SNIPPETS OF THE WEEK

Coffee Prices

World coffee prices are at an all time high not seen since 1977.According to the International coffee Organization an increasing demand for the beans against a drop in supply.The online publication indieprobub.com it quoted the ICO’S chief economist Denis Deudieu who said that the rise is in response to market basics: low supply and increased demand. This is partly because both Indonesia and Africa, have faced unfavorable weather conditions, added the economist.

With such great news in the industry it is interesting that the government is allowing farmers to clear their farms of the precious cash crop at the behest of the rising demand for housing.This is coming at a time when Kenya is experiencing an economic crunch and people will soon not be able to fund the real estate bubble that has been growing over the years.

Coffee culture is gaining popularity the world over and especially in China where an emerging class of trendy professionals are deviating form the tea culture that has been the preferred drink of these and other countries in the east.With the trend most likely to pick up in the coming years,Kenya needs to invest in these lucrative market and reduce the trade deficit that has been growing ever since China became the development partner of choice.

It was therefore interesting when the government announced it was setting up a condom factory,yet a coffee processing project would have made economic sense in the long term.This is because for most of our life as a coffee producing country we have mostly exported unprocessed coffee.

The Curious case of Zimbabwe
We all remember the Safaricom IPO euphoria that saw every Kenyan want to own a piece of this Kenyan corporate success story.The government has followed the policy of selling off its shareholding either to private individuals or the general public.

In Zimbabwe however it is a different story and President Mugabe has been following through on his Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act that seeks to force foreign owned companies worth $500,000 to achieve at least 51 percent black ownership within five years.

He has received a lot of flak from his coalition partner Moses Tsvangirai who has termed this as empty rhetoric.The Prime Minister was reported on Reuters.com as having said that thirty year after independence Zimbabweans are still seeing the plunder and looting of national resources by a select group of parasitic elite.These comprises individuals who are already multi millionaires and owners of huge tracts of land and who benefited from President Mugabe’s seizure of white owned commercial farms .

China has becoming a major trading partner with Zimbabwe and this country which now boasts the second largest economy is providing financial aid to Zimbabwe no questions asked.

Zimbabwe held a lot of promise at independence but three decades later it is a pale shadow if itself and over the years he have seen sanctions leveled against its government,inflation reach unfathomable heights and curios measures such as the nationalization of companies to tilt ownership toward that of indigenous Zimbabweans.

Terror Alerts in Kenya

Over the past 5 days Kenyans especially those living in Nairobi have been receiving warning on purported suicide bombers.These curious band of men and women want to hasten their arrival at the pearly gates in the company of innocent Kenyans all in the name of a religious cause.

Maybe it is time the government involved the Muslim clerics in their fight against terrorism.It is also time the government sought way of resolving the current unemployment rate that stands at 40%.With these young Kenyan minds focusing their energies and creativity at work we may see a reduction in enrollment figures in these militant groups like the Al Shabab.

It is time to create an interfaith group that is going to look into the current youth crisis in the country today.Only a concerted effort by all stakeholders from parents,to government to religious bodies will stem the recruitment of young Kenyans into these murderous gangs.

The fight for Somalia

The fight against terror will not be won if there are no stable governments in volatile countries like Afghanistan and Somalia which provide the perfect cover for militant groups hell bent on perpetuating terrorism.

Somalia has also gained fame because of the gentlemen of fortune plying the Indian Ocean waters lying in wait for large and not so large vessels whom they hijack and claim ransom money for.

With no acceptable government and police force to speak of in this country it will be futile to think that we can win the war against terror and piracy.The fight for Somalia needs a concerted effort form world leaders and not a paltry force of African Union member countries.

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