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Volume 1
Welcome to Volume One of ‘Best of Kenya’

‘Best of Kenya’ is a celebration of the success of varied and valued enterprises in both Publisher: Intermac Communications Limited
private and public sectors and sets a trend we will continue in the coming months with
Volume II. Sales Director: Simon Mugo

Sales Team: Chris Nyaoro, Leonard Sichemo,

We are all proud to join the distinguished GVP family and, through showcasing success in Shane Mwigereri, Derrick Wanjawa
enterprise and entrepreneurship, play a role in marketing Kenya to the rest of the world as
a place where business survives and thrives. Editorial Director: W Kwendo Opanga

We hope that by celebrating these success stories and taking their uniqueness to the Editorial Team: Matthew Gathigira, Mike Ngwalla,

world, we will encourage many more entrepreneurs and enterprises to devise ways and Matiko Bohoko

means of joining the very best locally and globally.

Administration: Josephine Wambui, Stephen Otieno

Please sit back and enjoy the features on and images of articles on Kenya, its sporting
Creative Direction: Allan Anjeo, Extreme Designs
prowess, uniqueness, banks, hotels, education, birthplace of Barrack Obama Snr, the
father of the 44th President of the United States of America, among other delightful Photography: Walter Boermeester, Yahya Mohamed,
articles. Sam Ouma, Noor Khamis, Kenya Tourism Board, Kenya
Film Commission, Department of Film Services.
We single out one enterprise for special mention. This is the story of Ranalo Foods, a
well liked eatery in Nairobi that is run by an amiable and humble couple that started their Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the
business from the humblest of beginnings and locations. accuracy of the information in Best of Kenya Vol.1.
Neither Best of Kenya nor Intermac Communications

In Volume II we will dwell at length on Kenya as a tourist destination and also look at the Limited can take responsibility for any errors or
government’s blueprint – Vision 2030 - for transforming the country into a developed
nation by 2030.
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Best of Kenya 1
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Best of Kenya
National Anthem

O God of all creation,

Bless this our land and nation.
Justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity,
Peace and liberty,
Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise

With hearts both strong and true.
Service be our earnest endeavour,
And our Homeland of Kenya,
Heritage of splendour,
Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord

In common bond united,
Build this our nation together,
And the glory of Kenya,
The fruit of our labour,
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

Best of Kenya 3
Foreword from the President

I am pleased to write a foreword for this attractive and

insightful publication about Kenya.

In this book, you will find many things said about Kenya, some of which may be new, and
others that you already know. It is my hope that the book will enable readers to broaden their
knowledge of our country and experience a new understanding and perception of Kenya and its

Kenya remains a relatively stable and peaceful nation, despite the challenges we have faced
over the years. The stability and success of our nation demonstrates that we are a resilient
people, and we are always ready to find solutions to our problems. And more importantly, we
have been swift to seize the challenges that confront us and transform them into opportunities
for enhancing the political, social, and economic development of our society.

In this respect, the Grand Coalition Government, working together with Parliament, passed
various legislation this year to enable the government to implement various reforms to ensure
transparency in the management of the affairs of our nation. I am confident that, as a people, we
are capable of overcoming the problems we face, and building a united, stable and prosperous

I therefore want to assure our friends and well-wishers that Kenyans are determined to uphold
our nationhood. We are committed to living in unity, while recognizing the diversity of our
people. Indeed, all of us, regardless of ethnicity, race or religion, are inextricably tied together,
with a common destiny. That destiny, as spelt out in Vision 2030, aims at building a prosperous
and equitable nation that is an example to the region and the world of what Africa is capable of

Accordingly, the theme of this publication is not only appropriate but also timely. Over the last
six years, the government has implemented a variety of reforms to make our country investor-
friendly. We welcome investors to take advantage of the unique and abundant opportunities we
offer to put their money in various sectors of our economy.

Indeed, Kenya is today one of Africa’s most well endowed countries in terms of human capital,
entrepreneurship and work ethic. The country has a large portfolio of investment opportunities,
ranging from the diverse natural resources and a vibrant agricultural sector to sophisticated
infrastructure as well as the financial and information services sectors.

In this regard, Nairobi has grown to become the region’s financial, transport and tourism hub,
while Mombasa is the gateway to the Eastern Africa region. Investors will find well developed
infrastructure, including roads, railways, air transport, and telecommunications linking Kenya to
the rest of Africa and the world. Investors will also be happy to know that Kenya has a large pool
of highly talented and skilled labour.

This publication is, therefore, also an invitation to investors, friends and well-wishers to
visit Kenya. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Kenya is a land of contrasts – of
enchanting landscapes, a snow-capped mountain on the Equator, expansive savannas that are
home of the Big Five and countless, varied wildlife in their natural habitats that make Kenya a
true safari country.

Moreover, Kenya’s coastal region tells the story of hospitality and of timeless contacts with the
rest of the world, a story that is still eloquently told by the numerous historical monuments and
sites, while the beautiful, white sandy beaches and an all-year-round warm climate assure our
visitors a fun-filled holiday experience.

Welcome to Kenya.

H.E. Mwai Kibaki

President of the Republic of Kenya

4 Best of Kenya
Foreword from the Prime Minister
It is my pleasure to write the foreword to this useful fact-book on Kenya, especially at this
particular time when our country has regained its balance following the political crisis that
engulfed it in early 2008.

Kenya is back in business as a gateway to the vast and fast growing African market on the
eastern seaboard. We have reclaimed our reputation and position as the destination of choice
for investment, trade and tourism in Eastern and Central Africa.

We in Kenya firmly believe that the private sector provides the main engine for sustainable
economic growth. The Government of Kenya is firmly committed to working closely with both
the domestic and foreign private sector to generate wealth in the fight against poverty and
underdevelopment. Kenya offers guaranteed lower production and operational costs and faster
business set-up than most other countries, through the following measures:

• a one-stop-shop system for required licenses upon entry.

• a ten-year Corporate Tax holiday and a 25 per cent tax rate reduction for 10 years

• a ten-year withholding Tax holiday on non-resident remittances.

• duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption on imported or locally sourced raw materials,
construction equipment and other business inputs except motor vehicles and some fuels.

• a 100 per cent investment deduction on capital expenditure within 20 years.

• exemption from Stamp Duty.

The Government places great emphasis on providing a conducive and enabling environment
for business. Maintaining Kenya’s highly skilled labour force is a top priority alongside issues
of security, affordable energy supply, responsiveness of the public sector to business needs,
upgrading infrastructure and ensuring a pleasant multicultural environment to live in.

Kenya’s unique geographical position offers time flexibility in cross-interaction with businesses
in other time zones from Auckland in New Zealand to Los Angeles in the U.S., without loss of
sleep! Nairobi is the regional hub for air and sea transport for East, Central and Southern Africa,
offering daily air connections to West Africa and other parts of the world.

As a founder-member of the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA), Kenya offers access to a vast market of more than 400 million

Kenya hosts a large number of regional bodies, multinationals and international organizations.
This, together with the multi-racial fabric of Kenyan society, makes most cities and urban
centres in this country global in matters of faith, education, culture, cuisine and character.

Welcome to Kenya! You will enjoy visiting or doing business in Kenya.

Raila Amolo Odinga

Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya

Best of Kenya 5
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6 Best of Kenya
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Best of Kenya 7
Best of Kenya

Kenya at a Glance Hotels and Resorts


Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Fashion Healthcare

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Banking and Finance Technology


Chapter 10
Chapter 9

Property and Real Estate Media and Marketing


Chapter 12

Chapter 13

8 Best of Kenya
Dining and Eating Out Shopping and Retail

Chapter 3

Chapter 4
Coffee, Tea and Horticulture Corporate Profile

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Transport and Logistics

Chapter 11

Education and Training


Chapter 14

Best of Kenya 9
Chapter 1
Kenya at a Glance

10 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 11
Kenya at a Glance
Kenya at a Glance


Estimated in 2007 at 37,183,924 Free market enterprise Kenya shilling (at current rates KSh75
exchanges for One US dollar)
591,383 square kilometres Coalition of parties LANGUAGES
English and Swahili are the main and
CAPITAL CITY PARLIAMENT official languages and there are over 40
Nairobi A single Chamber of 210 elected and 12 other local vernaculars
nominated Members whose term lasts
Kisumu Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,
Moi International Airport, Mombasa
Wilson Airport, Nairobi

A version of this chapter was published

for the Brand Kenya Board under the title
Kenya: The World's Favourite Destination.

12 Best of Kenya
Inviting Savannah: Open and expansive
grasslands home to varied and valued game

Best safari time

A visit to Kenya is a truly unique and

unforgettable experience. The best times to
fulfill one’s lifetime dream for a great safari to
Kenya (ideally for two to three weeks) is July
to February, although the country is hospitable
and attractive to visitors throughout the year.

The time for an idyllic game viewing safari is

July to September, when one of the greatest
spectacles on earth takes place as more
than a million wild animals, mainly wildebeest
and zebra, cross the Mara River into Kenya’s
world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Great Migration has been classified the
Eighth Wonder of the World and is the only
living event among the Wonders, and also one
of the very oldest, far older even than Egypt’s

National carrier

Kenya Airways, affectionately tagged

“The Pride of Africa”, flies to more than 48 Up, up and away: Balloon safaris are popular events in the
destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle and world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve
Far East and is soon to fly to the US.

Best of Kenya 13
Kenya at a Glance
Kenya: Land of infinite variety historic splendour of the Rift Valley, a geographic feature that is
visible from space, to the beautiful shores of the Indian Ocean,
Renowned globally as the Cradle of Mankind, Kenya is a land lined with unique mangrove forests, and to Lake Turkana, the
of great variety and spectacular physical and climatic contrasts world’s largest desert lake.
and beauty that are so diverse they are usually found in an
entire continent. From the modern social and cultural hub of Nairobi (the only
city in the world with a national park within its boundaries),
These range from high snow-capped mountains with alpine to the vast breathtaking expanses of wildlife parks such as
forests to hot dry deserts and lovely sandy beaches. There is so the Tsavo, Mt Kenya, the Masai Mara and Amboseli, a visit to
much to be seen and enjoyed in Kenya, ranging from the pre- Kenya presents the ultimate dream for any traveller.

Elephants in Amboseli: The game and view, with Mt

Kilimanjaro in the background, are stunning

14 Best of Kenya
The world’s only wildlife capital: No other city on earth has a national park full of wild animals and birds in Tusks of Mombasa: They are like an emblem for the
their natural habitat. Ostriches strut and groom themselves against the background of Nairobi’s skyscrapers. historic coastal city that is the gateway to East Africa

Fresh water lake: Fishing boat on Lake Victoria,

the world’s second largest fresh water lake

In the words of the 1954 Nobel laureate water bodies. The highlands are mild and
for literature Ernest Hemingway, “Kenya cool, with relatively high rainfall patterns.
is unknowable, unimaginable, and
unbelievable”. The popular Kenyan Coast, along the Indian
Ocean, and the regions around Lake Victoria,
In terms of size, this great East African the second largest freshwater body in the
country is some 583,000 kilometres square, world and the source of the River Nile, are
lying at the centre of the eastern part of the usually hot, or warm and humid. A visitor to
continent of Africa, and right on the Equator. Kenya can experience and enjoy these varied
climatic conditions within a short time.
Like its spectacular variety of wildlife,
physical and climatic conditions, Kenya is Melting Pot of Cultures
a linguistic and cultural melting pot, with at
least 42 different communities and people Kenya is a melting pot of varied, valued and
of different races who live harmoniously vibrant cultures.
Each of Kenya’s 42 main ethnic communities
The rich vegetation that acts as cover for has a strong and dynamic culture that it is
some of Kenya’s spectacular landscapes also proud of.
provides shelter for a great variety of wildlife.
This is not to suggest that the people of
The varied altitudes of Kenya give the country Kenya are stuck in the past. These cultures
unique climatic features. The lower areas of are dynamic, which is why they have survived
the country have high temperatures, with despite the strong influences they have been
humidity dependent on their proximity to subjected to or come into contact with.

Best of Kenya 15
Ministry joins their group or passes by them without
uttering a word of greeting.
The centrality of culture in Kenyan society
is perhaps best explained by the creation of Perhaps the best demonstration of greeting-
the Ministry of Culture, which is specifically as-a-demonstration-of-goodwill is attested
tasked with recognition and promotion of the to by the popularity of the Kiswahili word
country’s myriad cultures. Jambo. Indeed, a local band has made the
greeting popular abroad with its track of the
The 42 main ethnicities, while distinctly same name and chorus and it is a common
different, are brought together by Kiswahili, feature at tourist resorts across the country.
which is Kenya’s official language and
English, the medium of instruction in schools Cultural Festivals
through colleges and universities and the
language of international commerce and In Kenya’s primary and secondary, private
diplomacy. or public schools, the annual countrywide
music and drama competitions, which are
Greeting meant to mainly showcase the talents of
young people, often turn into celebrations
For example, in most parts of Kenya or of both the dominant and the little-known
Melting pot of culture: Various Kenyan peoples in among Kenya’s varied communities, a cultures of the country.
their traditional regalia representing Kenya’s rich greeting is a demonstration of goodwill.
and varied culture and heritage Indeed, among some cultures, especially However, given that media, communication
at the Coast, people will be offended if one and technology keep bringing the various

Song, dance and drum extravaganza: An expression

of sound, acrobatic action and vibrant colours is
the unmistakable trade mark of the Kamba dance
troupes from Kenya’s Eastern province.

16 Best of Kenya
continents of the world ever closer together,
the music and plays in the schools through
universities and outside the school system
depict the dynamism of Kenya’s cultures.

Indeed, song and dance, drama and film are

the vehicles of choice for those who seek to
showcase both the dynamism and resilience
of Kenya’s cultures. Each of Kenya’s eight
provinces also hosts annual cultural events
that are also festivals of culture.

Cultural Centre

The Bomas of Kenya is a cultural awareness-

creation centre started by the Government in
1971 with the express purpose of preserving,
maintaining and promoting the rich diverse
cultural values of the country’s multiplicity
of ethnic communities. A wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Kenya Tourist Development
Corporation (KTDC) Bomas’s mandate is
to preserve the authenticity of the nation’s
cultural values and portray them in pure form
for educational and entertainment purposes.


Just as Kenya’s peoples have different

cultures so also do they have varied religions,
and while Christianity and Islam predominate,
there are still many Kenyan peoples who
believe in the power of their ancestors, spirits
and medicine men and women to influence
their lives in very fundamental ways.

Kenya’s Coast Province, perhaps because of

the Indian Ocean and proximity to the Arab
world, is home to the majority of the country’s
Muslim population, followed by the North
Eastern and Eastern provinces. Islam is,
however, spread throughout the country.

Kenya’s interior is home to the Christians.

