Informations Systems Consultant

Archive for September, 2011

Discussion of the Free Fall Kenyan Shilling against the Dollar



It is a fact that the Kenyan Shilling is one of the worst performing currency just before the Uganda Shilling. The recent activities and figures at the stock exchange and the reactionary nature of the Central Bank Governor shows how unprepared we are in dealing with issues that threaten the heart of our economy.

Linus Gitahi has ably put it that to save our shilling we need to produce products we have imperative advantage with, aggressively export in order to bring in the most needed dollars and in the process create lots of jobs for the youth. I couldn’t agree any less.

Innovation in Agricultural Technology
We all know Agriculture is and should be the driver of our economy. Very little has been done by the Government to protect and promote innovation in Agricultural development so that we can take advantage of the most rubric resource that we have as a country. Agriculture will create the Green Jobs that the youth so deservedly need to contribute to the well being of Kenya. We shall promote a healthier nation, we shall stop hunger and starvation and we shall feed the foodless of the region that is in danger for importing products from both the west and the east.

Investment in our Local Farmers
Most of the maize farmers in the western Kenya agricultural basket belt have in the past complained that the Government is not interested in buying their produce at competitive rates and instead preferring to import at a more higher rate and only sell at lower rates and compromise on quality. This is where we need to whip our Government to start valuing our local products. The tabling in Gitahis article of producing locally, buying and consuming Kenyan and in the long run building Kenya is a more perfect example of making Kenya become the hub for development in the region.

Skills Education
Kenya’s agricultural belt has a good opportunity to produce surplus for export. We need the right kind of skills set to our youth. So far our education system has relinquished the responsibility of making Agriculture look fashionable a sector. Many young people do not prefer studying Agriculture. They see it as a dirty practice that only the uneducated are to venture in. However it is fact that Agriculture requires the highest education standards and in this case the need to make Agricultural technology as one of the basic and compulsory subjects in our school just like the traditional sciences.

If we fix agriculture as a basic requirement to impart highest level of skills in our children in schools, we shall begin to change the attitude amongst our young generation.

Revive local industries and create jobs
The Government needs to invest more and provide incentives to farmers in order to produce the most needed food products. The farmers willing the long run create jobs, feed their families, and supply products for exports. Investment in local food industries and promote export of surplus as a way to improve food security. This is where the Government now needs to seriously rethink of the strategy to revive local industries that have become white elephants rotting away and wasting off years of investment. Any government that watches a local industry die, does not have a mandate to govern.

Lastly we need to fix the issue of land ownership and allow the youth to invent and make good use of spaces for agricultural production. Most of the unused land across the country could be allocated for free to farmers who are ready to invest in them. My next article will deal with the kind of job opportunities that can be created and the kind of areas that have high potential to turn around our economy and save our dipping shilling back to it’s track. This is where the green teams begin to use a business model to fix both the climate challenge and create livelihoods at community level.

Emmanuel Dennis

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29th September 2011
Lessons from Senegal and why the Leadership is Comfortably sleeping in Power.

I am seated in Hotel La Resident Restaurant reminiscing my experience of Dakar. The other day I took a walk to the local shopping and what struck me was the amount of imported merchandise that the Country gets as local supplies.
A country surrounded by the sea, yet all it consumes is very foreign products.
I have been sneering at the fact of the local cuisine comprising of fish and rice meals repeated all over the day. That is nasty.

The country does a lot of fishing, however the amount of catastrophic danger that the country is undergoing is so humongous that one wonders how the populace will survive generations to come.

Now, the city of Saint Louis is an old colonial former Senegal’s capital before Dakar. The city has been abandoned with no caution. The streets are littered,the river is dirty with garbage from human activity, the cities transport system occasioned by very old junky locomotives (read taxis and one other matatu like moving structure). The amount of filth and stench that is in Saint Louis City is insurmountable and not tolerable at all for a tourist attraction.

One good thing is the people are jovial French Wolof speaking lot. Their mannerisms are good and I haven’t experienced any form of violence or muggings or even hooliganism common in many of the world capitals.

The buildings are colonial and 90% very old models and no one is thinking of revamping them. If the city council whose Mayor I have met before could concentrate on sanitation and other urban planning concepts, Saint Louis would be a very lovely place to come and wind away your worries.

So if you are planning to visit Senegal, prepare your French skills early in advance especially if you are English speaking. Also prepare for a strict French Cuisine in most of the eateries. However food is very cheap and pocket friendly, challenge is there is very limited choice.

I am however glad that I am training a group of 16 youth leaders known as the Green Teams, on green enterprise development and climate change mitigation measures. It is my hope that they will be equipped with the necessary skills to distinguish them from the rest of idle youth in the city and that a few years from now their businesses will thrive and be the drivers of the economy in a sustainable Saint Louis City.

