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2011: Year In Review


Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Well it’s a wrap for the year 2011. What a year this has been. I look back at what it is that made the year notable in the tech scene both locally and internationally. There’s a lot to mention but since I’ve focused a on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and stuff) and their corresponding manufactures and their operating systems, this will take a size-able chunk of my review of the year 2011. Kindly read on.

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Kenyans4Kenya: Goodwill and The Power of Social Media & Mobile Money Transfer


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A quick look at the Kenyan Twitterverse today shows two trends. There has been #AlfredMutua which did trend due to the ignorance of a government officer who believes that the government is always right even when its evident the opposite is true. Of course the other trending topic was #Kenyans4Kenya which I link with it’s brother(or sister), #FeedKE.

The initiative which is meant to raise funds to help Kenyans facing starvation in various parts of the country has been a true test of the power of social media, the blogosphere and emergent money transfer systems like M-PESA mobile money transfer and others like Airtel Money. Kenyans have flocked various online forums and social networks to express their solidarity with their starving countrymen and also sympathize with them and condole the families of those who lost their loved ones in what has been described as East Africa’s worst famine in sixty years.

People have overwhelmingly swarmed the Facebook page of the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ initiative to contribute both in thought and kind. Twitter is even a bigger success story. With over Ksh 15milliom being raised in the first 24hours of the launch of the initiative, the power of mobile money transfer and social media cannot be downplayed.

Indeed to anyone who will read this blog post, I urge you to help other Kenyans facing starvation. Send your M-PESA donation to paybill number 111111 or 10000 using the account name “feedke”.

It is such a pleasure that social media and mobile money transfer can be integrated to help save lives in our nation.

A special thank you to the various corporates who’ve come out to support this noble cause.

Also posted at ECHENZE KENYA

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A Tech Savvy Chief Justice for Kenya


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Late on Friday afternoon word went round in Kenyan internet circles and the blogosphere that the new Chief Justice, Dr Willy Munyoki Mutunga(just call him Willy, he says) had joined the revolutionary social media world to connect with “his bosses” as he clearly put it. That’s my CJ people!

That is such a great gesture of interaction never witnessed before. For a man of his stature, to look down and tell his fellow countrymen that it’s not all about himself but themselves is commendable. It is not lost on Kenyans that this is otherwise one of the very conservative offices in the land. However, thanks to Dr Mutunga and his equally reform minded deputy, Mrs Nancy Baraza, the judiciary is fast establishing a connection with the common man on the street.

I had a feeling right from the start that things would be different when he showed up for his swearing in at State House in a simple suit. That’s my CJ people! Not only did the previous dress code of the CJ look archaic, it was intimidating. Simply put, it had no connection with the bosses, the Kenyan taxpayers nor did it reflect on our national ideals as a Kenya independent of colonial practices. Away with the colonial wigs any flowing red robes!

That this would be a judiciary with a independence is not lost on anyone. Not only did Dr Mutunga join Facebook and Twitter, he expressed his hope that the whole judiciary should be connected. Well said Willy, I look forward to following all the judges on Twitter. Hope they follow suit. That tweet he posted about his colleagues on the bench joining him on social media reminds me of the tech savvy Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta who recently, while presenting the 2011-2012 budget statement, urged other MPs to embrace social media. Of course the Kenyan political class has tried with the DPM, Narc Kenya chairperson Martha Karua and Presidential hopeful Peter Kenneth being the other active MPs on social media.

I believe the greatest lesson we can learn from Dr Mutunga is that servant leadership is what Kenya has lacked for long. It is this servant leadership that kenyans yearn for. Leaders who can go where their bosses, the people of Kenya, are and engage them meaningfully. The CJ enjoys alot of public goodwill and as I wrote on his Facebook wall, “Great expectations” is all Kenyans have.

All the best Willy!

Also posted at ECHENZE KENYA.

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