Catholics are in the majority, followed by
several Protestant faiths, chief among
them being the Anglicans, Presbyterians,
Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists,
Lutherans, and the Evangelicals.

Brilliant vision for a beautiful country

Kenya’s vision is to become a middle- Going for the Jugular: The Maasai community are famed for their drinking of mixtures of cow’s milk and
income industrialised economy by the year blood during ceremonial rites of passage such as circumcision. Here a group of morans are drawing blood
2030 and towards this end the Government from the jugular vein of a cow. The animal survives the ritual because it is not let to bleed and is cared for
has developed a comprehensive blueprint until it recovers and heals.

Best of Kenya 17
Twin Peaks: The two tallest buildings in Kenya and the Eastern African region, Nairobi‘s
International Conference Centre (KICC) in the foregound with its amphitheatre built in the
shape of a traditional African hut. In the background is the hulking Times Tower.

called Vision 2030. This blueprint is housed

City of the future: An artist’s impression of Nairobi in the next 25 years as by the Ministry for Planning, National
depicted in Kenya’s blueprint for economic transformation called Vision 2030 Development and Vision 2030.

The Government is committed to achieving

Vision 2030 through a series of planned
and well-coordinated initiatives aimed at
increasing productivity and ensuring that
the living standard of the majority of the
population is positively transformed. In
this respect Vision 2030 clearly spells out
the social, economic and political priorities
that the country needs to focus on in
order to achieve rapid industrialisation and
economic self-reliance within the next 25 to
30 years.

The Government is already putting in place

measures to drive this transformation;
notable among these being the creation of a
favourable investment climate for both local
and external entrepreneurs.

18 Best of Kenya
population size, Kenya has often been at Nairobi in the highlands, and since then what
the centre of global attention and affairs. was once a small group of huts has been
Kenya’s prowess in sports, peace-keeping spectacularly transformed into East Africa’s
missions and capacity as a safe haven for most modern metropolis. Nairobi attained city
refugees have positioned the country as a status in 1950.
high profile and impactful regional and global
player. Mombasa: Romantic, historic island port

In addition, Kenya holds some of the most The island town of Mombasa is the main
valuable treasures on the origins and global Seagate on the eastern African coastline
distribution of various life forms, giving it and is Kenya’s oldest and second largest
unique potential to positively contribute to metropolis. The port city has a rich romantic
the future of the world and humankind. As a history, going back over a millennium.
young and vibrant developing nation, Kenya
is determined to forge ahead and join the The unrivalled beauty of the Kenyan coastline
developed post-industrial countries. is a distinctive feature of the country’s
tourism industry.
Nairobi: Green City in the Sun
Mombasa, a splendid city, is home to a rich
Nicknamed the Green City in the Sun, the historic civilisation that gave East Africa
modern city of Nairobi, with a population the Swahili language. Kiswahili is Kenya’s
of around 4.5 million inhabitants, occupies lingua franca and is now spoken across half
a unique place in the world, being the only of Africa. One of the most famous Swahili
global metropolis with a large wildlife park words that has not only found its way into the
close to its central business district! English dictionary but also is a brand name for
a wide range of products, from perfumes to
It is also the only city of a developing country sport, is safari.
that hosts the global headquarters of several
United Nations’ specialised agencies. Close to the palm-fringed beaches lies the
natural marvel of the coral reef, which runs
Its moderate climate, rich history, modern uninterrupted for close to 500km. The Kenyan
facilities and central location make Nairobi Coast teems with various wonders of marine
the most ideal starting point for a Kenyan life, mysterious lagoons and creeks that
safari adventure. attract exploration.

Situated just 140km south of the Equator, There are also the mangrove forests and
494km west of the port of Mombasa on awesome cliffs overhanging some of the
the Indian Ocean and 338km east of Lake beaches. Another great coastal spectacle is
Victoria, at an altitude of 1,670 metres, the variety of wildlife, especially birds.
Nairobi is not only Kenya’s principal city but
also East Africa’s economic and business Fort Jesus, built by Portuguese adventurers
focal point. during the 16th Century, is one of the most
important historical monuments in the city of
In 1907, the British transferred their colonial Mombasa.
administration from Mombasa at the Coast to

In order to realise the goals of Vision 2030,

Kenya requires massive investments from
both domestic and external sources. The
priority areas in the Vision present enormous
investment opportunities for both public
and private investors. Apart from a visionary
political leadership, Kenya has a number
of advantages that make it one of the few
countries on the African continent most likely
to achieve a socio-economic transformation
in the near future.

A well-educated, youthful and vibrant

population, vast, largely untapped natural
resources, enormous investment in
infrastructure and a well developed private
sector are among the country’s assets.

Small country, big reputation

Although a relatively small country in Green City in the Sun: A view of Nairobi’s Central Business District as seen from
the world in its geographical extent and nearby Uhuru Park, centre for recreation and national and cultural events

Best of Kenya 19
Kenya at a Glance

Takes your breath away: The vegetation on the ground and

clouds above combine to form breathtaking views

Loving and caring: A baby elephant and its With such exciting features, together with a The surrounding region is rich in culture
mother take a leisurely walk wide variety of entertainment, a visit to the and history, with many intriguing and
Kenyan Coast is a must for the discerning historic sites, among them Rusinga
visitor. The experience is truly memorable. Island, the weeping stones and forests of
Kakamega, and a variety of wild flora and
Kisumu: Lively lakeside fishing town fauna to be found all the way to Mt Elgon.

The lively lakeside city of Kisumu, formerly For a visitor looking for a warm and
known as Port Florence, is situated along tranquil resting place, Kisumu is the ideal
Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest place. Kenya Airways, the national airline,
freshwater body and only about 80km and other local carriers, operate daily
southeast of Nyang’oma Kogelo, the flights between Nairobi and Kisumu.
ancestral home of the father of the 44th
President of the United States of America, The Great Rift Valley
Barack Obama. Kisumu is Kenya’s third
largest city. The Great Rift Valley is one of the most
awesome and breathtaking natural
Located 355km to the west of Nairobi, physical phenomena on earth. Estimated
Kisumu is a thriving, tourist, fishing to have formed some 20 million years ago,
and commercial city which is steadily it is visible from space.
positioning itself as the socio-economic
hub of Western Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda The name Great Rift Valley was coined
and the Great Lakes region. by the Scottish explorer and geologist

20 Best of Kenya
Pretty in pink: Tens of thousands of flamingo lie in the shores of Lake Nakuru, feeding on algae and creating one of the most spectacular sites in all of nature

John Walter Gregory in his book The These lakes are rich in sodium carbonate, The Masai Mara: Eighth Wonder
Great Rift Valley (1896). which creates an ideal breeding ground of the World
for algae. Several species of fish, tilapia in
With its steep and jagged escarpment particular, thrive in this environment. As a Lying 224km to the south-west of Nairobi, the
walls, mountains and flat floor, the result, millions of birds flock to these soda Masai Mara Game Reserve provides one of
Great Rift Valley is one of the most lakes to feast on the abundant algae and nature’s most dramatic and awesome spectacles
attractive and popular parts of Kenya. fish, making these lakes a unique spot for ever; the annual Great Migration of over a million
It is also among the most agriculturally bird watching, the most spectacular being wildebeest and zebra, teeming from the south to
productive, providing most of Kenya’s the flamingoes of Lake Nakuru. cross the Mara River into the Game Reserve.
wheat, maize and dairy products.
Then there is the dramatic Hell’s Gate near The migration, which has come to be known
The floor of the valley is at its lowest Lake Naivasha, a truly awesome natural as the Eighth Wonder of the World, takes place
near Lake Turkana, where there is wonder, with steep and deep walls and a between July and September, making this the
virtually no distinction between the cavernous emptiness dug by nature. The most ideal time for a classic safari.
Great Rift Valley and the surrounding name is deceptive for this is no hell on
desert. Lake Turkana, which is 400km earth! The stunning Savannah grasslands with
north of Nairobi, is the largest desert scattered shrubs stretch for as far as the eye can
lake in the world. Among the Great Rift Valley’s unique see. They are an endless spectacle of nature’s
features is Lake Turkana. Also known as the most creative designs. In the vast landscape can
As it heads south, the Great Rift Valley Jade Sea for the unique turquoise colour be seen the cheetah, the fastest animal on earth,
walls form sheer cliffs rising to 1,900km of its waters, it has shores longer than the chasing antelope and gazelle, in the Mara River
(6,232ft) at Lake Naivasha, thereafter entire Kenyan Coast. hippos bathe, and, on the banks, crocodiles sun
the valley descends again to 580 themselves.
metres (1,902 feet) as it approaches the This lake not only has an abundance of
border with Tanzania. the delicious tropical fresh-water fish, the It is in the predator-infested waters of the Mara
Tilapia, but also contains the world’s largest that thousands of wildebeest, hundreds of zebra,
Subterranean movement is still crocodile population. Fishing and livestock eland and gazelle must fight for their lives in a
common as the Rift Valley is home to rearing and agriculture are among the vast theatre of the jungle’s law of survival of the
30 active and semi-active volcanoes activities within and around the lake. fittest.
and countless hot springs. This string
of alkaline lakes and boiling springs There are numerous spectacular natural For the nature loving and adventurous visitor,
includes lakes Baringo, Bogoria, wonders that surround the lake, with the wildebeest migration is a must-see event.
Nakuru, Elementaita, Naivasha, and fantastic opportunities for the intrepid A balloon safari provides an exciting birds’- eye
Magadi in the south. adventurer. view of this mighty African wilderness.

Best of Kenya 21
Just a glimpse of Kenya: (From top to bottom)
22 Best of Kenya Wildebeest, the people, Rhino and Zebra
Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha: home of Elsa the Lioness befriended by Joy
and George Adamson and featured in Joy’s
Home of flamingoes book Born Free and film of the same name.
About 160km west of Nairobi, Lakes
Nakuru and Naivasha, and the thousands of Almost similar in the variety of flora and fauna
flamingoes that reside in them, together form are the three wildlife reserves of Samburu,
a bewitching spectacle, beloved of many a Shaba and Buffalo Springs located about
local and foreign visitor. 342km to the north of Nairobi along the Uaso
Nyiro River. Rising to the heavens: The hot springs of Lake
Naivasha is best seen by boat. Within close Bogoria in the Rift Valley
proximity of Nakuru town and covering The Meru National Park is home to the rare
an area of 200 square kilometers, Nakuru species of grazing white rhino. It lies in a A tantalising mixture of mountain rain
National Park is undoubtedly a great semi-arid, open savannah plain broken forest, moorland, thick bamboo forests and
ornithological wonder of the world. occasionally by small rugged hills. sub-alpine plants make up the vegetation
in this park. Giant heath and tussock grass
It is the congregation point of an estimated Mount Kenya: cover the moorlands, which are crossed by
100,000 to two million flamingoes and wandering trout-inhabited streams that, in
over 400 other species of birds. With the Snow and wildlife on the Equator some places, cascade into scenic waterfalls
wildlife sanctuary greatly expanded since its Snow-capped Mount Kenya is Africa’s second and rapids.
creation in 1961, and extensive ecological highest peak, a stunning and challenging
clean-up of the area, wildlife of a wide destination for adventurous tourists, climbers Amboseli:
variety can now be seen in the park. and trekkers.
Expansive pride of the Maasai
Lake Bogoria, to the north of Nakuru, features Below the mountain’s alpine meadows roam The imposing, ever-present view of
enticing hot springs, made even more inviting elephant, black rhino, Cape buffalo and Kilimanjaro provides the main background
by the sight of fishermen in papyrus boats and antelope. On its lower slopes is Ol Pejeta, a feature for this unique wildlife habitat
the rare greater kudu. Nakuru boasts the rare private ranch and rhino sanctuary, and nearby situated some 260km south of Nairobi.
Rothschild Giraffe and an extraordinary rhino is the famous Mount Kenya Safari Club. The Amboseli has some of Kenya’s largest
sanctuary. herds of elephants. Hemingway once wrote
The Aberdare Ranges sport high alpine of the Amboseli as “the essence of Africa”,
Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo: moorland and primeval aloe forest. Here one where elephants rummage in the lower
can visit the famous Treetops Hotel, where forests, leopards prowl the salt flats while
A tale of three parks leopards are regular visitors and can be antelope graze the expansive grasslands; all
The arid and semi-arid regions of northern viewed in the act of refreshing themselves. these against the backdrop of Kilimanjaro’s
Kenya, framed by volcanic mountain ranges Treetops is renowned because the then majestic peak. Few natural scenes in the
and dotted with lakes, provide a uniquely Princess Elizabeth visited in 1952, went up world are more inspiring.
picturesque holiday for the visitor. Treetops, received word of King Edward VI’s
death and came down as Queen. Apart from the patches of acacia forest, the
Throughout the region, rare animals such as Amboseli grasslands are dotted with shrubs
the reticulated giraffe, oryx, Grevy’s zebra, The Aberdare Ranges were named by Joseph and fragile saline grass. The dry volcanic ash
and long-necked gerenuk abound. Thomson in 1883 after Lord Aberdare, can support little more.
who was the then president of the Royal
Between the drier northern region and the Geographical Society. Lying in these The melting snows of Kilimanjaro feed
imposing, densely forested Mt Kenya lies the mountains, this park covers an area of 770 rivers and springs that supply water to
serrated and beautiful Meru National Park, square kilometres. the swamps and the Amboseli, which

Best of Kenya 23
Kenya at a Glance
Two of the Big Five: The Rhino, famed for its size
and insecure because of its horn, and the Buffalo,
known for its sharp horns and sharper temper

is usually completely dry. Occasional Tsavo East and West: The Tsavos have the world’s largest and most
flooding of the rivers occurs during rainy World’s largest game sanctuary important concentration of elephants, with a
seasons. population estimated at more than 20,000.
The entire Tsavo ecosystem, about 333km
A wide variety of wildlife that include to the east of Nairobi, is possibly the Peacemaker:
antelope, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, world’s biggest game sanctuary. It is an Kenya’s esteemed place on world map
elephant, rhino and buffalo, the predatory expansive model wildlife sanctuary in terms
lion, the cheetah and occasionally the of geographical and ecological features, with Kenya continues to play important roles on
elusive and secretive leopard are attracted a great variety of plant and animal life. The the international scene. Over the years, this
to these rivers and swamps. Tsavo is situated halfway between Nairobi country has been a regional peacemaker.
and Mombasa. Peace talks to end internal and external
As much a part of the Amboseli landscape conflicts in various African countries have
are the Maasai people who graze their The two adjacent sprawling animal parks are been held in Nairobi, with Kenya playing
cattle here. Amboseli is home of the ideal for visitors who wish to include both a vital mediation role. Peace talks on the
colourful and iconic Maasai, with their rich wildlife safari and coastal luxury on their conflicts in the Democratic Republic of
and proud cultural heritage. itinerary. Sunsets in the Tsavo offer a peculiar Congo (DRC) and Burundi have been hosted
display, filling the sky with an incredibly by Kenya.
Amboseli National Park was in 1991 beautiful spectrum of colour and splendour.
declared a biosphere reserve by In Tsavo East roam red elephants, so-called As a result of its engagement in numerous
UNESCO. It has some 380 bird species, because of the colour of the rich volcanic soil efforts to end conflicts around the world,
over 56 animal species and an elephant that they throw over their bodies with their Kenya has gained a reputation as a peace-
population that has been studied for more trunks to diminish the effects of the tropical loving nation. Whenever the international
than two decades. sun. community seeks a suitable place in which

