Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention, Technology

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

Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention, Technology

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