Browsing All Posts filed under »The National«

Violence-Free Vote in Kenya is Just One Hurdle on Long Road

March 11, 2013


Originally published in The National:  After five days on tenterhooks, Kenyans breathed a collective sigh of relief on Saturday at the official announcement that Uhuru Kenyatta had won the presidency. Much of that relief stemmed from one simple fact: the country had made it through its first elections since 2007 without a return to violence. To […]

A Regional Lesson as U.S. Extends a Hand to Africa’s Farmers

December 4, 2012


Originally published in The National: When Barack Obama was running for US president in 2008, you could find Obama-chewing gum in Kenya, Obama fabric in Benin and a hit radio song about Mr Obama in Ghana. To say that Africans were enthusiastic about a possible president with Kenyan ties would be a serious understatement. Now, […]

Wars over Oil and Land Fuel Food Crisis in South Sudan

March 15, 2012


Originally published in The National: On January 28, South Sudan shut down oil production, the source of 98 per cent of the government’s revenue. Business people grew concerned about their investments in Juba, and diplomats worried about how the oil shutdown will affect the unstable relationship between Juba and Khartoum. Nearly two month later, oil […]

Something to Get Steamed Up Over

December 4, 2011


Originally published in The National: NAIROBI // A recent conference in Nairobi, Kenya, was certainly a steamy affair. For that was the main topic of conversation – how much it costs to explore for steam, how new technologies have reduced the cost to produce it, and how much it could boost the economy of East […]

Piracy in West Africa

November 17, 2011


Originally published in The National: This year, global piracy has risen to its highest levels since the International Maritime Bureau first started recording attacks back in 1991. The majority of attention has focused on Somali pirates, who have successfully hijacked dozens of vessels in the Gulf of Aden, and are currently holding just under 200 […]

More Cash and Less Food Aid

August 24, 2011


Originally published in The National: As famine continues to devastate southern Somalia, much attention has been directed to its political causes – in particular, the Islamist group Al Shabaab. Parts of Kenya and Ethiopia have been equally affected by drought, and they are facing humanitarian emergencies, but southern Somalia is the only place to have […]

The Horn of Africa Can Feed Itself

August 4, 2011


Originally published in The National: In western Kenya, where plentiful rain has fallen this year, smallholder farmers are just beginning to harvest their maize. Many of the farmers that I know are expecting the best harvests of their lives. The towering maize stalks in their fields will yield 10 to 20 bags of produce per […]

Will South Sudan Be Able to Stave Off a Food Crisis?

January 9, 2011


Originally published in The National: South Sudan went to the polls yesterday to vote on whether to secede from the north, the culmination of a peace process that ended decades of civil war. Balloting will last a week, but it appears a foregone conclusion that the country will vote for independence. No one is sure, […]

Bribes and Prejudice

September 24, 2009


Originally published in The National: In Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, the Kenyan government doesn’t collect trash, provide electricity lines, or send police to patrol the streets. Children play next to the runoff from makeshift outhouses; they pick up the flotsam and jetsam they find in alleyways – old plastic bottles, worn shoes, tin cans – […]