The young people of Senegal must wake up now and save their country from foreign invasion by both the East and West. There is no excuse whatsoever for the people of Senegal with such beautiful climatic conditions to be taking tea imported from China. it is unacceptable the amount of comfort derived from deplorable conditions of living. the current Leadership of President Wade has failed and the people need to realize that the future depends on them.

A better Africa is possible.

Emmanuel Dennis

Prof. Wangari Maathai’s Awards:


 Daughter of the Soil, Kenyan by Birth, Global by all standards; Wangari Maathai Salute!
2010: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)

2009: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)

2009: Humanity 4 Water Award for Outstanding Commitment 2 Action

2009: The Order of the Rising Sun, Japan

2009: Judge, 2009 Geotourism Challenge, National Geographic, USA

2009: NAACP Chairman’s Award , USA

2008: Dignitas Humana Award, St John’s School of Theology, USA

2008: Cinema Verite, Honorary President, France

2008: Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Honorary Fellowship, UK

2007: The Nelson Mandela Award for Health & Human Rights, South Africa

2007: The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, India

2007: Cross of the Order of St Benedict, Benedictine College, Kansas, USA

2007: World Citizenship Award, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

2006: The Indira Gandhi International Award for Peace, Disarmament & Development, India

2006: Premio Defensa Medio Ambiente, Club Internacional De Prensa, Spain

2006: 6th in 100 Greatest Eco-Heroes of All Time, The Environment Agency, UK

2006: Medal for Distinguished Achievement, University of Pennsylvania, USA

2006: Woman of Achievement Award from the American Biographical Institute Inc., USA

2006: The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights,

Milele(Lifetime) Achievement Award

2006: Legion D’Honneur, Government of France

2006: The IAIA Global Environment Award,

International Association for Impact Assessment, Norway

2006: Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Award, USA

2006: World Citizenship Award

2005: New York Women’s Century Award, New York Women’s Foundation, USA

2005: One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World: Time magazine, USA

2005: One of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World: Forbes magazine, USA

2004: Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Norway

2004: Sophie Prize, the Sophie Foundation, Norway

2004: Elder of the Golden Heart, Republic of Kenya

2004: Petra Kelly Environment Prize, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany

2004: J. Sterling Morton Award, Arbor Day Foundation, USA

2004: Conservation Scientist Award,

Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University, USA

2003: Elder of the Burning Spear, Republic of Kenya

2003: WANGO Environment Award,

World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations , USA

2002: Outstanding Vision and Commitment Award, Bridges to Community, USA

2001: Excellence Award, Kenyan Community Abroad, USA

2001: The Juliet Hollister Award, Temple of Understanding, USA

1997: One of 100 in the World Who’ve Made a Difference in the Environment:

Earth Times, USA

1995: International Women’s Hall of Fame,

International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation, USA

1994: The Order of the Golden Ark Award, the Netherlands

1993: The Jane Addams Leadership Award, Jane Addams Conference, USA

1993: The Edinburgh Medal, Medical Research Council, Scotland

1991: The Hunger Project’s Africa Prize for Leadership, United Nations, USA

1991: Global 500 Hall of Fame: United Nations Environment Programme, USA

1991: The Goldman Environmental Prize, the Goldman Foundation, USA

1990: The Offeramus Medal, Benedictine College, USA

1989: Women of the World Award, WomenAid, UK

1988: The Windstar Award for the Environment, Windstar Foundation, USA

1986: Better World Society Award, USA

1984: Right Livelihood Award, Sweden

1983: Woman of the Year Award

Yes we mourn your loss, we also celebrate your life so full and we seek to pursue the great intentions and bold steps in making earth more habitable.

Go in peace, go rest as we work somemore.

Adapted from Cyprian Nyamwamu’s email to NYSA

Legacy or just History


Yesterday, we did lay Mzee Moinkett to rest in his Isinya farm. He notably was the champion and pioneer of Isinya town and served as their chief in the seventies and councillor later on. He was known for his integrity and genuine concern for the development of his people. He was father to 33 children, 13 gents and 20 ladies. His 95 grandchildren and tens of great grandchildren were present to pay their last respects.

He lived life with gusto, was taught by the missionaries and still held his people close to heart. He was a well acclaimed moran and stood for peace, growth and prosperity. Under his leadership the area saw the building of learning institutions among many other development initiatives. He was known to foster relationships even when others out-rightly did wrong him. He had time for all his children and attended to all individually. he made time for all and called for collective responsibility in his family and area at large.

