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Kenyan Bloggers back to “almost” normal life

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Economics & Business, International Relations, Media & Journalism, Technology, War & Conflict

After many days of agony and political uncertainty, Kenyan bloggers have gone back to “almost normal” life. Bloggers can even afford to make witty comparison between Kenya and other countries.

Rants, Raves and reviews compares Kenya to South Korea [1]:

So… why the above info? Well, it turns out that President Lee of S.Korea plans to cut down the ministries from 18 to 13 to “slimline” his government. And our “brilliant” maybe he is(not) prez-in-residence, the Hon. Mwai Kibaki, has named 50% of his cabinet. This 50% amounts to 17 posts. So there are another 17 posts waiting to be filled.

Even with the political leaders pushing and shoving, many people blamed international media for the grim pictures circulated

Kenya Imagine has done a media round up [2] of most international commentators and their views about post-election violence:

In his column, Richard Prince, opines on the concept of tribes. “If It's Africa, It Must Be a Tribe.” He argues, citing international media houses, that “ethnic” describes the Kikuyu, Luo and Kalenjin best.

In her op-ed in the Washington Post, Anne Applebaum compares Kenya, not to “the rest of Africa”, but to South Korea and Ukraine, where she makes a case for Kenya's political turmoil and not ethnic hatred. Another comparison is drawn by Uzi Silber here: In Kenya Spare Iraq .

Huffington Post's John Ridley on why Kenya matters: he cites Kenya's political and economic stabilty.

Ali Mazrui suggests solutions to Kenya's post election crisis, while a Nigerian commentator, Ladipo Adamolekun, finds lessons for Nigeria in Kenya's crisis.

Edward M. Gomez wonders about Kenya's future should Kofi Annan fail to resolve the country's crisis.

Despite its social upheaval, breathtaking Kenya needs tourists , says Mary Ann Anderson from the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

In technology, White African writes about [3] the redesign of Afrigadget [4]:

I’m proud to announce a brand new design for AfriGadget!

The old design was rather… old and ugly. I mocked up some ideas, and one of my friends was kind enough to take my amateur work and put a truly professional touch on it. (thanks Jared)

One blogger is certainly tired of political discussions and wants to talk about the economy [5]:

I’m trying to move away from these political discussions, but people here don’t seem to want to do that. I suppose I’ve just come to the conclusion that Kibaki is not going to resign, they will be no coalition government (can anyone honestly see Kibaki and Raila working together?) and Raila is just going to have to fight it out in parliament. ( I understand politics does affect the economy and the two are inter-connected, but at this point, I think the private sector in Kenya is just going to have to find a way to ignore these politicians and try to sort out their own problems). The only good thing here is that Kibaki does not interfere with the private sector ala Moi. If he did, it would really create a disaster.

And guess what? Neither Kibaki nor Raila has to work (they are both indepenedently wealthy and maybe people should start ignoring both of these men). The blogger coldtusker had a nice summary on the economic problems that the country may face in the coming five years, but I want to open up this space to you (especially if you are based in Kenya).

Eyes on Kenya discusses the economic implications [6]of the sanctions the donor community threatened to impose on Kenya:

With a review of the post-election situation and the loss of revenue that Kenya has undergone and is continuing to undergo, a retardation and even decline of economic growth, one can see an eventuality of a total collapse of the budget. Point five above would even bite more if the sanctions threatened by the EU are carried out. The government is heavily reliant on the world bank and its projects/ programmes. We do not know how far the World Bank would go to carry out these sanctions in review of their seeming tolerance of the government.

The fear that China would fill the gap without preliminary conditions is in our view over-rated. China’s interest in Africa so far has been hunger for natural resources. Looking again into the CIA Fact Book Kenya’s lack of natural resources stand out. And the little that Kenya has, seems to be already under China’s control: In what the East African called cynically a “an unprecedented act of generosity”, the government of Kenya gave the state-owned National Oil Corporation of China – CNOOC – exclusive rights to its hotly contested areas where oil might be found.

If a co-ordinated freeze aid to Kenya campaign is carried out by all donors in the face of the turmoil and violence, I believe the government and opposition will shape up and sit with the mediators to bring an end to the stale-mate that has cost many a Kenyan lives. It is the most effective way and we urge a consideration of this.

Despite the political crisis in the country, Nairobi theatres are busy. Bomseh blogs about the latest in Kenyan theatres [7]:

Heartstrings Kenya opens 2008 theater calendar with an extremely outrageous blockbuster comedy “IDENTICAL TWINS” that is set to inject some joy at this low time of our country.

This will be with the efforts of the cast and the theater gurus Samwel Mwangi and Victor Ber directing it.

Hilariously, we will realize that you can get an African out of Africa but you cannot get Africa out of an African.

When: Friday 31st Jan., Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd Feb.

Times: 6.30pm weekday, 3.00pm & 6.30pm weekend

Venue: Alliance Française auditorium;

Tickets: 300/-