Friday, November 17, 2006

Catch me if you can

This is my 100th post since i started blogging :)

I came across this Lamborghini that Italian police use when catching up with you if you overspeed :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Starchville anyone?

I've come across some good looking T-Shirts done by students in Starehe (yes I was there once upon a time).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Water Engineers anyone?

I can't say I'm too shocked to hear that Kenya gets enough rainfall to supply up to 7 times its current population. After seeing the floods in the Coast and North Eastern Kenya over the past few weeks, there's no doubt that we in Kenya get quite a bit of water.

Question is what to do with it. Apart from Hydro Electricity and Rice Farming, there's no real use being put to the lots of water (apart from consuming it of course).

I wonder if there's any institution/organisation that is planning/is doing anything towards water harvesting. I say institution because the government seems to be preoccupied in other things - elections mostly.. How I wish somehow that the running of government and the policy making bit could work properly and independently.

Some university students and professors could actually take up this and turn it into a research project, get relevant info.. apparently the technology is out there that allows economic water harvesting. This could be a way of bridging the LARGE GAP between University and Society/Business/Improving Life in Kenya ?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FFBS Share Issue

From todays Daily Nation an Ad by Family Finance Building Society"
A Share offer by Private Placement open to Account Holders (as well as Board members and Staff I believe) of 15 000 000 shares @ KES 60.
Offer is open from 1st - 30th Nov 2006.
Minimum shares available - 500 shares @ KES 60 and Shares in multiples of 500 thereafter.
I suspect a good number of people will be opening FFBS Bank Accounts very soon. FFBS intend to become a fully fledged bank very soon and are waiting for approval from the CBK. I also believe they intend to list on the NSE soon.
I'm now thinking that perhaps I should join the list of people intending to open a FFBS bank account. Opening Requirements should be quite friendly :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Google Story, University in Kenya, Work in Kenya

Just finished reading The Google Story by David A Vise -

A few things that struck me:

The way that Industry and Academic/Research Institutions work together to solve problems and the great importance that academic and research institutions are in the Us and indeed all developed and NI Countries

which brings to mind the stand off between Lecturers and Universities, Government that has paralysed learning in Kenyan Universities.

I went to university in Kenya, and to be honest, the job I got after that was not so much due to what I learnt on campus but off campus. It's only that a good number of employers LOVE papers yet in the IT and Telecoms field I know a number of people who didn't bother with campus and really know their stuff.. as well as people who were virtually not in class most of campus life, didn't do well in the exams while working on other things like business or different courses.

There's a great GAP between Universities and Industry in kenya and most of africa. We really cannot expect solutions from the west to always work in this country and in the region.

Until Universities are relevant to most facets of society and can work with the industry to develop ideas, products that solve problems, they probably won't be able to churn out the kind of graduates that the continent needs to develop, as well as attract the funding, investments (e.g. a slice of that 12B profit from Safaricom).

Another thing from the book that I also noticed:

The importance of keeping employees happy, motivated, content, siked and all..

I have a friend working @ google and last time we talked:
"Google is Lovely"

I particularly love their 20% time set aside for their engineers to work on projects of their own. A good number of their products have come from this time. Projects with potential get funding and a team of engineers to work on. Innovation at work!

Oh and just imagine they have/had less employees than Telkom Kenya!!!!! (Telkom Kenya is to retrench 12000 people)

Number of employees: Worldwide, Google employed 7,942 full-time employees as of June 30, 2006 (

Revenues for 2005 exceeded $6B :) and profits over $1.4B (

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The conspiracy against Africa

I came across this article by Gerald Caplan:

Africa is a mess and it's not going to get better any time soon. That's the awful truth that's so hard to face — or to state publicly — for those of us who have had a long, intimate relationship with the continent.

Mine has lasted for almost 45 years. But from the very start, my experiences in Africa began conflicting with my hopes, indicating trouble afoot, foretelling that our utopian dreams were going to lead to crushing disappointments. Of course, we should have known what the entire 20th century taught: that all utopian dreams fail, not least those wrapped in progressive rhetoric.

The whole article is here

Question is whether Africa is really a mess...