Having met him as  my friend Wesonga asked him for his daughter Sereu for her hand in marriage; he had the aura of a sober, wise and humble father. He said much without many words. He guided the process with charisma and flair. His mentions were that of blessing unto the couple, their dealings and descendants. So when the wedding day arrived and I was asked to chauffeur them to the function, I gladly accepted. It was an honour. During the drive he made comments of peace, prompting me to work harder and blessed me. Such was the Mzee Moinkett.

He left behind a rich legacy and even in his last moments he did attend to his people. Having a good laugh with them and when he breathed his last he truly found his rest.

This is a challenge to all of us with many days to live. We ought to serve our family, people, country and world in our capacities. Fostering peace and development. Wishing all people well and doing good. Rest in peace Mzee Moinkett

Retaining Talent key to buidling businesses


Yesterday I had a candid talk with Icon Telesec CEO Mr. Nerry Achar. And for the short two hours, he emphasized on building relationships. As we discussed it was clear that employees require security of tenure. All of us want to know we have a place and we are appreciated in our organisations. Orientation is key as this is where employes buy into the organisation’s purpose. Then capacity building in the expertise areas has to be continous so as to improve results, deliver better and attract new businesses.

Mr. Achar believes that business growth is not in showcasing prowess but more in concentrating on aquired clients and serving them to satisfaction. He says to be the best do not run for the race but enjoy the run. He attests that Icon Telesec has seen tremendous growth for the main reason they concentrated on their clients, adding the individual touch and strict eye for detail. They nurtured their staff by having continous training, regular appraisals and allowing to grow.

He agrees that retaining talent in the modern world where “job hopping” is prevalent in this generation is no mean fete. Where talent does not spend more than 2-3 years in any firm. He says organisations need to model their growth around talent. Allowing them to flex their ideas and channel their energies into new projects. And their should be structures in place to allow staff to ultimately buy into businesses. As they grow their input and output becomes more solid, loyal and invaluable. The buy-in option enables them to come into new dispesation of patnerships which then propel organisation even higher.

Businesses need to engrave talent retention in their strategies to discover growth like no other. Many blue chip firms are practicing this and SMEs should consider this more seriously.

Be the best Example


How peaceful one can be allowing cars to join or cross in front of them, following this gentleman was frustrating since we were late but learnt alot. A big up to all the guys who give way when you indicate, allow you to go in first and are at peace driving while well mannered at the same time.
The excuse of being late then driving badly has to stop!

I have seen how embarrassed guys get when they are caught on the wrong by the police or even stupid bumper/scratch accidents. Many ladies are drive well. Though there is a cropping number of them that try to outdo the many who drive badly. Smooth driving saves all of us the pain of being stuck in traffic for long. We flow with ease and save ourselves the trouble of police fines or temptation of bribing the cops who then sin with us. That infuriates God you know.

The most worrying thing is when school buses are driven badly or parents doing it with their kids on board. They run the risk of getting into nasty accidents but more worrying is that our children get to pick the bad habits. In the next few years they will be masters of the driving badly school!

I resolve to be more kind to other motorists & road users!I resolve to be courteous on the road, be early for meetings, joyful & at peace while in traffic. God is watching, people are witnessing and we know good rewards follow those who pursue to be good in the Lord. Whether in the day or night!

In The News:


This past week has seen the most dramatised news items on all TV media stations. The hague proceedings filled our screens showing to all and sundry as the story unfolded. We saw simple mistakes lawyers can make and witty statements curved out of the prosecution evidence. There was brilliance, utter stupidity, knuckles bravery and lack of preparation.

The cross examining of witness especially Prof. Kosgei will be most vivid for its drama. The presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilov can be best described as sober, patient and studious. I think we all agree she deserves the seat. Most of us would have sparked with rhetorics from lawyers,  the boring attempts to discredit evidence and the misleading assertions traded. I pray that wisdom engulfs those proceedings and God’s will to take precedence.

KNUT STRIKE

Kenyan teachers decided to down their tools and go to the streets. This is after unsuccessfully engaging their employers. It must have been a hard decision given that national examinations at all levels begin next month. They watched helplessly as MPs increased their wages in the most bizarre move. Albeit from a contingency allocation. They desperately tried to negotiate and were short changed again and again. All this they put to light in the endless interviews by media. Mr. President we beseech you to swing into action and save our education sector.

This past week has also seen many lives lost in the country from different accidents and calamities. Yesterday 18 perished and three are feared dead in Isiolo after Ewaso Nyiro river burst its banks. The government needs to start laying ground to curb this increasingly threatening menace. North Eastern Region requires well tarmacked roads with high  bridges over seasonal rivers.  The railway  be the best idea. We also hope a national water grid will be created to interlink regions such that floods in one end can be harvested for the good of another.

Kenya is here to stay and we need to be more forward looking.

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