Category Archives: CDMA Kenya

Bank eX Files

I remember watching the X-files when it was the show to watch. The agents would enter a dark warehouse or factory. They would whip out their flashlights and find their way through an abandoned building, tearing down huge cobwebs, wiping away dust, and peering under covers in search of a deformed skeleton or alien foetus.

That’s one of the last unpleasant tasks of a bank hangman which is what I was doing today – minus the gun, courage, cute co-worker, and aliens of course.

Today we did the same thing, starting with opening many padlocks at the entrance, covering our noses with handkerchiefs, removing any light-colored clothes and stuffing our socks into our trousers before we entered this warehouse. My handy Nokia phone comes with a torch which proved to be useful as the place is dark inside even at noon.

We have heard gallant tales and applaud the efforts to revive companies like Kenya Meat Commission. But this is how the revival all starts – with bank workers breaking down locks they had put up years before as we take yet another round of prospective buyers to visit/inspect the abandoned property before they submit any bids.

The skeleton these agents are looking for is not hidden. Even as we move through the dusty place with torches and noses covered to keep out the dust we are looking at the skeleton of someone’s dreams – the building which they put up, the new machines they imported from South Africa & India (state of the art then, outdated scrap today), the manager’s suite they decorated, faded door signs around the well laid out premises marking rooms like productions, manager, bathroom, sales office where people would busily work towards realizing the full potential of the owner’s dream.

Today it’s just a skeleton. But if the buyer likes the skeleton enough to put some money down, someone else’s dream & vision will rise again over the skeleton of someone else’s.

Mlolongo: As we drove past mlolongo yesterday there was a bulldozer knocking down a controversial petrol station built on the road reserve. Further down the road, other buildings marked for demolition were beehives of activity with workmen doing more demolition work. The owners of these buildings have heeded the government’s directive and are removing their buildings at their own cost, and with a chance to salvage their stones and material.

But many are not abandoning their dream projects; – they are instead only shaving off about 10 ft of each building that they deem to have encroached on the road reserve, and hoping the rest of the structures will stand on their own. I hope they will be proved right in their assessment because when the bulldozers are done, there won’t be any ex-files for the bank to revive.

December 1 opportunities

Telkom dealership: resellers for Telkom’s 3G wireless service (fax, voice, internet) in Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri, Nakuru, Meru, Muranga, Kakamega, Voi, Kisii, Kericho, Thika, Embu, Malindi, Nanyuki, Garissa and Machakos. D/L is 5/12.

Water distributors for Ha Ha drinking water, nationwide.

housing: Satellite City – a low-cost housing estate compositing 265 units will be built in Mlolongo, Athi River


  • Various jobs at abbott site
  • Chief executive (& secretary to the board) of the Association of Micro Finance Institutions (AMFI). Apply to by 8/12
  • Legal officer at Del Monte. Apply to 13/12
  • Public affairs officer at the Canadian high commission. Apply to by 8/12
  • energy company involved in hydropower and geothermal development: petroleum geologist petroleum drilling engineer, exploration geophysicist, financial analyst, financial auditor. Apply thru PWC at by 15/12
  • I&M Bank: apply online for cashier & teller positions.
  • Brand & communications manager at java. Apply to by 13/12
  • Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd: trade marketing representatives, information & communications technology manager. D/L is 13/12
  • Ministry of State for Youth Affairs -Section officer II (500 posts), Technical instructors (61 posts). Apply to the PS P O Box 34303 Nairobi by 8/12
  • Postbank: senior manager marketing & business development, database administrator, legal officer, internal auditor, inspectorate officer. D/L is 18/12
  • Safaricom: retail centre manager (Nairobi), retail centre agent (Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, and Kisumu). Apply to by 8/12
  • Senior economist at the World Bank – Sudan. D/L is 11/12

Kenya multi-media technology park

A breakfast meeting was held today to discuss plans for a multi-media technology park to be located in Athi River / Kitengela area. This is one of the key milestones in the ICT policy, which was approved by the Cabinet, but is yet to be passed by Parliament.

The multi media park is to be modelled along the likes of Egypt’s Smart Village and Ebene in Mauritius. Microsoft has already signed up to be the first tenant of the park and has offered to assist in its design.

The first park may be hosted by the Export Processing Zone Authority on their 1,000 acres in Athi River. In addition to tax benefits, the zone already offers various benefits including, cheap rents, easily obtainable immigration permits for companies (guaranteed for general manger, technical manager, financial manager and 2 directors), connected with fibre optic cable, and guaranteed electricity supply from KPLC.

Athi River/Kitengela is close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and over 20,000 new housing units are being built in the area. Some major problems facing the area are water shortages and traffic congestion. But the traffic problems could be alleviated by the (soon) construction of dual carriageway road from Machakos to Nairobi and removal of the mlolongo weighbridge to a location further down Mombasa road.

The Minister (Mutahi Kagwe) and permanent secretary (Bitange Ndemo) of Information & Communications are a dynamic pair whos’ vision is to make Kenya be known as an ICT destination, not just for tourism, politics, coffee, and tea. The two are very passionate about ICT and how the country and people can use ICT to achieve development and business goals.

Minister Kagwe also said

  • The government would set up an ICT board to market the country as an ICT destination (similar to the Kenya tourism board).
  • Confirmed the country would go it alone (& look for support elsewhere) on the EASSy submarine cable project if Kenyan demands for time, quality, and cost are not met. (SA is to blame for most delays)
  • Said the recent Kengen fundraising demonstrates the country has enough capital to meet its development needs, if channelled properly.
  • Called on media to hype business in Kenya, not endless political stories.
  • Called on the business community to be more assertive in challenging the government when they feel aggrieved.
  • Is convinced Kenya can put up a better park than Egypt
    and invited the private sector to also set up their own parks with the government giving incentives.
  • Said ICT products would be zero-rated in the upcoming budget in June 2006

Other bits

  • Rural Internet: Telkom Kenya will begin rolling out wireless CDMA this month with affordable units costing about $30. Also, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is willing to waive some licensing charges for companies that want to start rural ISP’s.
  • Business incubators: Incubator policy is expected to be passed by Parliament by the end of 2006.
  • Training: The Kenya College of Communications & Technology (KCCT) has been transferred from Telkom Kenya to the CCK to better serve the country’s ICT training needs.