Choosing Kenya:Experience from the Obama Home Coming

Shadrack Agaki


Kenya is in the news, not in a bad reason this time, but for some exciting news. I have stated before that our spirit is United, today I reiterate that we are the social innovation power house.

Given that the Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be held hear in this beautiful country, I am proud that I am the son and heir of the coming prosperity.

This gives me a reason to continue believing that we are the next Frontier in all areas including what is dear to me; social justice and respect for humanity.

I write today to urge my fellow youths in Africa, that the fact that the powerful man will be landing here if a few hours from now, is a vindication of our dream, that we have what it takes to transform Africa.

You may chose to believe me or not, but I am convinced that the…

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Pure Ingenuity


One of my favorite words in the world is ingenuity. It’s my go to definition for people in agriculture who not only solve their problems but do so with a curiousity and a flair that most people do not have.This attitude could be compared to that of an architect or an inventor who takes functionality, visual impact, sustainability and usuability, merging them all into one.

Using future technologies or even creating unique methods and techniques is now a common trend. Not only do the ingenious people of agriculture create or produce great products for consumption but their work also inspires others of all ages to create  as well. We all need some inspiration sometimes, you just have to know where to look.

Furniture Farming

ThisBBC Report introduces us to Gavin Munroe, “the man who grows fields full of tables and chairs”. Taking his experiences as a child of having to straighten…

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Why calls for proposals are not ideal for African agriculture and rural development

From the People's Market

Over the past few years, calls for proposals have become the main instrument used by development organisations to support agriculture and rural development initiatives in African countries. Besides setting the agenda, this approach has also become a way for development organisations to freely harvest ideas. There is also a lot of double dipping in calls for proposals with bidders recycling proposals to fit particular calls.  For most calls for proposals, evaluators are people from outside the country who do not understand the context or the business of the applicants.  This means the main result is a desk appraisal rather than physical appraisal where the evaluators engage in face to face dialogue with applicants as well as with other actors who are currently working with the applicants, for instance farmers, processors and traders, who should be used as references in appraising proposals.  It doesn’t make sense to base funding conclusions and…

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Press Release- 16 July 2015, Harare


Zimbabwean Tech entrepreneurs launch a streamlined funeral coordination platform called The platform leverages on SMS and whatsapp to notify and share funeral updates to their targeted audience. This came after the founder experienced logistical hardships and frustrations after losing his grand parents . The funeral was to be held in a different city ( 8 hours away ) , coordinating things was a nightmare , with some family members overseas and others in neighbouring countries , the planning process was not an easy task.

On the platform, a user (funeral organizer) has to sign up and login to create the deceased profile. The profile is made up of the dates and name of the deceased, picture, google map directions and full funeral event details/program. These details are then captured on…

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Why economists fail in Africa


A great new book is just out by Morten Jerven called Africa: Why Economists Get it Wrong. It is a follow up to his excellent 2013 book, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It that I featured several times in this blog.

He argues: “There has been a chronic failure among economists to explain growth in Africa. The methods and analytical angles they have used to explain relative failure in Africa were conceived in the 1990s, but these were unsuitable for explaining growth in the 1960s or growth since the 2000s”.

Jerven does not deny that there has been economic failure in Africa. Zimbabwe is of course a case in point. But this was not generic failure, over the whole ‘post-colonial’ period across a whole continent. Rather there have been variations: growth in fits and starts, cycles of successes and…

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What if Greece was in Africa?


I ended last week’s blog with a call for the rejection of the economics of the mainstream. Last week the Greek people voted resoundingly against the conditions of austerity imposed by creditors. Democracy spoke loudly with the ‘no’ vote in the referendum, and it was the younger generation who came in behind Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Yet in a rollercoaster week the Syriza government reversed its principled rejection of the measures, and proposed a draconian if pragmatic alternative. This in turn was rejected by hardliners in Europe, isolating Greece and forcing a ‘deal’ (see #Thisisacoup). Some have asked what can Africa learn from Greece?; in this blog I argue that Greece (and others) can learn a lot from African experience.

Debt is on the rise again not just in Greece, but across the world. A decline in commodity prices with a strengthening of the US dollar makes debt unsustainable…

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Resources for research promotion and communication

Tim Doherty

Source: Source:

Today I was lucky enough to present at the InSPiRE conference in Perth, Western Australia. InSPiRE stands for Inter-University School Postgraduate Research Excellence. The conference is run by AWARE (Advancing Western Australian Research Education), which is a collaboration between the graduate research schools of WA’s five universities. InSPiRE runs over five days and was attended by more than 200 post-grad students from the five unis.

My talk was titled “Harnessing the power of both traditional and social media for research promotion“. In a nutshell, I discussed strategies for research promotion that include engagement with journalists, tips for interviews, using online news outlets (e.g. The Conversation) and the benefits of Twitter.

I have put together a list of resources that provide some really useful information on using different types of media for research communication. The scope is biased towards the sciences, but the information is relevant to all disciplines. The…

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Final United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report published - what comes after the MDGs?

The The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 was launched in Oslo, Norway by the Secretary-General on 6 July 2015. The report provides a final assessment of global and regional progress towards the MDGs since their endorsement in 2000. It shows that significant progress has been made across all goals and that the global efforts to achieve the MDGs have saved the lives of millions and improved conditions for many more around the world. The report also acknowledges uneven progress and shortfalls in many areas, which need to be addressed in the new universal and transformative post-2015 development agenda.

The report is based on a set of comprehensive official statistics compiled by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG indicators led by the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The report is available in all UN languages. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and

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