The matter of forest fires is urgent, even in Africa

My people where I come from have a saying that when the house is on fire, even the owner enjoys the warmth. This is to say that, despite the calamity, all is not lost. The proverb is, however, often used in happier occasions. When, say, a bull is being feasted upon, its owner may summon the...

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 12:00 AM

Kiswahili as an antidote to xenophobia in South Africa

This year’s International Literacy Day, observed last Sunday, was held under the theme Literacy and Multiculturalism. It came just after the latest round of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, aptly underscoring the role multiculturalism could play in quieting the mobs. Kiswahili, an East...

Saturday, September 14, 2019, 12:00 AM

Silencing the guns by 2020 not likely, extend the deadline

In July the African Union declared the month of September the Africa Amnesty Month to “silence the guns” by 2020. Dedicating the month is meant to promote country-led initiatives for voluntary surrender of illicit weapons in civilian possession on the conditions of anonymity and...

Saturday, September 7, 2019, 12:00 AM

How Africa escapes the 419 scammers

Even as the email scams are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, few if any of the victims are being reported in Africa. A cynic I know has suggested that it is when the email or 419 scams, as they are also known, start hitting Africa that we shall know we have come to our own in the...

Saturday, August 31, 2019, 12:00 AM

Where are EAC open education resources?

East Africa has a number of virtual universities and other institutions with open education resources (OER) repositories and portals. However, one does not often get to hear much about them. This is puzzling, they should be in the open touting their potential. How much would the Open University...

Saturday, August 24, 2019, 12:00 AM

Don’t mess with the flies, cherish them

Some people have joked that there seem to be an international year for ‘almost anything under the sun’. Thus, when the subject came up in a small gathering of my acquaintances that this is the International Year of the Fly, it was taken as a pun. It, however, puzzled someone to...

Saturday, August 17, 2019, 12:00 AM

Growing urbanisation will do Africa good yet

It is a human thing that many of us may delight in a ‘good’ jibe hurled at those perceived not too kind to us. Thus, when the then BBC Business Editor Larry Madowo recently took a dig at the western media for their often poor portrayal of Africa, there were many cheers on social media...

Saturday, August 10, 2019, 12:00 AM

Telcos owe their clients' fidelity in service

An incident earlier this week with my local mobile service provider intrigued me to find out how many of my East African compatriots might have experienced the frustration of an uncompleted cross-border transaction. In the incident, I successfully completed the first few steps after initiating the...

Saturday, August 3, 2019, 12:00 AM

When Beyoncé thrilled and disappointed East Africans

Rwandan humour took to the social media last week tapping from a line in the US musician Beyoncé’s lyrics to the song “Mood 4 Eva”. The line, “My baby father, bloodline Rwanda”, seems to suggest that her husband, the popular Black American rapper Jay Z, is descended...

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 12:00 AM

AfCFTA versus EU Economic Partnerships, who wins?

The alarming concerns about how the EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) could undermine the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) ought to be allayed. The experts should come out and calm the fears. Though the concerns have been there for a while as AfCFTA has been taking shape, they...

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 12:00 AM

If global prices don’t work, let’s keep EA oil for ourselves

All the countries in East Africa, including Ethiopia, have something to talk about oil. Except for Tanzania and Burundi, which are still prospecting and expecting good results, all the others have confirmed reserves of crude oil. Ethiopia leads with confirmed reserves of at least 5.1 billion...

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 12:00 AM

AfCTA opportunity to grow Africa’s influence in globalisation

Globalisation has not been as robust as it should be and has been slowing in the past decade since the 2008 financial crisis. This has given rise to the term “slowbolisation”, coined to describe the slowing global trade and commerce. It is also seen as temporary, informed by the view...

Saturday, July 6, 2019, 12:02 AM

Look out for Kinyarwanda version of the feminist charter

We now boast the Kinyarwanda version of the Charter of Feminist Principles for African Feminists. The fight for gender equality has just got stronger, particularly at the grassroots where almost every woman is literate in the language. A friend has likened the African Feminist Charter to...

Saturday, June 29, 2019, 12:00 AM

Why Gandhi statue should have been left standing

Mahatma Gandhi will long remain on our conversations. One of the reasons is that this year India will be marking his 150th birthday. The year-long celebration includes commemorative activities recalling his ideals. These will find their height on October 2nd, the date of his birth in 1869.  ...

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 12:00 AM

How Africa reclaimed its IP rights

The right to Intellectual Property (IP) in Africa was not always a given. It had to be earned. Intellectual property rights refer to one’s ownership and exclusive rights to benefit or use in any way creations of his mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and such like...

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 12:00 AM

East African CEOs show digital progress but ...

The biggest risk many banks once faced in their operations was robbery and collusion. Today, we are seeing 12,000 to 14,000 hits every month on our firewalls with most of these threats emanating from Eastern Europe. Those words were recently uttered to the media by Equity Group’s Managing...

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 12:00 AM

Men are not weak, just inhabitants of their time

A friend of mine is an ardent bodybuilder. He is the thoughtful kind who put on ties and power suits. He is a banker. When out of his suit after work, you might find him working his glisteningly hard abs and bulging biceps in the gym. Like many bodybuilders, he is also not averse to showing off...

Saturday, June 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

Safeguard sand’s ecological role, stem the harvesting

At a meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Sydney, Australia, in July 2003, scientists revealed a startling finding; that, there are 10 times more stars in the night sky than grains of sand in the world's deserts and beaches. As told in The Telegraph, the astronomers had worked...

Saturday, May 25, 2019, 12:30 AM

A look into the cost of cross-border mobile money transfer

Cross-border mobile money transfer is now seamless across East Africa, particularly between Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. And though there has been the occasional glitch compromising transfer, it is only getting better. Improvement in the service has been progressive this past decade as the...

Saturday, May 18, 2019, 12:00 AM

The biological argument that Semenya lost

It is highly probable that the race that South African athlete Caster Semenya won at last week’s IAAF Diamond League event in Doha may be her last, at least in the 800-metre category. She easily won the race in characteristic flair, claiming her 30th consecutive victory in 1min 54.98sec...

Saturday, May 11, 2019, 12:00 AM