24 Best of Kenya
Son of Kenya: Barack Obama, then the Senator from Illinois, now the 44th President of the United States,
chats with elders in Nyang’oma Kogelo Village during his visit to Kenya in August 2006. Kogelo is the
ancestral village of the President’s father, the late Barack Obama Snr. Below: Obama is escorted into the
Standard Media Group’s offices in Nairobi in 2006.

to hold talks on matters ranging from war to rule of this country’s internationally respected
climate change, Kenya is often among the first President, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
countries considered. More recently, Kenya has also spearheaded
successful peace processes for the Sudan
Visits by world leaders and Somalia under the leadership of former
President Daniel Moi and current President
Prominent world leaders have been to Kenya Mwai Kibaki.
on various occasions to attend both regional
and global events or simply on holiday. In The United Nations in Nairobi
November 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-Moon was in Kenya to help broker peace Nairobi is the only city in the developing
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). world that hosts global headquarters for
Kenyan soldiers and police officers have a number of United Nations specialised
served in numerous peace-keeping missions agencies.
on the African continent and around the
world. It is the world headquarters of the United
Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
Under the aegis of the United Nations, Kenya and the United Nations Centre for Human
has sent peacekeeping forces to Bosnia, Settlements (UN Habitat). It is also the
Namibia and Sierra Leone. During the past regional headquarters for Africa of several
four decades, Kenya has initiated, guided other UN bodies. Kenya has been a full and
and hosted peace talks for troubled African committed member of the United Nations
countries, starting with Angola, during the Organisation since Independence in 1963.

Best of Kenya 25
Kenya at a Glance
Rich and diverse heritage respectively as well as the most widely
From the pre-historic times of the evolution
of humankind through the eras of slavery, Dominating distance athletics
voyages of discovery and colonisation to the
modern post-Independence period, Kenya Kenya is a global giant in long-distance
has always occupied a unique place in athletics, having produced a long line of
human development. world class runners since 1968. At the
Beijing Olympics in 2008, Kenya led Africa
In fact, Kenya and the East African region with a record harvest of 8 gold, 8 silver and
are often referred to as the Cradle of 5 bronze medals. Kenyan athletes have won
Mankind due to the discovery by world- almost every known city marathon or road
renowned palaeontologists of pre-historic race in the world.
remains of the ancestors of modern homo
sapiens. Track sensation Pamela Jelimo won not only
an Olympic gold medal in her 800m specialty
The Museums of Kenya, rich with all forms in Beijing, but also scooped the International
of heritage, are among the most interesting Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) US$1
places to visit for a view of the development million Golden League Jackpot.
of humankind and African culture.
Kenya is now also one of the top swimming
Melting pot of cultures nations in Africa, with several continental
titles. Other major sports in the country
Inhabited by different races and a total of 42 include football (most popular), sport-
ethnic communities with varying historical shooting, sailing, motor rallying (the world
and cultural backgrounds, Kenya is a prime famous Safari Rally), horse racing, golf,
example of harmony in diversity, a true boxing and angling.
melting-pot of religions, races and cultures.
Conferencing in Kenya
The majority of its people are black Africans
from different linguistic and cultural stocks, Many important regional and global
with migrant minorities of Middle Eastern, meetings and forums are often held in
European (Caucasian) and Asian extraction. Nairobi. They include the UN Conference on
More than 40 different languages are spoken Climate Change in 2006, the UN Women’s
in Kenya. Swahili (a mixture of Arabic and Decade Meeting in 1985 and the joint World
local vernacular languages) and English Bank/IMF Meeting in Nairobi in 1975. There
are the national and official languages was also the UNCTAD conference in 1979.

Tower, ceremonial dress and warrior dance: (From top to bottom) The Kenyatta
International Conference Centre, a warrior and the postcard Maasai jump

26 Best of Kenya
The power and
the glory: Kenya’s
athletes conquer
the world and bring
fame to the country

Best of Kenya 27
Hotels & Casinos In 2007, there was the World Social Forum, one of the largest
conferences ever held anywhere on earth, with more than 20,000
delegates from around the globe.

Conference facilities in Kenya include the famous Kenyatta

International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi. Various
regional and global meetings take place in Kenya on a regular
basis since it is the main organisational and communications hub
in the entire eastern Africa region.

There are sufficient world-class conference facilities, excellent

accommodation, entertainment and diverse cuisine in all the
major cities and within the wildlife parks.

Centre for international media

Many major international media organisations and news agencies

have their Africa regional offices based in Nairobi.

From the Kenyan capital, which enjoys excellent communication

with the rest of the world, media representatives from around the
world can cover events and transmit news across continents.

The local media are among the most vibrant and diversified
in the developing world. Media freedom is guaranteed in the
Constitution. The Nation Media Group is the largest in eastern
and Central Africa, with the Daily Nation and its sister publication
the Sunday Nation being by far the most widely read daily and
Sunday newspapers in the region.

Parks of the Big Five

The famous Big Five wild animals, the elephant, rhino, lion,
leopard and buffalo, are all found in Kenya’s national parks and
game reserves.

The lion is known for its strength and power, speed and stealth,
attributes that make it a menacing predator and which have given
it the deserved nickname of King of the Jungle.

The rhino is a one-tonne creature, with a pair of horns for which it

is hunted by poachers. It is often found alone or in small groups.

The leopard is also a solitary animal but its strength is such that
it can haul its prey vertically up a tree. It is also known for speed,
stealth and surprise.

The buffalo has a fierce temper and will fearlessly stand up to

the lion. Lions prey on buffalo, the reason why the two are mortal

Elephants move in a herd and, like buffalo, keep the calves in the
middle of the group, a strategy designed to fend off predators. It
is this unique behaviour of these animals that make them a joy to

Best tea, coffee and flowers

Kenya produces the best tea, coffee and cut flowers in the world.

As a leading producer and global exporter of very high quality

aromatic Arabica coffee and excellent brown teas, Kenya is well-
placed to supply large quantities of the popular beverages to any
market around the world.

Home of the Big Five: Some of the world’s most amazing wildlife has its
natural home in Kenya, including, from top, the King of the jungle, the lion,
the seemingly armour-plated rhino, the treeclimbing leopard, the often
angry buffalo and the gentle-giant elephant, the largest land-based animal

28 Best of Kenya
Coming to a cottage near you: An elephant march
past parade in a resort in the Taita Hills

Kenya is the leading exporter of cut flowers Theatre is popular in Kenya, which has
in the world. Its flowers are renowned, witnessed a major recent revival of the Kenya
particularly in the large European Union National Theatre to the accompaniment of a
market, for their freshness and beauty. A wide resurgence of local plays and programming
variety of juicy tropical and temperate fruits on all leading television channels in the
and vegetables are also produced in Kenya country.
for both domestic consumption and export.
Visitors to Kenya are able to enjoy numerous
Art and film out of Kenya plays and cultural events, especially the
popular Kenya School and College Drama
As a filming destination, Kenya has few Festivals that takes place every year.
equals, with spectacular landscapes and a
wide variety of flora and fauna, natural light Curios and curiosity
(more than 200 days of sunlight annually)
, a pool of talent and some of the world’s most The best and most popular wood carvings
warm-hearted and hospitable peoples. depicting the country’s rich wildlife and
cultural heritage are on sale in almost all
The spectacular landscape of Kenya has major towns countrywide.
featured in many internationally acclaimed Curios and curiosity: Exquisite handmade baskets
films, notable among them being King Some of the most exquisite carvings are and wood carvings depict Kenya’s rich heritage
Solomon’s Mines, made in the 1950s, made from Kisii soapstone, a unique natural
stone that lends itself well to the mallet and
Sydney Pollack’s multiple Oscar-winning chisel.
Out of Africa, The Constant Gardener, White
Mischief, Born Free, The Rise and Fall of Idi Kenya is also renowned worldwide for its
Amin, Tomb Raider, Cradle of Life, Walk With handmade traditional baskets known as
the Lions were all shot in Kenya. kiondo or chiondos from various materials,
including sisal fibre, reeds and grass.
Kenyan filmmakers, with the Kenya Film
Commission, are making their presence felt on World class beers
the international stage.
Kenyan beers, especially the Tusker, Tusker
The city of Nairobi teems with art galleries, Malt, White Cap and Pilsner brands, have
among them Gallery Watatu, Ramoma, African won awards at the International Monde
Heritage and Elimo Njau’s Paa Ya Paa, all with Selection for their excellent taste, high quality Tip-top tipples: Kenya’s beers have won many
global name recognition. and purity. internationally recognised awards

Best of Kenya 29
Kenya at a Glance
Tusker Lager, which embodies Kenya’s
great heritage, has found its place along
other world popular beers, especially in
America and Europe.

Nobel for noble cause

Kenya’s first Nobel laureate (Peace,

2004), Professor Wangari Maathai, was
so honoured because of her relentless
crusading for the environment.

The country hosts the global headquarters

of UNEP, and in Prof Maathai has the first
African woman to win the Nobel Peace
Prize. She was a Member of Parliament
and assistant minister for the environment
and natural resources in 2003-2007.

United we share power

Kenya was the first country in Africa to

succeed in reaching a power-sharing
agreement between the government and
the opposition after a disputed General
Election, in December 2007.

The power-sharing agreement and the

resultant Coalition Government have
become models for Africa and enhanced
Kenya’s reputation as a politically stable
Prof Wangari Maathai country in a turbulent continent.

Swords into ploughshares: President Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga (seated) sign the National Peace Accord on
February 28, 2008, ending the post-election violence. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (white-haired) and other dignitaries look on`.

30 Best of Kenya
The Grand Coalition Government also Drumbeat: A Chuka troupe from Eastern
underscored the undying desire of Kenyans Province drums to thrill
for peace and security and an environment
that enables them to thrive in business.

Investing in education

In preparation for Kenya’s transformation

in line with its economic blueprint, the
Government introduced free primary and
secondary school education in 2003 and
2008 respectively.

Kenya has 26 universities, some of which

are branches or affiliates of well-known
European, American, Australian and other
centres of learning around the world.

In almost every field of endeavour, Kenya

has a well-focused, highly skilled and hard-
working pool of talent.

Kenya also has the world’s oldest primary

school pupil, Kimani Maruge, whose
unique feat won him an invitation to UN Beachside barbeque: Dining by the
Headquarters in New York and made him a Indian Ocean, Kenyan style
permanent feature at National Day events
besides being entered in the Guinness
Book of World Records. He died in August
2009, aged 90.

Investment opportunities in Kenya

Kenya is East Africa’s leading economy,

stable and vibrant, with considerable growth
spurred by several key factors.

It is more than double the size of Uganda’s

economy, US$60 billion.
airports provides investment opportunities 20 years of civil war, broadened Kenya’s
Kenya prides itself on having a well-educated and facilitates enterprise. bazaar spectrum for goods ranging from
and skilled human resource, an effective and manufacturing commodities to foodstuffs.
well-managed port which serves as gateway Kenya’s strategic location in the heart of
to the East and Central African hinterland. eastern Africa offers a pivotal transport link, The African Growth and Opportunity Act
a regional conveyance hub where several (AGOA) passed by the US Government
Kenya has a robust tourism sector stimulated international airlines make frequent stopovers granting duty-free entry to its markets
by a range of wildlife and a vast coastline of to drop and pick up transit cargo and for exports from Kenya in 2000 and its
white sand beaches. There are beckoning passengers. subsequent extension to 2015 offered Kenya
world class tourist hotels managed by a a chance to increase her exports, mainly
proficient and hospitable staff. Kenya has two major international airports – textiles and apparels. The Eighth AGOA
the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Forum was held in Kenya in August 2009
The hospitality of the Kenyan people is in Nairobi and the Moi International Airport in
legendary Mombasa – which together handle over 15 There has also been increased investment
million passengers yearly. in ICT and mobile telephony services, hence
Kenya has a stable government committed to strategising the country as an important
implementing business reforms and providing The Kisumu and Eldoret airports are currently Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) hub.
an enabling environment and attractive being upgraded to international status.
investment incentives for foreign investors. The Kenya Government lays emphasis
Both JKIA and Moi serve as a fundamental on the development of ICT, and therefore
The elimination of bureaucratic red tape link and transport artery for landlocked enacted a telecommunication policy in 1997
in business licensing and registration countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and that underscored the desire to have a well-
procedures, enacted a few years ago, has the eastern part of the Democratic Republic developed communications network by
given the country the impetus to improve her of Congo (DRC). 2015.
positioning in Doing Business (DOB), ranking
globally from 83 in 2006 to 72 in 2007. The opening up of the Southern Sudan The policy aims to bring down
trade market after the signing of the communication costs, improve accessibility
A superb infrastructural paradigm with a well- Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) with and create jobs by positioning the country as
maintained road and rail network and modern the Arab-dominated north in 2004, ending a regional ICT outsourcing focal point.

Best of Kenya 31
32 Best of Kenya
Port transport sector, JKIA is undergoing a major In 2007 the national flag carrier won the Public
and deserving rehabilitation programme Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) award for
The port of Mombasa is Kenya’s only deep- to expand and equip it with state-of-the- Excellence for In-house Publication Msafiri,
sea port and freight gateway for half-a- dozen art modern passenger and cargo handling the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) and
nations in East and Central Africa, a market facilities. Ektron All-Star Win – Best Travel Site.
for over 130 million people.
The construction of aprons linking taxiways Other awards won by KQ in 2006 were East
To serve this expansive and increasingly with associated airside roads, the expansion Africa’s Most Respected Company and the
demanding hinterland, the port is involved in a of terminals to a total floor area of 15,700sq prestigious African Aviation Award.
major modernisation programme that will see kms and the renovation of passenger
it become one of the world’s top 20 gateways terminal buildings which, once completed, The airline was also voted East Africa’s Most
in terms of reputation and performance by will be able to comfortably accommodate 9 Respected Company in 2005.
2010. million passengers, is ongoing.
In 2004, KQ scooped a triple win as Best
The port’s advantageous location in the KQ Domestic Airline 2003, Best Regional Airline
centre of the East African coastline makes 2002 and 2003 and Best In-flight Magazine
it an excellent export base and many goods Kenya Airways, otherwise referred to as The 2002 and 2003 awarded by Travel News &
are exempt from import duties, Kenya being Pride of Africa, is the country’s national flag Lifestyle magazine.
a signatory to several international Customs carrier and continues to buoy up spirits in
agreements. the transport sector. In 2001 KQ was voted Best User of
Information Technology in Kenya by the
To be compliant with global privatisation It is a shining example of how privatisation Computer Society of Kenya as well as named
initiatives, the Mombasa port is being can work miracles in a former State- African Airline of the Year for the third year
prepared for transformation into a landlord dominated air transport economy. running by African Aviation magazine, among
port authority, with most of the cargo handling others.
and complementary services being opened up KQ operates to over 48 destinations in 39
to the private sector. countries throughout the world and has an
expansive fleet of 26 aircraft – 23 Boeing
Airports planes and 3 Embraer 170 jets.

