomin Kenya Ltd—a titanium exploration and mining company—is set to give its 25 existing vacancies to foreign experts. Most are likely to come from South Africa and Australia where there are established mineral operations.
According to Peter Ndaa, finance director at Tiomin, the shortfall of mining engineers could hamper their plans to employ local skilled workers.

“We have to develop our own people before the project kicks off since there are none trained locally,” he told the Business Daily.
Tiomin Kenya Ltd, a subsidiary of the Canadian-based Tiomin Resources that is in charge of the $155 million Kwale titanium project at the coast, estimates that the planned permanent workforce at the mine will be 330.

Though, up to 1,000 people could be employed during the two-year construction phase. The Kwale mineral sands are estimated to hold about 3.2 billion tonnes of titanium, or 14 per cent of the world’s known resources.

The mineral that is used in space-craft manufacturing and, for making parts for missiles, ships, paints, sunscreen, plastics, and textiles, is a potential foreign exchange earner.

Despite being licensed 10 years ago, Tiomin Resources has yet to start operation due to financial difficulties and legal setbacks.
The evident engineer shortage demonstrates how Kenya has for long ignored the need to train mining specialists in local universities.
Statistics from the Engineers Registration Board (ERB)—the local professional regulator—show an estimated 1,261 registered professionals practise in the country and 193 registered consultants. However, none of them is a mining engineer.

Of the local universities that have engineering courses, none offers mining courses. Some blame the failure to get more specialised engineer training to bigger problems in Kenyan education system. Retired lecturer Martin Nyaga said most students perceive math and sciences to be “boring” and “too hard.”
“The declining performance in mathematics and science education in lower grades coupled with the mind set cultivated by the general educational establishment makes students unwilling to tackle anything that is difficult,” he said.

Exodus of trained science professionals is another challenge, as many from developing countries such as Kenya prefer to work in Europe or America, where jobs are more common and pay better.

A UN study shows more African scientists and engineers work in the US than in all of Africa, leaving the entire African continent with just 20,000 engineers and scientists.
The potential for oil finds, as exploration picks up all over East Africa, could also be hamstrung by the engineers deficit.
Kenya needs 100 petroleum engineers should oil be found at the coast. But with only four known local oil experts, and just one working in Kenya, the chances of hiring locals are slim.

Telecommunications firms have also struggled to hire locals, but usually come up short.

Leading mobile operator Safaricom Ltd, has hired about 130 telecommunication engineers and experts, but most come from the UK and other parts of the world.

May 15, 2007

Safaricom: Employee Sabotage?

Writing about web page

I found this on the careers section of the Safaricom website on 16th May 2007 while looking for more info on their BlackBerry launch (reported by the Daily Nation on 16/05/2007)

The Job ad reads:

Mafi ya kuku
Huyu mtu ni bure kabisa, kwa ujinja wake na upumbavu wake,Eti nilazima ataje Kibaki, akidhani nitakujibu. mtu kama wewe ni pumbavu.

While it remains unnoticed have a look yourself: and scroll down to current jobs.

Safaricom job ad
Safaricom zoom in

May 03, 2007

Manufacturing Engineering!

I saw this video and thought maybe its time to stop cursing Microsoft!

April 22, 2007

London Marathon

Well done to Martin Lel for winning the Flora London Marathon 2007 and Felix Limo who came 3rd!
A good performance from role model Paul Tergat who finished 6th.

and Salina Kosgei who finished 4th in the Women’s race!

A good display by the Kenyan runners… You’ve done the country Proud!

April 17, 2007

Apple Mac's in remote Masai Schools

Macs Join the Masai Tribe

By Barbara Gibson
The new school in the Masai village of Oloolaimutia in East Africa runs day and night now, even though the majestic tribe lives without electricity or running water in its nearby compound of mud houses.

More than 400 children attend the new school—those who tend cattle during the day go at night—thanks to new classrooms and solar panels that provide light and deliver power to three new laptop computers.

“Come Walk With Me”

Retired tech executive Patrick O’Sullivan, who launched the effort to improve the school after visiting the village in 2004, returned this year with a team of former Apple employees and 14-year-old Sean Riordan, son of one of O’Sullivan’s friends. Carrying PowerBooks and high-definition digital cameras, the volunteers shot 16 hours of digital video in the village and region for a documentary designed to raise awareness and funds for education in Africa.

“Come Walk With Me” premiered in July 2006 and will be shown in universities and foundations that specialize in Africa. Riordan, who helped train village teachers to use the laptops, also made a documentary—“The Making of ‘Come Walk With Me’”—that captures the laughter and fun of working with the Masai people.

Masai tribe members pose with the “Come Walk With Me” crew.

The Problem of Piecing a School

O’Sullivan hadn’t planned to spearhead the school improvement project when he first visited East Africa. “But,” he says, “I saw these adults tying pieces of trees together, and I asked them what they were doing. They said they didn’t have a classroom, and I said ‘How long will it take?’ And they said ‘Well, about three to four years.’ I said ‘What happens to the children meanwhile?’ And they said ‘Most of them will never go to school.’”

Moved by their plight, O’Sullivan decided to build a school for them—and even supplied three laptop computers. Dickson Mutaiti, O’Sullivan’s driver and tour guide, handled the arrangements and sent contractors with three trucks full of bricks, stones, doors and tin roofing materials to the village. They built the new school in six weeks, and a U.S.-based solar company in Nairobi installed four 120-watt panels on the school’s roof.

Feeding Curiosity

In the new school, students investigate the world maps plastered on the wall, study the science of solar power that provides their light and watch video of an ocean on the laptops. “They’ve never seen the sea,” O’Sullivan points out. “Never mind the fish. Their eyes were bigger than the screen.

“It was amazing to watch the children use the new tools with such ease,” he adds. “They were intuitively touching, feeling, laughing and investigating. It became clear to me that it doesn’t matter whether you’re from the north, south, east or west of anywhere on this earth: people are naturally curious and once they see a tool, they want to see how it works.”

Door to Opportunity

O’Sullivan, an amateur historian who has followed politics in Africa from the time he was a student in Ireland in the 1960s, is sensitive to the Masai people’s need to preserve their culture in the face of a modern world. He sees the role of education and computers as a crucial door to opportunity.

“When you look at the continent of Africa,” he observes, “it’s no coincidence that there’s never been a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates or a Larry Ellison from Africa. There are millions of them there, but they never got the opportunity to learn. Yet education is the key to choices, to personal freedom. It’s everything.”

Source: ‘Hot News’ article on the Apple website

More information

School in Mara

Mara classroom
Teaching at Sekenani Primary School

Time in Kenya

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