Saturday, July 25, 2009

Building a Knowledge-Based Economy In Kenya: The Role of the Diaspora

You are invited to participate in the forthcoming second Kenyan Diaspora International Conference and Investment Forum to be held in Atlanta, Georgia from August 20, 2009 through August 22, 2009. The conference is a follow-up to the first Diaspora Conference and Investment Forum held in Atlanta in March, 2007 which was a resounding success.

The theme of the conference is "Building a Knowledge-Based Economy in Kenya: The Role of the Kenyan Diaspora." The conference will include an Information Communication Technology ("ICT") mini-conference, and an Investment Forum. Running parallel to the conference component will be an Expo and Career Fair. The conference will bring together policymakers from Kenya, scholars, entrepreneurs, business leaders, the Kenyan Diaspora, and the general public.

This biennial event presents an opportunity through which multiple stakeholders can engage the Kenyan Diaspora and potential foreign investors on effective initiatives to build productive partnerships in support of Kenya’s transformation into an information and knowledge-based economy. To learn more about the event, please visit the conference website.

Featured speakers, include:

Dr. Ndemo: PS Ministry of Information & Communication, Kenya
Ms. Esther Koimett: Investment Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Kenya
Mr. Michael Joseph: CEO, Safaricom Ltd
Prof. Olive Mugenda: Vice Chancellor, Kenyatta University, Kenya
Dr. Wahome Gakuru: Director of Marketing, Advocacy and Policy, Equity Bank

The conference presents an opportunity to learn, network, and explore investment opportunities emerging in Kenya. Come and meet old friends, make new acquaintances and network with a broad spectrum of people. Don't miss this opportunity! Register today. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Take the opportunity to make your brand visible to a wide target audience before, during, and after the conference.

Hope to see you there!

Mama Shujaa.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Can you read my mind?

More importantly, do you want to read my mind? I think Facebook does, and I somewhat reluctantly, am acquiescing. I logged onto FB this evening and viola! my home page asks me what's on my mind and honest being my middle name, I say:

MJ is on my mind.


I Know.

Blame It On The Boogie. :-)

Sambazaing you much love [sambaza=share]

Mama Shujaa

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We Had Him

We Had Him by Maya Angelou

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing,
now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace.
Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing.
No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Political Agility?

Ah, but if you have no expectations, You can never have a disappointment.
(Stephen Joshua Sondheim (1930- )

I am disappointed. It seems the politics did not stay out of this. We were contacted by the Kenya Embassy in Washington, D.C. and charged with nominating amongst us, Kenyans in the Diaspora (the US, Mexico and Columbia), ONE member of the Diaspora to participate in the July 29- Aug 2 conference in Nairobi.

The Ambassador gave us a mandate, with very little time to complete it. We volunteered hard-found time and energy to come up with a painstakingly transparent process. After numerous meetings, conference calls, and the review of writing samples, etc., we completed the process and communicated the selection of our nominee to the Embassy well within the given deadline, June 30, 2009.

After receiving no response from the Embassy, I made the phone call that would intimate that perhaps all of our hard work was for naught. Chronic Politics As Usual?! And while I'm not one to sip on the grapevine juice, news that a high ranking female staffer at the Embassy may have hand-picked the candidate weeks ago, is extremely disappointing.

At the end of the day, if we confirm that to be the case my question will be: In his efforts to portray himself as Ambassador for the Kenya Diaspora, will he have shown political agility, or just dreadful political maneuverings and for/to whose advantage?

Mama Shujaa