Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Blog Review of 2007

some significant posts from the year gone

- Began with a review of 2006. As planned, in 2007 I did fewer posts, traded fewer shares, but did not acquire new tech skills.
- A bit of TMI, but getting hospitalized was a lowpoint
- Wrote about admiration of the work ethic of
Asian businessmenand families. Made more poignant when you look at countries that have harassed such entrepreneurs.

– As more investors got tired with the hassle of share ownership, many were considering using unit trusts however a caution was the high cost of entry.
– Visit the technological graveyard and reviewed gadgets used and dumped in just a few years - including answering machines, pagers, car phones, cassettes, VHS etc.

- Review of mobile money transfer from Safaricom as a threat to debit cards and credit cards.
- Nation Business Daily was launched on March 7 - an all business weekday paper.

- The first Nairobi barcamp
- Discovered government payments online - that are larger than 5 million shillings ($71,430)
- Review of the new banks expected in 2007; but by year end only Family Bank and Gulf African had taken off.
- A visit to Masai Mara yieldedno pictures but great insights on the finances involved in the great park.

- Kenya airways had difficult quarter following the loss of a plane and strong Kenya shilling. Poor customer service has since been an issue at the stretched airline since the crash and what does an even stronger shilling at the end of 2007 portend for their income position?
- Got a copy of the controversial media bill, and as predicted it was later passed by a vindictive parliament, before it was amended.
- How much does a week in Kampala cost?

- The first anniversary of the collapse of Uchumi and this was shortly followed by one of several unsuccessful initiatives to get shareholders to invest more funds into and revive the company.
- If you have access to some tip-earning positions (tip jar) in Kenya, you may not need to ask for bribes
- Attending TED Global - Arusha was one of highlights of 2007 for me.
- Joined long suffering shareholders at the National Bank AGM just as a new dawn beckoned for the bank.

- Is the diaspora responsible for the strong shilling and can anything be done about it?
- Attended a Talk by the MD of Rift Valley Railways on the hardships and steps to rehabilitate Kenya Railway network which had essentially collapsed.

- While majority of the country thinks parliamentarians are overpaid (also under-worked & under-taxed), the financial burden that their constituents place on them can leave them struggling for cash.

-Anti-corruption site, Wikileaks spotlights Kenya with revelations of Kroll report tracing embezzled funds abroad, money-laundering at Charterhouse bank and later the Ndungu report on land grabbing.

- Lamented my inability to view Youtube or TED Global videos, video or other vital online content owing to the slow internet connections we have.
- Attended a talk given by John Gakuo - the man largely responsible for cleaning up, making safe, and beautifying Nairobi over the last few years. The Town Clerk will have to do it all over again as hawkers, garbage, and petty crime all filtered back into the city of the December election period.
- Can we talk about something other than AIDS (in Africa)?

- Pondered if depositors in Shariah accounts enjoy the same protection (up to 100,000 shillings [$1,500] on their deposits in case a bank collapses as do other account holders.
- Watched the just released American Gangster and realized that we have several local examples i.e. drivers, clerks and other 'lowly' officials who later become business moguls.
- Witnessed the baptism of the new CFC/Stanbic bank as CFC shareholders endorsed the country largest banking merger.

- Did the first of three part review of the banking sector performance in 2007.
- Also reviewed predictions for 2007 as they appeared in the December 2006 Business Post magazine - which included a win, not a rigged/theft, of the presidential vote by the incumbent.

Plans for 2008
Travel more within Africa and explore the banking systems in other developing countries.


Anonymous said...

bankelele, thanks for the review but i think you're "missing a trick" by choosing not to comment on the current crisis in kenya-- especially as it might impact economics, but hey, that's your choice

E-Nyce said...


I can understand trying to focus on a normal life, but...This is historic moment. We want to know your thoughts and feelings, if in no other area than your views on how business will be affected.

Understood, this is not a political blog, but it would be {fill-in-the-blank} not to talk about this moment in history.

bankelele said...

e-Nyce - coming up. Just taken a while


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