Saturday, November 25, 2006

Opportunities on the horizon

Yesterday, for about an hour, Mt. Kenya was clearly visible from Nairobi, high in the horizon with its snow peaks. It's occasionally visible, usually early in the morning and it was a sight to see until some clouds moved in.

looked like this

Anyway, also on the horizon is:

Cheap Flights:
East African Safari Air has introduced a buy one, get one free ticket to Mombasa up to December 12.

also Coldtusker & Kenya Airways were correct about Kisumu - today EASA has also canceled flights to Kisumu citing the poor state of the runway

VIA Uganda has introduced one way fares of $69 from Nairobi to Entebbe starting on Monday.

Hotel revival :
At the Coast new hotels are springing up to capture the increasing number of tourists and visitors at the coast. Sarova are adding a hotel at the South Coast, Neptune may add two facilities more while 2007 could also see a return of Intercontinental hotels to the Kenya coast.

Marital lawyers:
Yesterday also had a nice chat with a group at which it was unanimously agreed that, in light of the Samuel Gichuru divorce & property fight, there is a growth market for lawyers who specialize in divorce cases, investigators to trace assets, and lawyers to draft creative prenuptial agreements.

Green cards: Just over a week left in the US 2008 diversity visa lotter as applications must be submitted online by Sunday December 3.

Women directors at state corporations of the Republic of Kenya: Following President Kibaki’s recent directive that 30% of the posts in public service be allocated to women, the government now invites qualified Kenyan women invited to submit their CV's to join the boards of state corporations – they must be university graduates with proven track records in senior management experience and be individuals of high integrity. Submit CV’s to the Secretary, state corporation advisory committee, Office of president, P O Box 62345-00200 or KICC 9th floor Nairobi.

Other Jobs

East African breweries:
- Head of human resources – EABL Kenya demand
- Human resource manager – EABL Kenya supply
Apply to by 8/12

Country sales representative (Tanzania) at Haco. Apply to by 1/12

Head of marketing at Housing Finance. Apply to by 4/12

Project administrator at ICRAF (world Agroforestry centre)/CIMMYT. Apply to by 8/12

ICT strategy consultants at Kenya airports authority. Apply through

Kenya commercial bank (Tanzania)
- Head of corporate banking
- Head of retail banking
Apply to the divisional director HR KCB 48400-00100 by 30/11

Public relations officer at Pan Africa Insurance. Apply to by 29/11

Safaricom careers: senior manager reporting, optimization engineer, senior optimization engineer, senior CRM systems developer, credit controller, senior manager – organization development & change management.

Tiomin :
- Chief accountant
- Internal auditor
- Human resource officer
apply to by 30/11

There’s more madness from the City Council of Nairobi whose strong arm tactics continue to frighten businesses out of downtown Nairobi. From knocking over restaurant sidewalk flower pots even as they plant their own at roundabouts, to charging exorbitant amounts for businesses to put up signboards (i.e. advertising) or any promotion. Yesterday Kenya airways staff were handing out flyers promoting the “2,500 to Mombasa fares” and they all bore “city council planning department/urban design/development section” stamps at the back - I wonder how much that cost or how long it took someone to rubber stamp each flyer.

Now, barely a month we laughed at the mayor’s ludicrous suggestion to double parking charges (i.e. 70 shillings in the morning 70 in afternoon), the council has informed motorists that from December 1, parking off-street will costs 100 shillings per entry - previously it was 100 per day. Also the new fee applies to motorists who bought and paid for quarterly monthly permits. So in addition the almost 4,000 shillings they paid in October, they will have to fork over another 500 per week.


Ssembonge said...

Why does NCC charge so much for non-existant parking spots. What's more, the security of your car is not guaranteed.

I learnt the hard way that its much cheaper to pay the extra 30/= for the secured parking at High Court or Barclays Plaza than parking on the streets. Two doors and a damaged car stereo is a high price to pay not counting time wasted getting them replaced.

Kudrinketh said...

Thanx for the updates.It sure is getting expensive being a driver in CBD,maybe businesses should start relocating to the suburbs to decongest the CBD.

The easiest solution would be to turn the CBD into a 24 hrs zone and have employees have at least two alternating shifts.Of course the city would have to be well lit with security patrols, and as soon as people start moving in big numbers,insecurity would decline.

