Talks are ongoing, marches have been postponed and parliament possibly opens next week – January 15 , paving the way for the country to focus on re-building – but these initiatives can’t begin until a proper government is in place that is seen as legitimate internationally:
Finance: We have companies who have not done business in two weeks, or received their just-in-time supplies – yet they are expected to pay full installments to banks at the at the end of the month. There’s even a mega tourist hotel opened over Christmas in Mombasa! The financial sector will have to chip in terms of waivers and new financing for businesses destroyed. These include;
(i) Debt forgiveness: at a minimum a waiver of installments for three months. Loans can be refinanced and the Kenya bankers association (KBA) to agree on modalities.
(ii) Rebuilding Fund: Last year we had women’s fund, youth fund and another funds is needed, with the support of the international community. Business people should be allowed to re-build in new areas if they are not comfortable re-investing where their businesses were destroyed
(iii) Insurance fund: Since it appears that those whose cars or businesses were looted and burnt will not be compensated by the insurance companies.
(iv) Some form of specific assistance to farmers e.g. livestock, crop replacement, (see a past initiative)
Banks : may be reluctant to chip in, arguing that their portfolios in half the country have been negatively impacted – but since they are about to announce record profits for 2007 their arguments will not be viewed with sympathy.
Employment : Impact will not be seen until about mid-year when companies announce their March 2008 results (they are still competing their 2007 accounts, which were normal up to the end of December, apart form the extended public holidays). The Kiss FM breakfast crew have been vocal about cutbacks if they don’t earn income this month, and this week Barclays has asked casual stuff (who hawk personal loans) to stay home until further notice.
International relations: Mr. John Kufuor is the president of Ghana; he is also the head of the African union. He is no doubt a very busy man, yet his name has been bandied about in a cat-and-mouse, back-and-forth, should he-or not mediate the Kenyan political crisis. Either he is needed or we should not waste his time!
International media: Al Jazeera has become the channel of choice of since local media has instituted some-self censorship of the violence and politicians. But the international media has been found wanting; they have been called biased by BeckyIT while the Police Commissioner has called them gratuitous in desire for displaying morbid images – which they don’t show in covering their own country stories e.g. 9/11 or London bombing coverage. He asks that they adopt the same standards.
Different investor perspective: While local investors fret about falling stock prices, foreign investors may view the market turmoil positively since shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange are viewed as being ‘over-valued’ compared to their regional peers
Micro finance in Africa: According to list from Forbes of the top 50 microfinance institutions in the world – only two are from sub-Saharan Africa (both Ethiopian).
Finally; parallels in the Cricket world as two giants – India and Australia are also not talking to each other.