The unprecedented growth in aviation fuelled Since its transformation into semi-
by tourism and horticultural exports has autonomous status, KQ has continued
enabled the Kenya Airports Authority’s (KAA) to document record results, with soaring
flagship brand, Jomo Kenyatta International profits complemented by great industry
Airport, to develop into a regional hub served awards.
by more than 33 airlines.
KQ won the COYA (Company of the Year)
JKIA continues to record an impressive top awards for strategic planning and
growth in passenger and freight numbers due emergency preparedness in 2008, as well as
to its efficiency and modern facilities. the African Airline of Choice, Best Regional
Airline, Best Frequent Flier Programme
To address challenges of the ever increasing and its magazine – Msafiri – Best In-flight
and changing priorities in the global air Magazine.

Best of Kenya 33
Hotels & Casinos

Pick of choice: Kenya produces the best tea in the world and
Kenyans proudly declare that any time is tea time

Exports ranging from 1,500 to 2,700m above sea

Kenya’s export commodities are top-notch
goods on the world market. They are The tea leaves come from the upper two
exported to the European Union (EU), the leaves and a bud plucked from the tea
Common Market for East and Southern bushes. Tea bushes are plucked in a regular
Africa (COMESA), US and Asian markets. cycle ranging from 7 to 14 days to maintain
the quality of the product.
Kenya’s exports are essentially
agricultural. Agriculture is a sector that Horticulture products
generates 28 per cent of Kenya’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), with its lead Kenya’s horticultural products have accounted
export commodities being tea, coffee, for two-thirds of all growth in agricultural
horticultural products, textiles and fish. exports and have surpassed coffee to become
the second largest export commodity, after
Tea tea.

Kenya is the world’s third largest producer Kenya is the second largest horticultural
and leading exporter of black tea. exporter in sub-Saharan Africa and the
second largest developing-country exporter of
The world over, Kenya tea has won flowers in the world.
international acclaim for its consistent high
quality and delightful aroma. It is also the second largest developing-
country supplier of vegetables to the
Kenya tea, mostly referred to as Kenya’s European Union.
green gold, has long been considered and
marketed as a health enhancing beverage. The horticulture sub-sector has grown
Kenya teas are famous for their distinct tremendously in the last decade to become a
taste and flavour. major foreign exchange earner, employer and
contributor to food needs in the country.
Tea was the Kenya’s third leading foreign
exchange earner in 2007. The industry is currently the fastest growing
agricultural sub-sector in the country, ranked
As a natural drink without additives third in terms of foreign exchange earnings
and preservatives, it has over the years from exports after tourism and tea.
dominated the world market because of its
natural ingredients and taste. Fruits, vegetables and cut-flower production
are the main pillars of horticultural production
In some countries, Kenyan tea is boiled in Kenya.
and drunk to cure fevers due to its herbal
constituent. The sub-sector generates over US$300 million
in foreign exchange earnings.
The main tea growing districts are situated
Saying it with flowers: Kenya has a flourishing in or around the highland areas on either Europe is the main market for Kenyan fresh
flower industry and the best flowers in the world side of the Great Rift Valley at altitudes horticultural produce, with the main importing

34 Best of Kenya
Smell the coffee: A powerhouse of the coffee world,
Kenya produces the best coffee in the world

countries being the United Kingdom, The high plateaus of Mt Kenya, plus the
Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, acidic soil, provide excellent conditions
Holland and Italy. for growing coffee plants. Coffee from
Kenya is well known for its intense flavour,
Other importing countries include Saudi robustness, and pleasant aroma.
Arabia and South Africa.
AA coffee, a type that is much-fancied in
A well developed and dynamic private sector the world market as the best, is actually
has profitably marketed a wide range of Kenyan coffee. All Kenyan coffee is
horticultural products to diverse international graded after it is milled.
Beans with a screen size of 17 or 18 are
Government intervention in this area has assigned the grade AA, generally the
mainly been facilitating the sector’s growth largest bean and the best. The large bean
through infrastructure development, size is considered as quality and is the
incentives and support services. pride of Kenyan farmers.

Structural and macroeconomic reforms, plus Fish Exports

the introduction of a more liberal trading
environment, has also provided a major boost Kenya’s fish exports are among the best
to the country’s horticultural prospects. quality on the world market.

Coffee Fish exports to the European Union (EU)

market started in the early 1980s, when
Kenya is the East African powerhouse of fish processing factories commenced
the coffee world. Coffee was Kenya’s third work around the Lake Victoria region.
leading export commodity in 2007.
The total annual production of fish in
Kenya’s coffee is popular for its intense Kenya is approximately 180,000 metric
flavour, full body, pleasant aroma and tons, with about 92% coming from Lake
fragrance. Victoria.

It has a distinctly bright acidity and potent Other sources of fish exports are from
sweetness with a dry winy aftertaste. There is the Indian Ocean, inland lakes, rivers and
also the intoxicating black-currant flavour and aquaculture.
aroma of Kenya’s famed “black gold” coffee.
Nile Perch, which constitutes about 50%
Kenya’s coffee industry is estimated to of the fish caught in Kenya, is the main
employ over six million Kenyans directly or export type, earning more than US$50
indirectly. million annually.

The major coffee-growing regions in Kenya There are also other commercially
are the high plateaus around Mt. Kenya, the important species in the domestic market
Aberdares range, Kisii, Nyanza, Bungoma, such as the small sardine fish dagaa and Check my catch: Kenya’s fish exports to Europe
Nakuru and Kericho. tilapia. compare favourably with other products

Best of Kenya 35
Hotels & Casinos

Remove the entire caption and replace it with the following, Presidents (from Left) H.E Yoweri Museveni, H.E Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), H.E Paul Kagame (Rwanda)
and H.E Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) during the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite High-level Conference on the North and South Corridor at Mulungushi International
Conferenced Centre, Lusaka.

Ten of the 18 fish-processing and exporting Kenya in IGAD Transitional National Government (TNG), which
firms in Kenya specialise in Nile Perch has since been replaced.
products while seven handle marine products Kenya has played a leading role in
such as shrimp, crustaceans and tuna. the Intergovernmental Authority on Kenya, under the auspices of IGAD,
Development (IGAD) in eastern Africa has subsequently chaired numerous
Nile Perch exports from Kenya to the since its inception in 1996 to supersede intergovernmental ministerial committee
European Union market have increased the Intergovernmental Authority on meetings whose outcome has been lasting
tremendously since 2000. Drought and Development (IGADD). solutions to territorial disputes and conflicts
within the Horn of Africa region.
Kenya in COMESA IGADD was founded in 1986 to come up
with measures to combat the recurring Kenya hosts the Small Arms and Light Weapons
Kenya has been a vibrant member of the severe droughts and other natural (SALW) Secretariat as well as the Regional
Common Market for Eastern and Southern disasters in the Horn of Africa region. Centre for Small Arms, which seeks to control
Africa (COMESA), established in 1994 and eradicate the proliferation of illicit arms
effectively replacing the Preferential Trade Act In 1983 and 1984, Kenya spearheaded within the East and Central African region.
(PTA). six countries in the Horn of Africa –
Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan Private sector
COMESA seeks to attain economic prosperity and Uganda – to take action through
through regional integration, where Kenya has the United Nations to establish an The liberalisation of Kenya’s economy and
been instrumental in influencing the joining of intergovernmental body for development efforts by the Government to improve the
the Common External Tariff (CET) rates with and drought control in their region. business environment have indeed been the
those of the East African Community. proverbial stitch in time that saves nine to
IGAD has however diversified its bolster investment and create opportunities in
Kenya successfully influenced the reduction of activities to include conflict resolution in the country.
the differences from over 2,500 to 1,078 tariff the region, with Kenya brokering most
lines by August 2008 – which translates into a of the peace talks and signing of peace Investment incentives to potential investors
success rate of 43.12%. accords between warring nations and under the Export Processing Zones (EPZ)
factions. package have offered the requisite thrust to
As a principal member of COMESA, Kenya is private investment.
poised to convince the other member-states Such was the role played by Kenya in
on the rationale for going along with the EAC talks which led to the signing of the The rationalization of business licenses and
tariff structure on a line-by–line basis. Sudan peace accord between the Arab- reduction of business registration procedures
dominated government of the North and have been a stimulus to a vibrant private sector
These are likely to reduce the less than 1,000 the Southern Sudan People’s Liberation involvement in business ventures.
tariff lines once the exercise of the tariff splits Army (SPLA) in 2004.
and further negotiations are finalised. Kenya is endowed with a heavy presence
Kenya also brokered the Somali peace of financial, manufacturing and agricultural
COMESA’s Common Tariff Nomenclature process involving the warring factions, multinational companies doing lucrative
(CTN) has approximately 5,000 tariff lines. resulting in the formation of the Somali business.

36 Best of Kenya
Over 100 multinational firms from the US,
UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Africa
and other parts of the world operate business

Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and

mobile service provider Vodafone – all from
the United Kingdom – are among top-notch
multinationals doing business in Kenya.

Also doing business in Kenya is global shoe

company Bata, headquartered in Canada.
Beirsdorf, the German chemical manufacturer
and producer of Nivea skin products, is well
established and operational here.

The British American Tobacco (BAT) Company

and Cadbury’s, the food manufacturer, are
among many others operating in Kenya.

Kenya’s service sector is currently the

highest contributor to GDP, at 55% against
agriculture’s 28%. The industrial sector
contributes around 17% to GDP.


Kenya’s focus in transforming its economy

from agriculture-anchored to technology-
propelled is in top gear as the high-speed
Internet bandwidth expected to reduce
telecommunications costs by at least 60%
becomes operational by 2010.

There are great expectations and the

Government is optimistic that the landing of
the fibre-optic cable will thrust Kenya into a
regional IT powerhouse by creating jobs within
the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
industry once the cable is linked. Top: President Mwai Kibaki outgoing COMESA chairman receives President Ismail Guella of Djibouti for the
regional COMESA Head of states meeting in Zimbabwe. Below: Kibaki admires the Victoria falls
Service-sector jobs as diverse as call
centre agencies, data processing, software
programming and other IT-related businesses To ensure the success of this venture, the Already, the SEACOM fibre-optic cable
are what Kenya hopes to achieve by the end Government has adopted a three-pronged has been laid up to Mombasa, signalling
of 2009. approach in undersea cable prospects. the onset of a whole new era in the
telecommunications industry.
The establishment of contact centres services Priority has been given to the East African
both in the rural and urban areas for general Marine System (TEAMS), a cable which will The project cost is estimated at US$700m
inquiries and digitisation of millions of connect Africa to Fujairah in the UAE. upon completion and could soon end
documents and records in Government and the over-reliance on satellite-based data
ministries agencies is the relief Kenya will Under the TEAMS agreement, the Kenya solutions blamed for the high cost of
afford once connected. Government has a 40% holding in the project, communications in the region.
Etisalat of UAE 20% and the remaining 40% is
Kenya will soon be a call centre destination, with other investors in the East African region. Local companies that will buy bandwidth
create abundant jobs and accelerate from SEACOM have already laid the
economic growth. The process will also The East African Submarine Cable System groundwork to ensure they start business as
promote competition in the ICT sector and (EASSy) is an initiative aimed at constructing soon as the cable becomes operational in
encourage Research and Development. and operating a submarine fibre-optic cable 2009.
along the East African Coast.
In this paradigm shift, the Government has These companies intend to resell the
taken the lead role in leveraging, investing EASSy hopes to connect nine coastal extended bandwidth to users both corporate
and supporting both local and foreign ICT countries and island nations to the rest of the and individual.
investors. world.
Telecommunications costs are expected
In 2006, a national ICT policy was launched A technology savvy Kenya is optimistic about to go down by 60% and high-speed data
and in 2007 the ICT Strategy for Economic going places and turning itself into a regional solutions, especially Internet, are expected
Growth was operationalised. ICT hub and premier BPO location in Africa. with the increased bandwidth.

Best of Kenya 37
Kenya at a Glance

Roads for prosperity: Government lays great emphasis on

development of infrastructure to spur growth

SEACOM is a fully-funded private sector VAT exemption on machinery, equipment and

project with most of the ownership in the raw materials to be used in both agricultural
hands of African entrepreneurs. Construction and industrial development.
of the cable station in Kenya is already
complete. Export Processing Zones (EPZ) have been
created. This is a scheme that is managed
Move towards investments by the EPZ Authority and promotes export-
oriented industrial investment within
The Government has progressively moved to designated areas.
introduce a number of investment incentives
in both the industrial and agricultural sectors. Through EPZ investors enjoy attractive
fiscal incentives with simplified operational
These incentives are designed to promote procedures and a superior infrastructure.
investment, employment, product mix, add
value and boost national economic growth. The managing authority also gives excellent
facilitation and after-care service to new and
By launching these measures, the existing investors to assure them of lower
Government hopes to enhance business operational costs, faster set up and smoother
partnership and investments through offering operations.
excellent and attractive concessions to
investors. Fiscal incentives calculated to stabilise
investor ego and comfort are also on the
Telecommunications: Information Technology is at In this regard, the Government offers 100 per cards, e.g. a 10-year tax-free holiday, Duty
the core of government’s development plans cent investment allowance and a Duty and and VAT exemption, single business licence,

38 Best of Kenya
exemption from Stamp Duty, exemption from Investors wanting to trade in computers
Withholding Tax and 25% Corporate Tax for and other IT-related materials are allowed to
10 years after the first 10 years expire. import their merchandise Duty Free.

