Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention, Relevant, Technology

The New Normal: Covid-19 Carry Forwards


We have been dealt a blow in our diverse ways and means as a people of the universe by this pandemic. We may cry foul and whine all we want but that is life’s curve ball thrown at us. We have a duty for our own posterity to do what it takes to mitigate, control, alleviate and extinguish the adverse effects of the corona virus in this time and age. As a pragmatist we have to look at the new normal going forward. This is a preview of the main feature that we yet do not know when it will open up in our world theatre stage. So as such we have to prepare and inculcate lessons learnt and good practices acquired long before and during this period. I agree with many clean freaks now that there can never be too much cleaning or sanitizing or even disinfecting of ourselves, surfaces, items and spaces around us. Truly cleanliness is divine and since it is next to godliness then no disease survives when we pursue cleanliness.

I believe strongly going forward the following need to be our new normal as responsible citizens of the world.

  1. All airports, border points and passenger terminals require disinfecting stations – medical checks booths and quarantine protocols of any disturbing discovered vitals for passengers. There should be no exceptions.
  2. Sanitation points should be mandatory for public space, restaurants, food courts, sporting facilities, religious spaces and learning institutions.
  3. Personal Hygiene policies should be adopted into laws and by all entities to safeguard those that patronize their premises. The distance of 1.5m or 2m between queues is a great gain of order and safeguarding each person’s hygiene. It would be a natural antidote to pickpockets. Anyone who is unwell should have a facial mask of N95 standards – this would end the cold and flu outbreaks we witness every other season. People that have a cough or sneeze should be held responsible if they infect others when they do not protect themselves by regularly sanitizing and wearing of a facial mask.
  4. Embrace Digital transformation in how we work, relate and socialize. We can save a lot by using technology. Many meetings that would have ended up in a long trip that deprives families of their loved ones time can be done online and leave travel for the most critical and confidential ones. Let travel be about holidays.
  5. Have regular disinfecting programs for public and private spaces. This will help deal with the clutter, garbage and sewage problem that burdens our societies. They are the source of many diseases.
  6. Regularly review our business continuity plans as governments, government related organizations, religious organizations, learning institutions and private institutions including families. Each government (main or regional) and other public and private organizations need to have dire measures protocols they can enact in combating issues of great disruption like this pandemic. This means governments need to create incentives for the populace to save and invest but more keenly develop resiliency for at least one year lockdown eventualities. How can we be creative so that taxes are not seen as burden and as such have more people be capable and willing to pay them? How can we show value so that taxes generated end up doing more good to the people and thus enhance their resolve to support good governance? How can we individual be now intentional in building reserves for our families starting with a month’s provision then build to years of essential provisions? Can education be more affordable if we adopt technology? Can government and business be less expensive if we genuinely implement systems and use technology? I still don’t understand why we use email and cannot use the same technology for public participation and tenders submission in totality not partial enforcements.
  7. Leaders’ responsibility over their units of mandate need to go deeper. We have seen leadership from leaders once perceived as weak or non-discerning. While the eloquent and loud have been embarrassingly shooting their feet by queer non-stellar interventions that are a show of nothing short of foolishness. The reliefs governments and businesses have given people across the world should continue. The goodwill earned therein will catapult those countries and businesses even higher. The key word here being “implementation” many declarations will not see the light of day. But a day of reckoning is coming. The internet does not forget – many leaders will be quoted in days to come and held to account over the declaration of relief that will not have been implemented. Here in Kenya we have seen how election promises made in the high of campaigns are being replayed. The disdain and doubt now dealt on those that made their election promises is appalling. Let the relief declarations made in the wake of COVID-19 not be akin to unmet election promises.

By Lunani Joseph

The writer is a technology solutions architect and works with Insynque Solutions as the Managing Director and Lead Consultant. Pictures are courtesy of tipsmake.com and Twitter handle @ThikaTowntoday

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