THE NEW SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA

A new kind of scramble very different from the one that took place in the 18th century is taking place in Africa.

It is the scramble for business on the continent.

Africa is experiencing one of the highest growths of its time which is very different from what is happening in the rest of the world .

And evidence of this is being seen with the number of investors and donors willing to fund projects on the continent.

IOn Kenya for example the CEO of General Electric Jeff Immelt paid us a visit,where had a kind of talk shop with the Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga and a group of university students.

 

China however has been wooing Kenya for a longer time and their footprints can be seen on the ultra modern Thika Road superhighway and a lot of other ongoing road projects around the country.

The US and other governments are now waking up to the fact that rather than preach democracy while watch China hog up all the projects on the continent,they are going to join the fray by marketing the opportunities available in Africa to their companies back home.

Ultimately this is going to be a battle royale for who ends up with the most contracts  because Africa is just brimming with opportunity.

With a growing middle class,increased democracy and a population eager to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of their love for consumer items,the only way for any company whether indigenous or foreign to grow is up.

 

Interesting times ahead is all i can say…..

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WHAT REALLY MAKES A GREAT LEADER?

April 2010.

My daughter was three years and we  were at the Rift Valley Sports Club in Nakuru .

It was late afternoon and while we were having lunch who comes in?

Kabando wa Kabando in the company of a few other people who looked like MP’s.

My daughter was running around with a book and she happened to pass by Kabando just as he was being shown to his table.

He bent down shook her hand and asked her what she was doing.

On showing him the book she was reading, he took it and proceeded to go through the 10 or so pages with her reading out aloud.

He waved at us and proceeded to join his group.

Now most Kenyan MP’s have this diva attitude about them,like they would rather not talk to the mere mortals who elected them.

They drive around in cars that have tinted windows,have traffic cleared hours before they leave their houses and are members of very exclusive clubs.

I wrote about the reason Kenyans should not be surprised about this behaviour here.

This is in sharp contrast to the very ideal that leadership should be about.

Being a leader is a call to service.

It requires that the men and women who aspire to such positions  be servant leaders.

How many times have you seen a Kenyan leader rise to the occasion and put the country first before self?

Did they do it when they were asked to pay taxes?

Do they do it when joining political parties driven by ideals and not-self interest?

Do they show it when passing legislation in parliament?

Do they show when carrying out their political campaigns?

Are they showing it now as we gear up for the elections in an year’s time?

What really makes a great Kenyan leader?

THE NAKED KENYAN “EMPEROR”

The Nancy Baraza saga has received a lot of coverage.

It reminds me a lot of the children’s bedtime story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

Here is the story by Hans Christian Andersen

When the Honorable judge was appointed as Deputy Chief Justice the public put in her and the Chief Justice’s hands the scales of justice.

 

What the saga at the village market reveals is that sometimes the people we put in public positions let the heady air of “being special” get to the heads.

But it is not Nacy Baraza’s fault that she thought she was too special to get through the rigours of a search when Kenya is facing terror attacks.

It ois the fault of all Kenyans.

We are much  like the two courtiers the Emperor sent to inspect the cloth the swindlers were sewing and who came back and told him that the cloth was the most beautiful they had ever seen.

We treat our MP’s and other senior government officials like the ground they walk on is to be worshipped,forgetting that they are first and foremost public servants,enjoying the privileges they have courtesy of the Kenyan tax payer.

We fe’te them and sing their praises at weddings,funerals and political rallies and they begin to think that it is their right to be treated that way.

We lie to them that they clothes they are wearing are the most beautiful have the most amazing colors when the brash and abrasive manner they treat the mwananchi reveals their nakedness.

We lie to them that everyone needs to admire their new clothes when all they are baring to us is their naked love for power and their need to rule over others as a form of cover up for their insecurities.

Like the emperor who could not see the clothes the weavers were making for him,they feel slighted when mere security guards do not recognize their office.

They forget their “office” is nothing but a shadow.

Just like the emperor’s handlers,assistants were too afraid to tell the emperor that he was being lied to when the truth was before their eyes,these men and women of high office have let their minions mislead them especially when it comes to public opinion.

It took the voice of a child to say what everyone was afraid to say;”But the Emperor has no clothes!”

Hopefully that reminds us that we should not take off the clothes of humility,service ,truth and respect of the law for the non- existent garments made of pride,having a superiority complex and insecurity when we assume any” office”.