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Editorial: A Fibreoptic Blur Print E-mail
Monday, 18 January 2010

It's a blur of Seacom and fibreoptic cable wherever you look in the Kenya news, and yes, this is fantastic. I feel relief. Palpable relief. I won't miss those headachey, tense moments of staring at the screen willing, WILLING that page to download. I don't think that the fibreoptic cable is going to be the magic bullet, nor do I think that it's going to single-handedly hatch a thriving call centre and outsourcing industry: Connectivity is a means to an end, and you need a solid business idea rather than merely the ICT infrastructure (and doing business in Kenya has its own issues, most recently including dodging day-time carjackers and kidnappers who also appreciate the ICT industry and take ransom payments by mobile transfers). But the efficiency gains of the fibreoptic connection for existing businesses alone are worth a party.

And with the promise of celebrations and ICT, may I ask the Nairobians to take a step across the herbaceous border between business and arts and invite you to the StoryMoja Hay Festival this weekend? Why do I put such arty things in a newsletter from a business magazine, you wonder? Easy:

I'm really excited to meet one of my favouritest authors, Vikram Seth, but in addition to actual, real authors of actual, real literature, there are a whole lot of sessions that are intended to nurture ideas and debate around issues like entrepreneurship, climate change, IT, music, film, education etc. Ideas, debate and creativity are necessary for change, and are vital for business. Incidentally, in a shameless act of self promotion, I'll be on a panel on online business opportunities on Friday from 12.00.

Also, I think the StoryMoja Festival has all the potential to grow into Kenya 's literary equivalent of the Cape Town Jazz Festival. A draw for tourists, and much better international headlines than the latest Mungiki rampage, not so?

29 July 2009



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