Investors also get Duty remission by being For investors in the export business, there
exempted from duties and VAT on raw is unrestricted entry for Kenyan goods into
materials utilized to process confirmed the US market under the African Growth and
exports orders. Opportunity Act (AGOA) and access to the
COMESA market serving 400 million people.
They can also enjoy a loss-carry-forward
package by being given a grace period for The East African Community (EAC) market
their businesses to recover previous losses of 80 million is also accessible for Kenyan
before paying Corporate Tax. products while the Lome-Cotonou Agreement
offers access to the European Union market.
On capital expenditure, an investor is
allowed to recover from Corporate Tax duties There is also access to other markets in
paid for capital expenditure in excess of Europe, the US and Japan, under the GSP,
US$70,000. Capital goods and other basic for many other Kenyan products.
raw materials have been zero-rated.
On taxation and investment protection
The Government also gives lavish incentives agreements, Kenya has concluded
for those interested in investing in tourism- agreements with the EU, Germany, India,
related activities. Belgium and Switzerland, while other
earlier agreements are being revised and
Investors interested in building tourist hotels renegotiated.
can apply for a waiver on duties and VAT
while foreigners in the tourism business are Kenya has an excellent network of banks,
allowed to bring in cars for personal use insurance, transport, professional services
Duty Free. legal, engineering, human resources with
advanced skills, international languages, and
100% investment allowance for new research institutions to provide support for
investments in manufacturing and tourist business infrastructure.
hotels is offered while there is 25%
Corporate Tax for companies issuing The country prides itself on having a well-
Initial Public Offers on the Nairobi Stock developed professional services sector with Opportunities for investment: Kenya’s Export
Exchange. some multinational professional companies Processing Zone is home to thriving textile industry

Best of Kenya 39
Kenya at a Glance
Welcome to Kenya: This is what the Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport will look like when ongoing expansion
is completed. Inset is the Eldoret International Airport

such as KPMG and E&Y having regional handle global air transport challenges, the (Q2) and including Mueller International
offices in Nairobi. Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has embarked Inc (Sypher) won the consulting contract
on an expansion programme to improve for the renovation and forecast expansion
There are plentiful reliable insurance facilities in JKIA and other vital airport links requirements for JKIA.
companies and banks ready to cater for across Kenya.
investors needs. The expansion project was valued at $115m
When JKIA was first opened in 1978 it had and part of the cost is intended to be
Airport Expansion been designed for a maximum capacity of 2.5 provided out of revenues and World Bank
million passengers a year. In 2006 the airport funding (10%).
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) handled in excess of 4.4 million passengers.
is one of the busiest in Africa, serving as a The expansion project targets to double
major hub in East and Central Africa for cargo KAA declared their intention to expand and the current size of JKIA from 25,662m² to
and tourist passengers. improve JKIA to make it a premier regional 55,222m² with the new Terminal 4 building.
focal point in East and Central Africa in
Cargo handled at the airport increased from December 2005. Aircraft parking will be improved by an
192,300t in 2004 to 220,900t in 2005. increase in apron space from 200,000m²
A Canadian-Kenyan consortium led by to over 300,000m², as well as additional
To tackle the rapid upsurge and effectively Queen’s Quay Architects International Inc taxiways.

40 Best of Kenya
The arrivals and departures sections will be Sections One and Two are used for
separated for increased security. international flights and Section Three is used
for domestic flights.
The expansion project has been divided
into three phases to avoid disruption of the Check-in occurs through sections One
airport’s operations. and Two, depending on destination and all
the check-in counters operate on a CUTE
In subsequent phases the airport is set to (Common Use Terminal Equipment) system.
have a new parking lot to accommodate
1,500 cars, airfield lighting, apron floodlights There are eight gates in the departures area
and the parking stands will be increased to and the aircraft are boarded via boarding
accommodate 43 aircraft from the current 23. bridges.

Projections indicate that by 2024 JKIA will be International arrivals disembark via the same
handling over nine million passengers yearly. gates into the A concourse, which leads to the
Immigration counters on the first floor before
Currently the JKIA terminal has three sections they are directed to the baggage hall on the
catering for both arrivals and departures. ground floor.

Best of Kenya 41
Top of the world: Golden Girl Pamela Jelimo wins
the Women’s 800m race at the Beijing Olympiad
closely followed by Janeth Jepkosgei in an
electrifying 1-2 finish that enthralled the world.

42 Best of Kenya
Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS) and Kipchoge Keino
signage are in place to assist the passengers
finding their way around the airport. He won Kenya’s first gold medal at the
Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968. Keino
The Moi International Airport Mombasa and the won the 1500 metres race and put Kenya
Kisumu Airport are also undergoing expansion. firmly on the global sporting map as home of
the long distance runners. He repeated this
Home of world achievers feat in Munich, Germany, by winning another
gold medal for Kenya in the 3000 metres
Kenyans are a resilient, proud, innovative steeple chase race in 1972 and, once again,
and hardworking people. Global surveys set Kenya on the road to claiming this race as
conducted by the BBC in 2002 and 2006 its specialty.
ranked Kenyans among the most optimistic
people in the world. A strong sense of national In 1965, Keino became the first Kenyan to win
belonging and excellent international linkages the 1500 metres and 5000 meters respectively
give Kenyans great advantage in seeking at the All-Africa Games held in Brazzaville,
excellence. Congo. He was crowned Sportsman of
the Year in 1987 and characterised among
Kenya proudly boasts some of the best Athletes Who Care (for his work with
and brightest in diverse fields, including orphans) by the well-known Sports Illustrated
writers, technologists, technicians, scientists, magazine.
researchers, poets, palaeontologists,
musicians, lawyers, athletes, artists, and In 1996 Keino was inducted into the World
academics, among other disciplines, around Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. Kipchoge Keino
the world.
Michael Werikhe
They are a source of inspiration to many
locally and globally. Sample a few: When he visited Kenya in 2006 as Illinois
Senator, President Barack Obama was gifted
Prof Wangari Maathai a rhino carving by the Standard Group media
house. Smiling, Obama said the rhino is a
Undoubtedly one of the most recognisable stubborn animal. Perhaps that is one reason
Kenyan faces around the world. She is a top the rhino still graces Kenya’s wild, but could
celebrity as Kenya’s first Nobel Peace Prize there be another reason?
laureate, (and so far the only African woman
to win the coveted award), for her work for the Yes. Before Wangari Maathai became Kenya’s
environment. best known campaigning ‘green’, there was
the world famous walker for the preservation
A long-time academic who taught veterinary of the rhino – Michael Sampson Werikhe.
anatomy at the University of Nairobi, she
was the first Kenyan woman to obtain a PhD, ‘The Rhino Man’, to media and
become a lecturer and then a professor in conservationists around the world, Werikhe Michael Werikhe
any field of academic study. Maathai was became famous through his long fund-raising
a Member of Parliament and an assistant walks. He began his first walk in December
minister for the environment and natural 1982 from Mombasa to Nairobi, a distance of
resources between 2003 and 2007. She has about 500 kilometres. In 1985, he walked from
won 20 international awards since 1983. Kampala to Dar-es-Salaam and to Mombasa.

Prof Miriam Were Werikhe took his campaign to Europe in 1988

and to the United States in 1991. In 1993 he
Another internationally celebrated Kenyan was in Taiwan, a consumer nation of rhino
and a former chairperson of the National AIDS horns. Werikhe won 10 international awards
Control Council (NACC) that coordinates for his efforts. August 9 marks the anniversary
Kenya’s HIV/AIDS response, Were has served of Werikhe’s passing – the death of a brilliant
in several UN bodies, including the World conservationist.
Health Organisation, UNICEF and the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Pamela Jelimo

A highly regarded chemist, biologist and Is the first African woman to win the US$1
medical doctor, with a string of qualifications million jackpot of the International Association
in Public Health from Johns Hopkins of Athletics Associations (IAAF), in 2008.
University in the USA, she taught medicine Jelimo is also the first Kenyan woman to win
at the University of Nairobi before taking up the 800-metre Olympic gold (at the Beijing
international assignments. Were won the Olympiad in 2008).
UNICEF Maurice Pate Award for her work in
community health in 1978 and in 2008 won Before exploding into fame, Jelimo had
the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for her work won the junior national 400 metres title in
in medical services. 2007 at the age of 17 and also set a junior Richard Matelong

Best of Kenya 43
Hotels & Casinos
record of 24.68 seconds in 200 metres the great achievement for Kenya, as for the first
same year. She is now undoubtedly Kenya’s time, our teams and country were being
most renowned female athlete, and greater showcased to the whole world.
athletics achievements are predicted of this
highly talented sportswoman. With the tournament now getting the much-
needed publicity, it was time to expand
Inspirational Pamela embodies the and introduce the Safari Village, where all
determination of the Kenyan youth poised to the merchandising and entertainment were
take their place in national and international to take place, making the tournament an
affairs. occasion for the whole family. Rugby now had
another avenue to introduce young lads and
A Thrilling Combination of Pleasure and lasses to what had been deemed a macho, if
Business elite rowdies’, game.

The Tusker Safari Sevens The tournament organisers were not going to
settle for the young just watching the sport
The Tusker Safari Sevens is all about fast- from the stands, as in 2001, it was expanded
paced rugby made in Kenya, a real sporting to include the schools’ and veterans’
thriller that provides entertainment for the categories, which have remained very popular
whole family and burgeoning business to date.
opportunities in advertising.
By 2003, news of the tournament’s success
Since its inception in 1996, the tournament story had reached far and wide and very
has grown expotentially and is no longer just strong teams started to trickle in, with South
an occasion for diehard rugby lovers, but Africa bringing their development side, which
a weekend where most of Nairobi and its later went on to represent them in the IRB
environs buzz with activity in what has turned Sevens circuit.
out to be a landmark event in the Kenyan
sporting calendar. With South Africa giving the tournament the
nod, teams like Japan, France and Samoa
The first tournament was played by 20 teams have had no problem gracing the occasion.
from 12 countries that had not qualified for
the 1995 Rugby World Cup and, in just three The Safari Sevens, which usually runs in
years, had secured the viewership rights June, weeks after the conclusion of the IRB
of African media giants Supersport — a Sevens circuit, continues to attract top-notch

44 Best of Kenya
Fast-paced Rugby from Kenya: The thrill-a-minute national Sevens side
and annual Safari Sevens tournament side have won world acclaim

countries every year, with teams like Fiji,

England and New Zealand likely to attend the
tournament in the near future.

The Sevens is all about top class rugby, with

the trophy having been juggled mostly by
the Kenyan national team and British sides
like Wanderers, Bristol University and British
Army. It was only recently that the Emerging
Springboks and Samoa have broken that

It is no surprise that the tournament

has continued to attract high-profile
personalities in both the sporting and
interactive worlds. Rugby icons like
Confederation of Africa Rugby chairman
Abdelaziz Bougja, World Sevens legend
Waisale Serevi and South Africa’s Chester
Williams have all made an appearance in
what they termed one of the best organised
tournaments on the continent.

Kenyan music celebrities like Jua Kali,

Amani and Nameless are regular features
of Sevens events and fans always get a
chance to interact with their local stars IRB tournament of the magnitude of the The Safari Sevens has been of great
in-between being treated to some seriously Junior World Rugby Trophy. When IRB convenience to the Sevens national
entertaining rugby. Sevens’ events was considering which host country would technical bench, with the tournament
attract only the most up-to-date and best follow the inaugural tournament in Chile, being used to test new players. The
performers in comedy, music and fashion. Kenya stood out of the pack like a giraffe Shujaa team, which comprises mostly
in a herd of gazelles as they had already players who have not yet made the cut for
Even politicians are attracted to these had the experience of hosting other the national team, has been participating
interactive events – last year, Information internationals in a successful, critically in the games since its inception and is
Minister Samuel Poghisio, Deputy acclaimed rugby tournament. responsible for exposing some of our
Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and biggest stars, such as current IRB top
Prime Minister Raila Odinga made an With the IRB Sevens circuit venues up for scorer Collins Injera.
appearance. consideration next season, Kenya will have
a strong case to present in front of the Kenya have not been the only ones who have
The Safari Sevens have been instrumental IRB owing to the recent successes of the used the tournament to try out new players.
in the development of rugby and sports in Safari Sevens, and, with the recent superb Other squads include Zimbabwe, Tunisia
general in Kenya and Africa as a whole. performances of the men’s National Sevens and Tanzania, the most notable being South
team, a home leg in the international circuit Africa, who have for four years kept bringing
Kenya has had the privilege of being will definitely increase the team’s chances on players like Mzwandile Stick and Ryno
the first country in Africa to hold a major of winning a major trophy. Benjamin, as young emerging Boks, but

Best of Kenya 45
Kenya at a Glance

Back to my roots: Barack Obama and daughters Malia and

Sasha (foreground) visit with Kenyan relatives in 2006 in the
village where his father was born. The lady in the headdress in
all three photos is Mama Sarah Obama, the President’s step-
grandmother, who lives in Nyang’oma Kogelo Village.

have left the carriers of their national flag in themselves and the world at large. But it was Local and international journalists are
international tournaments. not always like that. regular visitors to Nyang’oma-Kogelo
and their stories of the joy of the people
Apart from being a social, sporty event, This is the village where Barack Hussein of Kogelo continue to grace the screens
the Safari Sevens has also proved to be a Obama Snr, father of Barack Hussein Obama and pages of both local and international
booming business, with sponsors pouring in Jnr, the 44th President of the United States of media.
every year hoping to grab the attention of the America (and the first black one), was born,
crowds that attend the tournament. bred and buried. Already, there are a number of local tour
companies offering services to bring the
Companies get a chance to fulfil their Some now think Kogelo is Kenya’s village of international visitor not only to Kenya,
corporate social responsibility as well as the future. but also, and more importantly, to
market their goods. Nyang’oma-Kogelo.
In 2006 when Obama, then an Illinois
The Kenyan roots of the 44th US President Senator, and his wife, Michelle, visited In Kogelo, Obama has become a role
Kogelo, it was a sleepy little-known village model and an inspiration for the next
Nyang’oma-Kogelo is perhaps Kenya’s most in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Not anymore, generation. His principles and values are
celebrated rural village – known by Kenyans the senator’s visit awakened the village. likely to remain the key driving force for

46 Best of Kenya
the youth of this village and it is perhaps
this that will propel Kogelo into a popular
tourist destination, surely a secular
pilgrimage destination.

President Obama’s philanthropic trait

appears to have been inherited from his
late father, who donated the land on which
the two village schools now named after
the President stand.

As the ancestral home of the father of 44th

President of the United States, Kogelo will
undoubtedly remain the focus of a lot of
international attention and an interesting
destination to visit long after Obama has
left office.

Best of Kenya 47
Chapter 2
Hotels and Resorts

48 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 49
Superlative Serenity in the
Hotels and Resorts

Lap of Luxury

The Serena Hotel Nairobi

Famed for its superlative standards of efficiency, service and
hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena Hotel is a
member of the Leading Hotels of the World and the proud flagship
of the Serena Hotels fleet of world class establishments.

