Friday, October 31, 2008


Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of the republic of Kenya enlivens gatherings. Closing the first ever infrastructure bond organized for State Corporations and Municipalities in Nairobi this week, he did not disappoint. Think BIG was his message. He did not want to talk about bonds, he told the conference, because those gathered had just gone through two days of bond talk and they probably knew more about them than he did. He however wanted to tell them it was possible to build the nation using such innovative methods even when it seemed there was no money. Dubai Port was built through innovation, the PM said. Sometime back when the world famous free port was just a decrepit affair, the gulf-Arabs went to London and found listed on the London Stock Exchange, a struggling constuction company. They bought into it then in dramatic fashion, announced to the world that the company had just been awarded a huge contract to modernize the Dubai Port. The languishing company's stock rocketed on the LSE and Dubai was able to raise the money it needed to modernize its port. The PM then spoke of the innovation of the British colonialists who in just 5 years (1896-1901) built the Mombasa-Kisumu 900 Km railway line using crude technology and imported coolies from India. Since 1963 we have not added a single inch to that railway line, Raila decried. The Grand Coalition will add at least an inch to that rail line, he promised. On energy the PM spoke Nuclear -challenging Eddie Njoroge to boost his company's (KenGen) output by considering a Nuclear power plant with at least 1000MW capacity. Other issues included the roads and the Port. Why punish an importer by first of all delaying his cargo for more than a month and then charge him demurrage charges? It is wrong! said the PM.

In Dubai cargo takes a maximum of 48 hours from the ship docking, through processing and clearance to loading it onto the trucks for onward travel.

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