How sincere is the govt efforts at affirmative action,or is this just another pre-election ploy?

Kudos to Dr.Bitange Ndemo(PS Ministry of Information and Communications) for taking time off his busy schedule to discuss the undersea cable pact and related IT issues with Mashadites.was very informative.I hope your accessibility rubs off on your govt collegues.Keep up with the good work.

Anonymous said...

Kisumu & KQ - I have asked this question on multiple occasions but no-one answered:
Who do you trust more - KQ or KAA?

I trust KQ over KAA which probably hired some jua kali contractor who paid a kickback to patch up the runways using sub-standard materials!

NCC & Parking - Bloated workforce & mayor is "buying" loyalty. We need DIRECT Mayoral elections. Give the Mayor real powers thus we know where the buck stops!
No wonder businesses are running away to Upper Hill among other suburbs. Nairobi's CBD will die.

Another great place to park is Nakumatt Mega.

Competition for KQ - About time but will the newcomers survive beyond the holidays?
At $140+tax, I will definitely make a trip to Kampala!

Why doesn't KQ fly to Juba?

E-Nyce said...

I don't understand the hotel rush. No-no, I understand the capitalist greed driving it. But how are they going to build more hotels in less than one month? Unless these were already under construction?

bankelele, we New Yorkers normally don't have sympathy for those @#%^&$! people who still "need a car" to get around an urban city, when there is perfectly good public transit available. I guess the thought of having to share a seat with the plebes is not in their radar. :sniff:

Still, having had to do just a one-week commute from Karen to nbi, and a 2-week jaunt from Eastlands, we'll cut you some slack on the parking grief you have to go thru.

Maybe you can do what peep the world over do - drive/park your car to some place near city center (one of the parking lots at a shopping center?), and public trans->it from there.

Gathunuku said...

How to fix the council? Direct elections for mayors

69/\/\ said...

This Kisumu airport thing is getting ridiculous. At least now we can tell which airlines are not Nigerianlike.

We have direct election for our MPs and the president so I don't think that might be the silver bullet.

field negro said...

Yo thanks for the updated from the motherland! I love reading about the inner workings of your country.

Anonymous said...

e-nyce: R u from Kenya?
When were you in Kenya?
Taxis are VERY expensive & unreliable in Nairobi.
The bus system is poor & not extensive.
Unlike NYC, most Nairobians live in the suburbs thus the bus stop could be 1 mile from your house!
Insecurity is high if you have to walk esp at night.
LOL... leaving your car at a shopping center? It will be towed if not stolen!

e-nyce, you talk like a NGO that dispenses "western" solutions to Kenyan problems without being on the ground!

69 - Direct elections are BETTER than the current set-up. But a powerful mayor.

Ssembonge said...

Yankee's don't use public transport because they like it. They can't afford to commute. It costs time, money and effort to get around the New York by car. But it costs much more to live in the city. Same with Boston, DC, LA and all other big US cities. Nobody enjoys riding the cattle transporters to work.

In the outskirts of Nairobi and other major towns, we now have boda boda's and tuk tuks. Matatu's are the main mode of transport to CBD.

Taxi's have become more affordable as there has been an influx of re-cons.

Gish said...

NCC and the mayor behave like they are doing us all favors yet we all know that its a right. The thought of Kshs.100 per entry is sickening since even after the hike not much will be done. If only we could see what they have done with the 70 bob that they have been collecting. Does that mean that more security and all. I agree maybe the way forward is direct elections for this jokers. Lookd like most people in the government all they think about is the extra money or is it a rush to kame as much before they are shown the door next year.
thanks for the continous updates.

Jasmin said...

BTW what happened to Say No to City Council campaign?

Anonymous said...

NCC is discouraging business in Kenya. I have seen one of the receipt for distributing flyers and its a huge chunk of money,

chumviKiasi said...

Those guys who say driving is better than public commuting, have obviously not had to visit a doctor to get checked out because of all the driving one is doing. I do drive to work daily, I would kill to be able to take public transportation. Throw in the costs of the vehicle, maintenance, gas etc say $700+ a month and you will be hard pressed to explain to me the advantages of having a vehicle. Now with Peapod doing grocery deliveries, my car is a relic that will soon see my backside.

Mitzy said...