Considered by many to be one of Nairobi’s finest hotels, the Sensitively constructed from ecologically sympathetic materials,
Serena stands amidst lush tropical gardens with panoramic the interior of the hotel reflects a kaleidoscope of cultural
views over Nairobi’s Central Park and the glittering influences, blending Moroccan mystique with a breath of
downtown skyline. African heritage into an elegant harmonious whole.

Despite its pivotal central location, the Serena also remains As is the trend today in the hotel industry, the Millennium guest
true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the isn’t interested in how many rooms a hotel boasts, but how big
bustle of one of Africa’s most vibrant capital cities. they are, and what options are offered for private entertaining,
exclusive meetings and efficient working space.
Established in the mid-1970s, the Serena Group was
launched with a challenging goal – to become the leading The discerning guest, it seems, demands a suite rather than
hotel group in East Africa. The goal has today been a room, preferably with its own reception area, workspace,
achieved. cocktail terrace, private sundeck and opulent bathroom, which
explains why the Nairobi Serena Hotel has restructured its room
The Serena enjoys one of the finest locations in the city of selection to offer a stunning new choice of executive suites. It is
Nairobi. a spectacular line-up.

50 Best of Kenya
Standard Rooms with spacious balconies and
stunning views.

As befits one of Africa’s finest hotels, the

Nairobi Serena’s newly refurbished Stateroom
Suite is fit for a king. Gloriously presented in
regal crimson and gleaming gold colours, and
opulently appointed in the Zanzibari style,
the breathtaking new suite boasts a private
dining room (with integrated kitchen), sitting
room (with plasma-screen TV and globally
connected workstation), bar, magnificent state
bedroom and bathroom, guest washroom and
guest reception area.

Conference Centre

Introducing a bouquet of beautiful conference

options solely responsible for the setting
of a whole new range of standards on the
Nairobi conference venue scene, the recently
completed Nairobi Serena Hotel Conference
Centre has enjoyed a season of unrivalled
bookings and guest profiles.

Everyone, it seems, wants to hold their

conference at the new facility. Designed to
blend discreetly into the assured elegance
that already distinguishes the Nairobi Serena
Hotel from other capital city business venues,
the revolutionary new facility enjoys its own
private marbled entrance lobby, which leads
to the imposingly elegant Orchid Room, which
accommodates 130 delegates and opens
onto a natural stone garden terrace where
sparkling fountains play.

On the ground floor are three opulently The Orchid Room also boasts studio-
efficient Garden Suites, each with their own quality sound, lighting, audio-visual effects,
luxurious workspace, reception area and individual notebook workstations and “Hot
picture window leading to a private garden Spot” Internet connectivity. Three additional
with dining pergola, cocktail terrace and seminar rooms, Hibiscus, Canna and Lantana,
gilded gate leading through onto the hotel accommodate 30 delegates each; both Canna
gardens. and Hibiscus feature their own exclusive
garden terraces and Hibiscus has an elegant
On the first floor, five gorgeous new Superior wrought iron gate leading into the main hotel
Rooms have been luxuriantly appointed, each grounds, where themed al fresco receptions
with its own technology-efficient workspace, can be accommodated.
lounge and lavish balcony. And above them
the cleverly expanded new accommodation
wing boasts 6 generously extended Executive
Suites with panoramic balconies, 5 opulently Tel: +254-20-2842000
enlarged Business Suites and 4 elegant

Best of Kenya 51
Historic Hotels with 21st Century
Hotels and Resorts

Hospitality The Sarova Stanley


Refreshing African Hospitality

The Sarova Group

As Kenya’s first luxury hotel, The Sarova Stanley has always
occupied a special place in Nairobi’s heart. From the day it
opened its doors in 1902, it has been making history by hosting
royal safaris, groundbreaking business events and a long line of
legendary personalities such as Edward, Prince of Wales, Nobel
Literature laureate Ernest Hemingway and actress Ava Gardner,
to name a few.

From the moment you pass through the century-old revolving the charm of the Lamu and Karen Blixen suites, to the chic
doors, you leave the heat and bustle of modern Nairobi and sophistication of the club rooms or the contemporary
for a world of cool Victorian elegance. The spacious foyer, functionality of the deluxe rooms, The Sarova Stanley has a
with its marble floors, leather furniture, antique brass and fine range of accommodation to choose from. An eclectic mix
wrought-iron fittings, recalls a graceful era of fine furnishings of dining and entertainment options is on offer. One can enjoy
and grand living. From the grandeur of the presidential suite, the legendary Thorn Tree Café – reputed to be Nairobi’s first

52 Best of Kenya
post office, or the casual atmosphere at the discerning business and leisure travelers. • Pavilions – These 2 restaurants have a
Pool Deck restaurant. Thai Chi restaurant is The hotel also boasts 43 fully-furnished total seating capacity for 680 people
reputed to be the finest in Thai cuisine within apartments. and offer dinner based on 14-day
the region. The Exchange Bar is an elegantly theme nights.
decadent, plush lounge bar, home to the Enjoy leisurely meals at the award-winning
Nairobi Stock Exchange since incorporation, a Flame Tree restaurant, once the watering • Minazi Café – has a 92-person
period of over 50 years. hole for freedom fighters, spies and foreign capacity offering tastefully prepared
correspondents and named after the Flame snacks and light meals, plus 24-hour
The Sarova Stanley also offers superlative Tree that holds pride of place in the middle room service.
conferencing and banqueting facilities with its of the restaurant. Most weekends, the
9 meeting and conference rooms. A heated Flame Tree comes alive with people flocking • Lido Seafood Grill – a seafood heaven
swimming pool and state-of-the-art health to its African theme nights that showcase of “Fish on the beach”, it is a Chaîne
club and gymnasium take pride of place in the Kenya’s cuisine, cultural heritage and music. des Rotisseurs-certified fine dining
hotel’s inventory. The Sarova Panafric offers state-of-the art restaurant.
banqueting and conferencing facilities with
a range of meeting and function rooms • Cocos Beach Bar – open-air disco
equipped with the latest audio visual and WIFI with a capacity for 150 people.
equipment. To wind down the day, take a dip
Sarova Panafric in the pool or go for a leisurely massage – or • An exquisite range of state-of-the-art,
NAIROBI simply enjoy a cool drink to the soothing air-conditioned Motivator Conferencing
Refreshing African Hospitality sounds of African tunes from one of Kenya’s facilities are available.
finest local bands.
When the quest for Africa’s Independence • Tulia Spa & Health Bar – offers
raged in the 1960s, the Sarova Panafric was Western, Oriental and Ayurvedic
the centre of liberalism and hushed political Massage therapies in addition to full
Sarova whitesands salon treatments.
meetings, hosting many of Africa’s nationalists
and future African statesmen. Named in
Beach resort & spa
m o m basa
honour of the Pan African movement, the Refreshing African Hospitality • A wide selection of PADI-certified
Sarova Panafric was inaugurated by the water-sports, ranging from jet skiing to
first President of Kenya, H.E. Mzee Jomo Among the many Kenyan beach hotels, the deep sea diving and Buccaneer diving.
Kenyatta, on January 5, 1965, and truly Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
represents neo-Africa. Idyllically located stands out as being amongst the favorite • A top-of-the-range gym plus a
amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in a Mombasa beach hotels, perfect for either keenly experienced and enthusiastic
quiet suburb of Nairobi, the Sarova Panafric a beach holiday or for state-of-the-art Animation Team ensures that you can
makes a great retreat from the bustling life of conferencing facilities. Situated on 22 acres stay as actively engaged as you wish.
the city, yet is only five minutes away from the of the longest of pristine, pure white sandy
CBD. beachfronts, the hotel encompasses 338 • The Ozone Kids Club caters to every
rooms, ranging from the refreshing standard, whim for the young ones, ensuring a
The hotel offers 153 rooms in a range of sea-front, deluxe, and executive suites to the truly memorable stay for the children.
standard, superior and suites all recently grand presidential suites and our signature
refurbished and decorated in neo-African style wellness spa, proudly known as Tulia.
with panoramic views of the city. Equipped
with modern amenities and conveniences, The facilities offered at the Resort are as Tel: +254-20-2716688
the rooms provide excellent value for the follows:

Best of Kenya 53
Africa’s Best Kept Secret
Hotels and Resorts

Oasis of Tranquillity Near City Centre

The Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club
Looking for an idyllic country setting and a life of supreme luxury a
stone’s throw away from an African metropolis? Then look no further
than the Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club.

Located on the northern outskirts of the city, the Windsor world at any given time. There is also a wellness centre, with
is the apex of Kenya’s tourist facilities, complete with a a well-equipped gym.
golf course and other sporting facilities, apart from the top
quality accommodation and first class international cuisine. Describing itself as “Africa’s Best Kept Secret”, the
hotel and club facility in Nairobi appropriately derives its
Located just a 15-minute drive from the city centre of famous name from one of the most renowned residences
Nairobi, and a 45-minute drive from the Jomo Kenyatta of the British monarchy, Windsor Castle. When the hotel
International Airport (JKIA), the Windsor Golf Hotel & first opened its doors in the early 1990s, it was a hugely
Country Club is a cluster of impressive Victorian style important and welcome addition to Nairobi’s top class
buildings with 130 deluxe rooms comprising twins, doubles, tourist facilities. The Windsor Golf & Country Club has since
studio suites and cottages all overlooking a spectacular 18- become the preferred meeting place for top political leaders
hole championship golf course and tastefully decorated with and captains of business and industry in Kenya and the East
five-star amenities in each room. African region.

The hotel has a modern 16-hour business centre, complete Whether visiting or staying in Nairobi for business, pleasure
with an array of computers and communications facilities or both, the Windsor offers a breathtakingly beautiful oasis
that ensure that the visitor is in touch with the rest of the of comfort and tranquillity – the perfect place for a getaway!

54 Best of Kenya
The 18-hole championship golf course, The Conservatory Restaurant – Situated
designed by the renowned Tom Macauley, next to the swimming pool and offering
threads its way through coffee farms an a-la-carte menu with offerings such as
and indigenous forest, with lush, springy pastries, coffee and tea and other savories
fairways, fast, true greens and a sprinkling throughout the day.
of challenging water hazards. There are also
73 well located sand bunkers to provide for a The Library Lounge – Located at the level
challenging, international class golf course. of the lobby and serves drinks in a luxury
setting from around 4.00pm to the last
The resort offers other sporting, health and guest.
fitness facilities as well as a well-stocked
shopping arcade with a wide range of The Kingfisher Bar – Overlooks the hotel’s
products, including golfing equipment crystal blue heated swimming pool and
and other sporting gear. Several local and offers a wide variety of cocktails from
international competitions take place at the 10.00am to 11.00pm.
Windsor Golf and Country Club every year.
The Club Bar – with its hardwood interior
For the nature lovers, there is a wide variety and tall vaulted ceilings offers a cool and
of flora and fauna, especially birds, in the relaxing venue for drinks and cocktails after
vicinity, with a resident ornithologist available a challenging round of golf.
The water cascades and the greenery are to organize walks around the luxury resort.
unique features of this hotel-cum-resort. Conference and Banquet Facilities:
Opened in 1992, the Windsor Golf Hotel & Bars and Restaurants at the Windsor
Country Club Resort has an inimitable style Country Club: The Windsor Golf & Country Club has six
and culture. large and elegant and quiet conference
The Country Room – The Country Room is rooms that can accommodate anything
All rooms are supplied with a colour TV a spacious but lovely restaurant adjacent to ranging from a small family gathering or
set, in-room safes, direct-dial telephones the famous Windsor Terraces, which provides board meeting of 5 people to a conference
and mini bars. The attached bathrooms are a largely international cuisine for breakfast, of 240 people theatre style. All conference
well-designed for comfort. Set amidst lush lunch and dinner. facilities have brilliant natural light and
tropical manicured gardens, the hardwood hardwood interiors, with all the other
floored rooms, suites and cottages are The Windsor Room – The main restaurant facilities and equipment for such meetings.
spacious and elegant. Most of them overlook is an unforgettable dining experience with
the spectacular championship 18-hole golf a large variety of dishes from an a-la-carte
course. All rooms are tastefully decorated menu, which features, among other foods, Tel: +254-20-8562300
in pastel colors and include numerous other game meat, poultry dishes and fine fish Email:
amenities for the convenience of the visitor. delicacies.

Best of Kenya 55
A study in lakeside hospitality
Hotels and Resorts

The Kisumu Hotel

The pride of Kisumu City,
it is The Star of Lakeside Hospitality.

56 Best of Kenya
The Star of Lakeside Hospitality The snow-white exterior of the hotel is renovated structure of the hotel. Modern
unmistakable while the interior ambiance has conference facilities and equipment have
A discerning visitor to Kisumu City, Kenya’s been vastly improved along with the service, been installed to enable meetings of up to
third largest metropolis of around 600,000 cuisine and accommodation. It is now the 600 delegates to run in one place. This is
inhabitants on the shores of Lake Victoria, most popular establishment in Kisumu City, apart from several other smaller conference
the second largest fresh water body on earth, able to accommodate 120 to 150 guests in rooms. There is also an adjacent hall that can
will probably be directed to the Kisumu exceptional comfort. accommodate 500 conference participants at
Hotel, which is under the ownership and once.
management of Maseno University, for There are 80 large, well ventilated and
the best food, accommodation, as well as tastefully furnished single and double rooms Hotel and Teaching Lab
the most appropriate social gathering and at the hotel, three of which are executive
conference facility. suites, including one that is fit for presidential The Hotel also serves as a training facility.
accommodation. Several lounges, an Maseno University has the Department
Kisumu, once known as Port Florence when expansive dining area and corridors/walkways of Ecotourism, Hotel and Institution
the Kenya-Uganda railway, “the Lunatic that exude class have become the hallmarks Management, which o ers a wide range of
Express”, reached the lakeshore in 1901, of the Kisumu Hotel. undergraduate and postgraduate courses in
is a city now renowned for its vigour and the fields of hospitality and ecotourism. In
hospitality to all comers. The people are The youthful management of the hotel, all all the courses requiring practicals the Hotel
friendly and easy-going. There are various graduates of Maseno University led by the is used as a Teaching Lab. The hotel and
interesting sites for the visitor to enjoy both General Manager, Mr Paul Ouma, offers the conference facilities provide a major boost for
within and outside the city. The Kisumu best possible service available in a high class practical work during the academic hospitality
Hotel forms an ideal starting point for any tourist hotel. The waiters and other service and related programmes o ered by Maseno
touristic expeditions in the lake region and the personnel are welldressed, prompt and polite. University.
Transport to and from the hotel is readily Contacts:
One of the oldest and finest structures, available with several taxi ranks and other Kenyatta Highway
the Kisumu Hotel was once the leading means of transport stationed conveniently in P. O. Box 3335-40100, Kisumu
accommodation facility in the lakeside city the vicinity. Tel: 254-057-2022833/2021504
during the 1960s and 1970s until it fell on Fax: 254-057-2020508
bad times during the 1980s. Under the new A large new multi-storey conference complex Email:
ownership and management of Maseno has been constructed behind the completely
University, which prides itself as the “Fountain
of Excellence”, the hotel facility is even better
and more accommodating than during its
previous glory days.

