Themes

Chance for Africa to Rewrite its Narrative

Global discussions on Africa have lately changed from references to a dark continent to “the next frontier for growth and expansion.” What has led to this “Africa Rising” narrative? Is it true? Are we prepared for it? Who will benefit? One need only see the ongoing scramble for Africa between the West and China and other emerging economies to realise what is at play. In the midst of this, a lot of strategic imperatives can be overlooked to the detriment of African countries which may end up being mere pawns.

Cartooning Obama: What Does Obama Mean to Kenyans?

Authored by Nanjala Nyabola - Heinrich Boell Foundation

On 24th August 2015, under the hum of security helicopters, Kenyan cartoonists and their fans came together to examine the  legacy of the Obama presidency in relation to Kenya. The US President was in Nairobi for a three day official visit as part of the official programme of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Although Obama has always been adored in Kenya, the relationship has definitely soured since his 2008 election after which it became apparent that Kenya would get no preferential treatment from the US because of the Obama connection.

Sauti Mtaani: Promoting Youth Participation in Governance

The potential of Africa’s growing youth population fuels the narrative of a continent on the rise. In Kenya, however, young people have been largely marginalised in governance as well as in development. Unless this is addressed, they are likely to be a threat to peace, a hindrance to development and an obstacle to building a strong democracy.

Energy Transition - a Kenyan Perspective

For many rural Kenyans, it’s too expensive for households to pay to be connected to the national electricity grid. Some communities, who live near the right kinds of rivers are opting for a cheaper, more sustainable option: small scale hydro plants, to power lights, charge mobile phones, and pick up on the airwaves. South Africa-based science writer Leonie Joubert takes a closer look at a thriving model for community development.

Agribusiness: Upgrading Women’s Participation

30 April 2015 - Do women in agriculture recognize the business opportunities? Why don’t banks finance women agri-entrepreneurs? What is the Government of Kenya doing to ensure women agri-entrepreneurs the same opportunities as men?

These were some of the questions raised during a one-day workshop and forum on Women in Agribusiness convened by World Bank Group Fellow, Dr. Rahma Adam, with support from HBS Nairobi.

Save our Soils

Healthy soils are crucial to human nutrition and the fight against hunger. But worldwide 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost annually. Barbara Unmüßig calls attention to the growing threat to one of Earth’s most important resources.

The United Nations has declared 2015 to be the International Year of Soils, and April 19-23 marks this year’s Global Soil Week. Such events, though not exactly glamorous, do not receive nearly the amount of attention they deserve.

The Two-Third Gender Majority Representation Principle: Politics of Gender and the “Where Next?”

Stretching the length of time seems like a very attractive idea for Kenyan legislators today. About 21 weeks to an August 2015 legislative deadline, consensus inside and out of Parliament has not been reached on a formula to ensure equitable gender representation in subsequent parliaments in line with Article 27(8) of the Constitution.

Representatives of various lobby groups attended and presented their various formulae and strategies toward gender-equitable representation in national parliament at the Heinrich Boell Stiftung’s Gender Forum on 26th March 2015

86 and Counting: Women Leaders in Kenya’s 11th Parliament

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Out of the eleven elections that have been held in Kenya since independence, the 2013 election will remain significant in Kenya’s electoral history. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 set the legal framework for promoting gender equality, which has seen a record eighty six woman elected and nominated to the eleventh Parliament. This number surpasses the total number of women representatives in the fifty years of independence combined. In the last ten parliaments, Kenya has had a total of eventy five women, fifty of them elected while the other 25 were nominated. With an increase from 9.8% to 19% representation, Kenya is now ranked 76th of the top 100 countries in the World Classification of Women in National Parliaments. The marked

Progress, a result of years of hard work by different stakeholders in the women’s movement, deserves celebration.

1.6 Million Kenyans Face Hunger- Who Will Uphold Their Right to Food?

“Over 80 per cent of Kenya’s population of 40 million derives their livelihoods from agriculture and pastoralism. Four million small farm households produce three-quarters of the country’s food. The key actors are women, who account for 75 per cent of the labour force in small-scale agriculture, manage 40 per cent of small farms and play the major role in food preparation and storage. Yet Kenya’s farmers face massive challenges. Their landholdings are small, productivity is low and most have little access to inputs, financial services and markets to sell any surplus produce. Poverty and hunger remain deep and persistent. Around 48 per cent of Kenyans, especially subsistence farmers and pastoralists, live in poverty and over 40 per cent – around 16 million people - lack sufficient food”.

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