Banks, what vantage point in Nairobi is that for the early morning Mt. Kenya sighting?
And is it true that Nbi-Entebbe route on KQ is expensive because the UG govt. has to have a cut of the ticket fare?

Ssembonge said...

$700 bucks for a car per month is excessive. Just add the money to your rent/mortgage and live close to work.

Here is my monthly calculation
Car note $190 (already paid off)
Gas $20 x 4 = 80
Insurance $55
Service/3 months $20
Total cost $350

Car already paid off, my monthly outgoing is $155 plus I own a car.

What I get
15 min commute to work... priceless
Door-to-door convenience
No waiting, shoving or rushing
Morning breeze... priceless
Drive car for other uses -social, shopping, etc.

Should I commute

Its means taking the bus.
Total time approximately 1 hr each way. I would have to live close to the bus-stop, subway, etc. That means living in undesirable areas.

E-Nyce said...

Ha-ha guyz, have your fun. Yeah, it is western-sounding ideas, but they could work. Maybe?

@coldtusker: When did I last live/work in Nairobi? Jun-Aug 2006! And it was *not* for a NGO, it was a good ole profit-making IT consultancy.

No, I'm not Kenyan. Happy now?

I'm not talking about leaving your car at a shopping centre unattended! Ha! Aren't there overpriced parking lots in the city, like in NY (with 18.5% parking lot tax)? Any other ideas for avoiding the parking charge?

I lived in Eastlands near Tusker Mattress shopping center. Ma-3's all along that route. But that ain't really the suburbs, at least not from a westerner's POV. The short-term commute from Karen was also close to the road, 5-10 min walk to the road, but just took so long to get into town.

And I got a friend who lives across some 'valley' from State House. Great apt complex. Although you got to walk 5-10min up a hill, Ma's are there and frequent. Although confess that night-time commuting is not an option.

Yo ssembonge:
some folk like public commuting, maybe just the thought of saving money or avoidong hassle of driving/parking. I ain't one of those lucky ones, hate my commute via subway, but it least it's direct, no transferring to another line, and it's only $2 US for a +40min ride. Cie la vie.

bankelele said...

Ssembonge: Always opt for off-street parking

Kudrinketh: So many 'affluent' businesses have relocated to Upper Hill, Kilimani, Westlands.
- There's actualy a city by-law that if you put up a building, you have to have to reserve a couple of floors for vehicle parking.
- alternate work hours not feasible now IMHO
- Clealy theer are long-standing issues at KAA Kismumu
- On mayors, I think they're actualy powerless compared to councillors and town clerk

E-Nyce: Hopefuly hotel rush will not repeat the 80's boom of too many hotel beds.
- I prefer driving as I can leave town later e.g. 8 PM when there's less traffic

Gathunuku: Local government reforms will be a tough thing. Minister Maitha had a lot of steam for reform before he passed on, since then ...nada

69/\/\: Hopefuly we'll never have a Nigeria-like airspace.

field negro: you're welcome

Ssembonge: One can use matatu's ok, but some route fares are unpredicatble & expensive - having a car gives you the freedom to go anywhere, anytime

Gish: I must say the mayor is an amusing chap. Better acccounting by the councils (of money raised) would be a start, not just asking for more money from parking and LATF to pay salaries

Jasmin: I think they won their case which was against a hike in land rates. do a google search for "wecandoit nairobi"

chumviKiasi: On weekends & night, hands down, driving is better. But for 8 to 5 commute, matayu may be better, depending on where you live

Mitzy: It was very visible on Friday mornign (not today though) just look towards Ngara from CBD
- no idea about UG taxes, but country flight arrangements are riddled with loopholes to benefit local carriers

Anonymous said...

E-nyce - There are parking lots (private) e.g. Nakumatt Mega (discount if you shop there at certain hours).

If NCC increases charges, I think more lots will come up BUT the fools also approve building structures thus would see efficient/safe parking as competition.

I would welcome a safe "CBD" shuttle. Saw that in US cities. Goes from major transit stops (esp at peak hours) around the CBD.

NYC has a MAJOR plus over Nairobi... the metro (underground train) that lets you go almost anywhere fast, (relatively) cheap & efficiently.

Ma3 are plenty during certain hours otherwise a pain but if it rains they double the price!


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