Located along the main thoroughfare of

Kisumu City, the Jomo Kenyatta Highway
within the Central Business District and
within a short walking distance of all the most
important administrative offices, the Kisumu
Hotel was an old and dilapidated structure
until it was bought by Maseno

University. Following extensive renovation that

took two and a half years, the hotel is now the
pride of Kisumu City, indeed it is The Star of
Lakeside Hospitality.

Best of Kenya 57
Chapter 3
Dining and Eating Out

58 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 59
Kenya’s Ultimate
Dining and Eating Out

Meating Place
The popular Carnivore Restaurant is known
for meat, all sorts of meats.

Indeed, the restaurant’s motto is Nyama Tu, which is Kiswahili The Carnivore is a meat specialty restaurant and it is justifiably
for Solely Meat! referred to as ‘Africa’s Greatest Eating Experience’.

Situated just 4 kilometres from Nairobi’s central business Every type of meat imaginable, such as a selection of exotic
district, the Carnivore opened its doors in September 1980 meats including crocodile and ostrich, is roasted over
to instant success. The food, service and atmosphere are charcoal and carved at the table. Delicious side dishes and an
strikingly different from anything ever seen in Kenya. exceptional array of sauces complement this fixed-price feast
that also includes soup, a selection of desserts and Kenyan
That the Carnivore is about meat is typically Kenyan for, in coffee.
many middle class Kenyan eateries and homes, a meal is
incomplete without meat or meat sauce. The Carnivore’s main restaurant has a seating capacity of 420

60 Best of Kenya
and caters to a cosmopolitan blend of local
residents. It is also one of the most popular
tourist restaurants and regularly caters for
large parties of tourists and conference

Set in attractive tropical gardens, the service of each guest along with a plate of home- This is based on a famous Brazilian drink,
and the décor are outstanding. baked brown bread and butter. and was introduced to Kenyans at the
Carnivore. It has now become one of
The Carnivore is also home of the Simba An army of carvers wearing zebra-striped the most widely consumed cocktails in
Saloon, a delicious a la carte restaurant by aprons and straw hats move from table to Kenya and it is brought to the guest on
day and Nairobi’s most popular nightclub. table carrying Maasai swords laden with a portable tray by the medicine man,
different prime meats deliberately carving fittingly named Dr. Dawa.
The informal indoor/outdoor atmosphere, unlimited amounts onto the sizzling, cast
exceptional snacks and the pulsating iron plates in front of each guest. Adjoining the main restaurant is the
rhythms of Africa combine to ensure an Simba Saloon – a vibrant informal
exciting ambiance. Accompanying the meat feast is a wide restaurant that incorporates a children’s
selection of salads and vegetable side playground (very popular on weekends)
Twice voted amongst the world’s 50 best dishes, and also a variety of exotic and a lively nightclub.
restaurants by Restaurant Magazine the sauces made from the Carnivore’s own
Carnivore is described as ‘amazing’. recipes and stacked on to a double-storey The Simba Saloon provides an alternative
revolving tray in the centre of the table. to those who do not want to indulge
Since its inception, the Carnivore has played in a large meal, serving pizzas (from
host to over 2 million customers from across The feeding frenzy doesn’t stop until a traditional, domed, brick oven), an
the globe, including numerous celebrities. In the guests signal that enough is enough extremely popular salad bar at lunchtime,
fact, the Carnivore visitor’s book reads like a by the lowering of a white paper flag steaks, hamburgers, scampi, trout,
global Who is Who. perched atop the central tray. This is chicken, and other light snacks.
followed by dessert and coffee. The full
Whole joints of meat – legs of lamb and meal, including a soup course, is at a set The nightclub operates from Wednesday
pork, haunches of exotic meat, rumps of price. to Sunday and has themed nights to cater
beef, sirloins, racks of lamb, spare ribs, for fans of contemporary African music,
sausages, chicken wings, skewered kidneys, A vegetarian menu is also offered. rock, soul, jazz and the latest hits.
even crocodile, and other tasty morsels – First-time visitors to the Carnivore
are roasted on traditional Maasai swords are enthralled by the spectacle of The Simba Saloon has hosted some of
over a huge, spectacular charcoal pit that the roasting pit, the service and the Africa’s best musicians and international
dominates the entrance to the restaurant. distinctive flavours of food. stars such as Maxi Priest, Yellowman,
Sadao Watanabe, Manu Dibango, Salif
Constantly basted and turned until cooked The atmosphere of the Carnivore Keta, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Ismael Lo,
to perfection, the meat is succulent and combines the rustic feel of a rural Habib Koite, Hugh Masakela and Morgan
well flavoured. The Carnivore does not environment with the air of a medieval Heritage, just to mention a few.
conform to the familiar restaurant traditions banqueting hall. This is accomplished by
of passing out menus and waiting for people the use of streams and tropical gardens The Carnivore has struck the rare balance
to order. throughout the restaurant, and by using of catering to a cosmopolitan blend of
rough-hewn beams and local woods. local residents whilst becoming a must-
Diners simply take their seats on the zebra- see stopover for tourists.
striped chairs and the movable feast begins. Another famous feature to set the tone
of the Carnivore experience is the
First comes the soup of the day and a house cocktail, the Dawa (which means Tel: +254-20-605933
sizzling cast-iron plate is placed in front medicine or magic potion in Kiswahili).

Best of Kenya 61
No compromise on flavour
Dining and Eating Out

and satisfaction

Kosewe, Ranalo
Do not be surprised, walking through the streets of Kenya’s capital,
to hear people talking about, or asking each other whether they have
been to, one restaurant and club at the centre of the great metropolis
that offers excellent traditional Kenyan cuisine as well as music and a
wonderful atmosphere for socialising.

House of flavour: The restaurant at Kosewe, Ranalo,

and, inset, a mouth-watering fish dish. Mrs Osewe,
co-proprietor of Kosewe, samples a lunchtime buffet.

62 Best of Kenya
THIS WAY TO A GREAT MEAL: The entrance to Ranalo Foods of Kimathi Street, Nairobi. A waitress serves lunch. Mr and Mrs Osewe in their office at the restaurant.

Such conversation is usually centered on A humble, self-effacing man, Osewe started

Ranalo Restaurant and Club, which belongs his business on a very small scale, buying
to Ronald Osewe, the man whose from- several kilogrammes of meat, usually pork
rags-to-riches story is an inspiration to many ribs, and roasting it for sale at Kaloleni, using
Kenyans. He represents one of the country’s a charcoal grill, known as jiko in Swahili. It
most exemplary business success stories was hard work and the returns at the initial
that epitomise the entrepreneurial spirit of the stages were not so good. It was in 1979
Kenyan people. that Osewe took the initial steps towards
establishing his now flourishing business. It
Having started a small meat-roasting outfit all started at Kaloleni with the purchase of a
in one of the poorer residential areas of charcoal grill and grilling wire mesh. Charcoal
Nairobi, Osewe is now the owner of a and meat were the main raw materials. After
big and rapidly growing business empire. operating for some years in the open at
Serving up delicious hot meals of popular Kaloleni, the enterprising Osewe rented a
traditional and modern dishes is the main place in one of the former Kenya Railways
activity that has made Osewe a renowned godowns near the Nairobi Railway Station.
and popular figure in Kenya and elsewhere. Being close to Nairobi’s central business
The core of his fast expanding business district, it was an ideal place for business
empire is the restaurant whose name, expansion.
Ranalo, is the embodiment of Osewe’s
humble beginnings. Ranalo is the name of The affordable and delicious traditional and
the poor rural village from where he hails in modern foods offered at the new Kosewe
Nyanza Province. eating place near the Nairobi Railway Station An Osewe classic, fish and osuga.
was to be the recipe for the success of the
Nairobi’s Ranalo is one of the most popular enterprise. All classes of Kenyans working a cleaner, better and more comfortable
eateries, serving a wide variety of traditional within and around the CBD found an easy restaurant to offer traditional dishes to both
foods from the Luo ethnic community to place to go for a satisfying lunch that did the working Kenyan middle class and tourists.
which Osewe belongs, as well as modern not inconvenience them pocket-wise. The
dishes. Regular customers at Ranalo swear tasty dishes on offer included several types Although the new Ranalo Restaurant at the
that the place serves some of the most of meats, fishes, vegetables, potatoes, rice, Cameo Cinema building was more expensive
delicious traditional foods in the country, if fruits and the popular ugali made from maize, than the former Kosewe near the Nairobi
not in the entire eastern African region. The millet and sorghum. The cooking was and Railway Station, it became, nevertheless, a
place has a welcoming ambience and a still is first class, attracting both Kenyans and very popular eating place for office workers
mix of customers that reflects both Kenya’s foreigners to the eatery. in the CBD. The new restaurant could remain
multi-ethnic composition and its position as open both during the day and in the evenings
a globally popular tourist destination. As the business at the Nairobi Railway Station when most people in Nairobi like to enjoy
expanded rapidly during the early 1990s, a drink and relax before heading to their
Ranalo is now a well established restaurant the imaginative Osewe was already thinking residences.
in Nairobi, and Osewe has replicated his big. Noticing that the place was becoming
successful enterprise elsewhere within the too small for the large and growing numbers The popularity of Ranalo at the Cameo
capital city and in Kisumu. He has plans to of customers who came for lunch, he made Cinema led to Osewe looking for an even
establish similar restaurants in other major plans to expand and sought a bigger and more accommodative place. He soon moved
urban centres in Kenya, such as Mombasa, more comfortable place within Nairobi’s CBD to the building along Kimathi Street, close to
Nakuru, Eldoret, Embu and Machakos. for an even more impressive restaurant. the imposing Nation Centre, headquarters of
Although “cooking and serving the best and Eastern Africa’s largest and most prestigious
most delicious traditional foods” remains at In 1996 he rented the expansive lounge on media house, and set up the current
the core of Osewe’s business enterprise, he the first floor of the Cameo Cinema building Ranalo Restaurant and Club. It is a place
has branched into other fields such as real on Kenyatta Avenue – plumb in the centre that embodies the joyful and lively spirit of
estate and food processing for export. of Nairobi. It was an ideal place to put up Nairobi’s day and night life.

Best of Kenya 63
The Star of the Sea
Dining and Eating Out

Tamarind Mombasa
The Tamarind restaurant is a five-star tourist hotel
in the north of Mombasa, Kenya’s port city and the
gateway to eastern and Central Africa.

Lunch on the ocean wave: It’s lunchtime

on the famous Tamarind dhow.

The Mombasa Tamarind is built in Arab style with high arches He embarked on an ambitions mission to create the finest
and a crenellated roof. seafood restaurant in Africa. With little financial and moral
support he designed and built the Mombasa Tamarind, a dream
It is in an elegant, gleaming white building with a perfect which he fulfilled with a passion.
setting and a starlit terrace perched on a cliff overlooking the
picturesque Old Harbour of Mombasa. The hotel menu is a blend of the best of French, Asian and
African cuisines.
Its history spans back to the early seventies when there were no
quality restaurants in Mombasa, and Kenyan-born Chris Seex, The Tamarind’s specialty is seafood and only the freshest
who was managing a coastal resort hotel at the time, sought to ingredients are applied in food preparations. The Prawns
correct the imbalance. Peri Peri, Chili Crab and Lobster have earned the Tamarind

64 Best of Kenya
worldwide fame and rave reviews from is able to cater for residential conferences of Mombasa and the starlit skies provide
publications such as Gourmet, the London of up to 40 in the conference room, as well idyllic surroundings for a delicious
Times and the International Herald Tribune. as providing business facilities such as fax, seafood dinner meticulously prepared in
e-mail, telephone and secretarial services. the Swahili style on the deck in front of
Tamarind Village the guests.
For holidaymakers, the Village makes
The Tamarind Village, a luxurious collection a secure and perfect setting for leisure Tamarind Nairobi
of fully serviced apartments, is situated and relaxation, offering two swimming
directly adjacent to Mombasa’s famous pools with jacuzzi, the Creek Club The Nairobi Tamarind is situated in the centre
Tamarind Restaurant and overlooks the fitness centre and therapy room, a of the city, adjacent to the National Bank
picturesque Old Town of Mombasa. glass-backed squash court, deep sea Building, Haile Selassie Avenue, close to the
fishing, water skiing and excellent food Central Bank of Kenya.
At Tamarind Village, ancient artistry meets and service.
contemporary comfort. Just 10 minutes from It has an ambience of elegance and calm in
the city centre, this collection of elegant The Tamarind Dhow addition to delicious food and superb service.
apartments blends age-old ambience with The Nairobi Tamarind is an invitation to dine or
state-of-the-art business facilities, modern The Tamarind Dhows Nawalilkher and do business over lunch.
land and sea sports, and two world-famous Babulkher are authentic ocean going
restaurants – one overlooks the ocean, jahazi (traditional Arab sailing boats), As Nairobi’s leading seafood restaurant, it flies
the other, seaborne, cruising its coastline formerly used for cargo trading along in fresh giant prawns, sweet young crab, juicy
aboard a majestic Arab dhow. the Kenyan Coast and to the Arab lobster, squid, octopus and oysters from the
states. The dhows have been completely Coast daily.
In a world of modern architectural clones, refurbished as floating restaurants,
Tamarind Village stands apart from the without losing any of the traditional It also offers the finest venison, steak and
crowd. With its towering white walls, aspects of the original vessels. poultry in the country for those whom seafood
curling archways and classical turrets, the is not their first choice.
village rises from its coral ramparts like a They are now moored at the Mombasa
formidable 14th Century fortress. Tamarind Jetty. The Nairobi Tamarind has built up and
maintained a reputation for superb cuisine,
Within these great walls are to be found As a restaurant, the Nawalilkher is and has been voted Restaurant of the Year on
some of the finest apartments in 21st available for individual bookings, and has many occasions.
Century Africa. a sitting capacity of 70 for dinner, which
leaves plenty of room for dancing on Tel: +254-041-474600
Offering a wonderful alternative to any night cruises. By removing some of the
luxury hotel accommodation on the Coast, tables, the dhow has ample room to hold
‘the Village’, which consists of one-, two- a cocktail party for up to 100 people.
and three-bedroom apartments, is set in a
beautiful lush garden with a surrounding air The Nawalilkher sails every day except
of comfortable privacy. Sundays for both day and evening
cruises. Private charters can be
Built in coastal style architecture with organised for Sundays.
authentically styled Swahili furnishings,
each apartment has air-conditioned The lunchtime cruise departs from the
bedrooms with bathrooms en-suite, a Tamarind Jetty at 1pm, cruises gently
well appointed and equipped kitchen for up Tudor Creek, to a quiet spot where
self-catering, satellite TV and a spacious the dhow moors.
verandah with a stunning view of the Old
Town of Mombasa. The dinner cruise, commencing at
6.30pm, begins with a welcome Dawa
The Village is an ideal place for business cocktail as the dhow sails smoothly
visitors looking for a quiet environment and towards Fort Jesus. The twinkling lights

Best of Kenya 65
Taste sensations:
Dining and Eating Out

The culinary artistry of Blanco’s

One of the places that brings out the very best of Nairobi
and provides an unforgettable culinary experience,
blending perfectly with renowned Kenyan hospitality.

