Monthly Archives: April 2011

Dear America

I always wanted to say that :-)

Anyway, I have learned a few things about Americans while here in DC.

Its been a beautiful experience.

The public transport system is amazing, but someone needs to build the Americans faster escalators. Don’t get me wrong, they work just great, especially in the subway, but these Americans can’t just stand in one place and wait for the escalators to reach the destination, they are always running up and down the escalators!

Relax, Dear Americans, unless the escalators is part of your work out..take a break, stop…for a minute or two..or take the stairs….

My Washington DC Diary

Sunday, 10th April 2011
Touchdown doles international airport in dc, destination: George Washington university inn

The time difference between Nairobi and Washington dc is 7 hours. Got to the hotel at about 10.00am, but there were no rooms available until 3pm, lucky me, there was a South African journalist on the shuttle to the hotel. He suggested we take a walk around Washington, and like 2 tourists we did the rounds, Lincoln Park, around white house, and a kite festival at the Lincoln Park.

And then Monday came, the excitement! Here’s a brief diary:

Monday 10.00am
Press conference: global economic outlook
Global projections 4.5%
Developing countries & emerging economies 6.5%

Tuesday, 10.00am
Global financial analysis
Technical hitches

2.00pm -John Lipsky
Before the crisis

Talks centered on the role of the IMF, World Bank, donor countries. Lipsky said a closed economy is not the answer, globalization is inevitable

The way to go is sustained rapid growth, globalization. Also touched on the role of emerging markers, and confidence in these economies seen through securities held by that developed countries in emerging economies offer to international investors in their local currency, the take up is impressive, also a sign that other currencies other than the dollar, etc are now becoming strong. The IMF is also changing; the fund has needed to think in crisis prevention and not just crisis support. Conditionality was a sticky issue especially for low income economies, but IMF says if countries can be encouraged to carry out reforms that will benefit the economy, then conditionalities are here to stay.

Wednesday
Mark plant-IMF Africa department.

It was interesting discussions around the relationship between African countries and the IMF. Africa is not a country. The diversification is immense and each country is treated in its own respect, and it is time the world started viewing it as such. I had a one on one later with mark plant

Thursday

Editing, filming links and press conferences by World Bank and the IMF.
Jobs, inflation, hunger, and unbalanced growth across global economies are similar challenges in Developing countries including those in Sub-Saharan Africa to grow at 6.5% in 2011-2012. Political stability and sustained growth programs are key to tangible growth, which should trickle down to the citizens of every country. Kenya has received millions of dollars to be pumped into growth oriented projects under the vision 2030.

Friday:
Focus on the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Greece featured heavily. We’re thinking of going for a reggae evening in Georgetown. Can’t wait! And a gentleman asks me aside and in faltering English asks me “Pretty woman, the movie, is about you?” how’s that for a fine week!

Tomorrow and Sunday we meet African ministers of finance. Sunday, the communiqué is released. I plan for more interviews, on and off the record.

So far, I love Washington dc….oh the evenings are not documented..;-)

…HAS THE CHURCH REALLY READ THE BIBLE?

Written on the 9th of April on my way to Washington DC for the IMF spring meetings

Im writing this at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa while waiting to board my flight to Washington DC for the IMF annual springs Meeting. Im excited. Its my first visit to the US and it does feel good that im not going as a student or one in search of the American dream. Im going for work, in times like this, Im glad i am a journalist.

In 2010, while still at CNBC, over a media lunch with the IMF team that was in town from Washington, I managed to squeeze an interview with IMF Chief Dominic Strauss Khan, one that happened too fast for my own good. I had been scheduled to Interview Africa’s head of the IMF, who was in and out of tight meetings that afternoon, but when I was seated next to the man himself, I spoke to him, and his media people, and a few minutes later,the Interview was arranged at his Serena Hotel suite.

That’s how im part of the group of 35 journalists from across the world invited to DC for a joirnalism fellowship as well as covering this event. Im humbled, my sisters think i’ am m very lucky, and the lady who gave me a visa says God must love me very much( a few miracles happened ). All in all, I am excited.

But that’s not what this blog is about.

On the plane i had the standard newspaper that kept me busy, from stories of the last 3 of the Ocampo six, with the highlight of Uhuru’s Queens Counsel defence team, Joseph Kony’s atrocities as told through the child soldiers who are now students in Gulu secondary school.

But it was the editorial pages that had me glued. Specifically Barak Muluka’s article on the high powered events that Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto held weeks before their appearances at the International Criminal Court, for Crimes against humanity following the 2007 post election violence that saw over 1000 people dead and over 500,000 people displaced.

Muluka spoke with the voice of a Kenyan who has not forgotten what this really is all about. As thousands prayed and showed support for Ruto and Uhuru, the church played a key role in praying for the Ocampo six, but not one preacher mentioned the IDP’s. No one did, even once pray for the IDP’s who, 3 years later still live in tented camps around the country.

Has the Church really read the bible? Is the Question Barak Muluka asks.

This article made me angry, at the misplaced priorities of our government.

Hundreds of millions have been spent to try and get deferral from the ICC, and more millions to take 40 MP’s to support the Ocampo six.

Support is a good thing, especially when, as the lawmakers say, everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.

But now, more than ever, is when we should turn our attention to the very people that bore the brunt of what has taken the six to the hague.

Is our memory so short?

I will never forget the TV scrolls that 29th of December, when the chaos started and TV stations began reporting on the chaos as they began. I cried, we all cried as we saw our country get ripped apart by ethnicity, and innocent people who probably did not even vote lost their lives or their family members, property and confidence in the institutions that are supposed to protect them.

Tomorrow is the homecoming party. i will not be there to see it, but I would like to know what Ruto and Uhuru would say about the IDP’s.

2012 is an election year, and if i had anything to do with it, I would not hold an election until the IDP’s are resettled.