66 Best of Kenya
Nairobi, with its population of more than with a carefully designed internal decor that has been conceptualized, designed,
4.2 million, is the region’s largest metropolis and ambiance which give the eatery a very developed and is managed by young,
as well as the capital city of Kenya. It has comfortable look. The modern and traditional enterprising Kenyans who have excellent
a wide variety of attractions to the visitor, African art that decorate the walls combine culinary expertise.
including an expansive wildlife sanctuary, the well with the well-designed but practical
Nairobi National Park, within its boundaries. furniture. On entering the place, one is Blanco’s lounge o ers a wide variety of new
The Kenyan city is a veritable melting pot immediately struck by the vibrant decor with wines from di fferent countries, with different
of lifestyles and cultures, both local and warm tropical colours. drink cocktail combinations and assorted fresh
international. juices made from delicious and vitamin-rich
Upcoming and renowned Kenyan artists tropical fruits. Great emphasis is placed on
As one of the top ranked tourist destinations display their works at Blanco’s. They include quality and timely service. Great attention is
on the African continent, Kenya is a Carol Kipsanai of La Tua Casa, Lawi Muriuki of paid to detail in every service provided while
multicultural society that has a great Housemark Limited and Kioko Mitiki. A special speed of delivery is also given high priority.
variety to o er to the visitor. Among the highlight of the interior decor displays works of
most important attractions, apart from the art by Mwitiki, a well known Kenyan master. Despite the initial challenges presented by
tropical climate, the sandy beaches and the being a relatively new business in a highly
abundant wildlife in their natural habitat, is Other local painters are encouraged to come competitive culinary market, Blanco’s is
the culture of the people and the variety of to Blanco’s and display their works to potential already planning expansion to other parts
food. clients and art connoisseurs, both local and of Kenya, especially the tourism-rich Coast
international. Province, before venturing outside the
One of the places that brings out the very country into other parts of the world. Useful
best of Nairobi is Blanco’s Lounge and Grill, On designated days every week, different partnerships with international players in
situated in the visually attractive Timau Plaza Kenyan music artists are invited to perform the hospitality and culinary industries are
at the junction of Argwings Kodhek Road and at Blanco’s in order to add cultural value to also being explored by this forward-looking
Timau Road in the Hurlingham/Kilimani area the great atmosphere. Some of the musicians management team.
of the city close to the Yaya Centre shopping who have played at Blanco’s have become
complex. local and international stars. Like its cuisine, On average, prices at Blanco’s Lounge and
the restaurant encourages innovativeness in Grill range between KSh 1,000 (US$15) to KSh
Blanco’s, as the restaurant is popularly known, music, especially the fusion or blending of 1,600 (US$25).
provides an unforgettable culinary experience, traditional and modern strains.
blending perfectly with renowned Kenyan
hospitality at its best. The food is simply It is the aim of Blanco’s to transport and Operating Hours:
delicious while the assorted wines from various transform Kenyan and African cuisine to Monday - Saturday inclusive of Public Holidays
parts of the world are rst class. The culinary heights never experienced before and to 12.00pm to 3.00pm and 5.00pm to 11.30pm
specialty of Blanco’s is a unique “fusion” of enhance international appreciation of Kenya’s Sundays - Closed
Kenyan specialty dishes with European, Asian exciting cultural diversity. This is a restaurant Tel: +254-20-386470/1
and other international cooking styles and

According to the restaurant’s Executive

Director, Mr. Leonard Mudachi, “cooking good
food is both a delicate art and a precious
science” and Blanco’s is endeavouring to
explore the upper limits of both by constantly
experimenting with various ingredients,
combinations and blends. The result of this
experimentation and fusion is a wide variety of
innovative dishes and sauces. It is Kenyan and
African cuisine at its very best.

The unique and delicious dishes that come

out of the kitchens at Blanco’s are combined

Best of Kenya 67
Chapter 4
Shopping and Retail

68 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 69
Pioneer in mall culture
Shopping and Retail

Sarit Centre
The Sarit Centre not only pioneered and introduced the enclosed
shopping mall culture in Kenya, but also provided the impetus for
the rapid transformation of Westlands into a thriving and vibrant
business zone within Nairobi.

It is a challenging architectural concept, designed as a That is why The Sarit Centre is situated in Nairobi’s Westlands
shopper’s paradise. It does not disappoint. At the end of suburb. This is an enclosed centre that the founders conceived
any given day some 24,000 shoppers will have entered this as a complete shopping hub; having everything that a shopper
welcoming edifice. That translates into a total of 8.8 million wants under one roof, easily accessible with secure large
people going through its entrance and exit doors in a year. protected parking lots.
Welcome to The Sarit Centre.
The Sarit Centre not only pioneered and introduced the
If one considers that some 6,000 cars use its three parking enclosed shopping mall culture in Kenya, but also provided the
lots every day you have a lot of vehicular and human traffic to impetus for the rapid transformation of Westlands into a thriving
make for a very busy and popular shopping spot indeed. That and vibrant business zone within Nairobi. That the Centre has
is the way the founders of the Centre intended it to be – a city been emulated by many implies its transformation of Westlands
within a city integrating the Westlands suburb into the Nairobi has been truly appreciated.
business district.
The opening of The Sarit Centre on April 27, 1983 changed
From the very beginning in the 1970s, the founders of The Sarit emphatically and forever retail trading patterns in Kenya. The
Centre aimed to create Kenya’s premier shopping mall. Away concept of a one-stop shop took hold and remains many a
from the hustle and bustle of the central business district, but developer’s favourite. It is why the Centre’s management says
within striking distance of it; offering variety and choice, but in a that Sarit boasts multiple firsts:
relaxed and secure atmosphere devoid of the strain and stress • the first enclosed mall in Kenya;
of the city centre. • the first to operate a shopper loyalty programme;

70 Best of Kenya
• the first to decorate and light up its
premises both internally and externally;
• the first to offer prize shopping
promotions at Christmas;
• the first to introduce paid parking;
• the first with trade and consumer

However, success did not come straight

away. For example, the management says,
it was not easy initially getting tenants and
the Centre only filled up after 18 months of

But since the Centre took off in between

1985 and 1986, says Centre Manager Nitin
Shah, there has been no looking back. Mr
Shah says some of the original tenants,
such as Hotpoint Appliances which now
has a presence throughout the East Africa
region, were indeed small businesses and a variety of African, Oriental, Indian, and
start-ups. Italian and fast food options. Then there is
the Amusement Arcade and the two-screen
In the planning days of the 1970s it targeted 500-seat Fox Cineplex on the second floor.
some 25,000 households. Its current On the same floor is one of Nairobi’s best-
catchments encompass nearly 100,000 equipped fitness centres, the Arena Health
households. It has 260,000 square feet of Club.
fully-serviced leased space out of a total
built up area of 500,000 square feet on six The Sarit Centre’s tenant mix, the
levels. Its third – and not necessarily final - management advises, has been strictly
phase of development is about to begin. controlled to ensure that units complement,
and do not directly compete, with each other
The Sarit Centre was founded by two within the Centre.
families who originally carried out business
in Karatina and Murang’a towns of Central Community and cultural events, for which
Province beginning the pre-Independence Sarit is famous, have been instrumental in
days. The families of Vidhu Ramji Shah of marketing the Centre. helped differentiate The Sarit Centre from
Murang’a and Jadavji Ratanji Rughani of many traditional and street malls.
Karatina moved to Nairobi in 1964. That explains why the Centre has a purpose
– built 10,000 square foot air-conditioned The management of The Sarit Centre
It is they who came up with the concept and carpeted exhibition hall, with the recognises the need to assist the less
and, more importantly, saw it through the necessary international shell stand scheme fortunate and has a policy of offering free
planning and execution. and a comprehensive range of accessories or subsidised space to young, upcoming
and its own PA system. entrepreneurs and craftsmen to display and
Their first business in Nairobi was the well sell their products.
known Text Book Centre. The families That also explains why since this facility was
had run bookshops or sold books in their expanded and reopened in 1998, the Sarit These crafts range from pottery, hand-woven
shops in Karatina and Nyeri. Text Book Expo Centre has become the acknowledged wool carpets and wall hangings to bead-
Centre soon established itself and remains exhibition fulcrum of Nairobi, playing host to work and cotton fabrics from across Kenya.
to this day the most successful supplier of numerous in-house and independent trade
educational books in Kenya. Little wonder and consumer fairs and attracting thousands The Centre also invests significantly
that to this day TBC remains a major retail of visitors to Westlands and the city. in improving the infrastructure of its
outlet at The Sarit Centre. neighbourhood, usually in conjunction
Indeed several single-country trade fairs with the local residents’ association and
TBC, the most comprehensive and best have been staged at the Sarit Centre, among the City Council of Nairobi and recently
stocked book outlet in Africa, and Uchumi them the Turkish, French and Korean trade financed major up-grades of the Karuna and
Supermarket, the anchor store of the exhibitions. Parklands roads.
Centre, however, compete with such famed
names as Woolworths, Truworths, Bata, The Sarit Centre hosts weddings, receptions, The long and short of this is that The Sarit
Hotpoint Appliances, Anicare, Audio Point, seminars, flower and fashion shows, beauty Centre is an interactive shopping mall
some five banks and 12 Automated Teller pageants, art and photographic exhibitions offering one-stop access to a complete
Machines (ATMs). The medical services and school career evenings. Indeed, the range of supermarkets, stores, service
have not been left out. Fifteen of them, led Centre is regarded as a major contributor to outlets, entertainment and professional and
by AAR (African Air Rescue) occupy two domestic tourism. medical facilities unrivalled elsewhere in
floors. Kenya.
There is always something happening at
The Centre’s Atrium Food Court is a special The Sarit Centre. There is a full calendar of Tel: +254-20-3747408
attraction, with nine different units offering exhibitions. Indeed, the exhibition hall has

Best of Kenya 71
You need it, they’ve got it!
Shopping and Retail

Nakumatt Holdings is the company that owns Kenya’s

leading chain of retail supermarkets. As the largest retail
market player in Kenya, and currently expanding to the wider
East African region, Nakumatt have 19 supermarkets dealing
in general merchandise.

Established in 1987, Nakumatt Holdings Limited stays ahead of They pride themselves on delivering Quality, Value, Service,
the competition by providing quality, value, service, variety and Variety and Lifestyle enhancing products.
Management and policy
Nakumatt’s shop formats range from supermarkets to
hypermarkets that showcase distinct world-class shopping floor A key element of this company as a retail chain of super stores
layouts and amenities. All their branches hold a range of over is corporate governance and sector compliance. Nakumatt
50,000 quality products pride themselves on conforming to local and international
laws, policies and regulations governing business and related
Thanks to their rich heritage and passion for retail excellence, operations.
Nakumatt supermarkets countrywide have carved out a niche
for themselves as the ideal shopping and entertainment centres Nakumatt conduct their business with honesty and integrity.
for the whole family. This ensures that they maintain high standards in all areas to

72 Best of Kenya
improve the economy of both the country Branch network 4. Cutting edge IT system – Nakumatt have
and the region. invested more then US$ 2 million to roll
All 19 strategically located Nakumatt outlets out the most advanced retail chains
The responsibility for managing the have been tastefully designed with wide information technology system on this
company at the top level rests with the aisles for a pleasurable shopping experience. continent.
Nakumatt Board of Directors, who meet Attractive display units for convenient
regularly to provide corporate guidance and shopping have been installed to hold well- 5. Nakumatt’s Mission – is to create a chain
review operation strategies. defined product categories in a well-lit of world-class superstores in strategic
shopping environment with ample parking and locations delivering quality, value, service,
It is a dynamic management team that is convenient opening hours even on weekends variety and lifestyle with convenient
committed to obtaining the best possible and public holidays. opening hours giving everyone the
results so that the accumulated benefits opportunity to shop at Nakumatt.
can be passed on to the consumers The Head Office and distribution centre has
through offering a wider range of quality some 140,000 square feet of storage and 6. Nakumatt’s wide variety – Nakumatt
products in an accessible and affordable office space. The total selling space of the stocks a variety of more than 50,000 local
way, providing excellent services and Nakumatt outlets is approximately 1 million and international products to cater for
enormous benefits. square feet. the more than 154 nationalities who shop
with them.
To ensure a clear focus of Quality across the Corporate strategy
organization and direct employee activities 7. Nakumatt’s locations – Nakumatt
on Quality, customer focus and continual Nakumatt have distinguished themselves have strived with success to locate
improvement, Nakumatt’s top management from their peers on a 10-point differentiating their outlets at the most strategic and
has given its commitment through a Quality aspects system that includes: convenient locations.
policy statement, which states:
1. A Truly Kenyan outlook – Nakumatt are 8. Smart Card rewards – Afford their
“Nakumatt Holdings Limited is committed truly Kenyan and employ more than 3,000 customers a range of point-based
to providing a variety of affordable, quality indigenous Kenyans across their 19 benefits that include discounts service
brands as well as excellent and superior branches. providers and partners, redemption of
quality service to our customers.” points fees and many more benefits.
2. Corporate governance and social
Awards and certifications investments – Nakumatt’s corporate 9. Environment and quality policy –
governance is championed across the Nakumatt’s stringent environment and
Nakumatt Holdings have, in keeping with company and involves the directors, quality policy and processes ensure that
global standards, managed to bag a string management and staff. On the Social their customers are afforded products
of internationally-recognised awards investment front a KSh150million CSR and goods that meet world environment
and certifications. All the awards and budget has enabled Nakumatt to touch and quality standards.
certifications confirm Nakumatt’s world- live in the environmental, educational,
class superiority. Some of these include: cultural and health sectors. 10. Strategic expansion plans – Nakumatt’s
vision for the future is centered on an
• Price Waterhouse Coopers East Africa 3. Commitment to managing a model achievable expansion plan into the
Most Respected Service Sector Award business – Nakumatt have always region backed by a scheduled listing on
maintained a lead in responsible business the Nairobi Stock Exchange by the year
• Kenya Bureau of Standards ISO practice. Small wonder that they were the 2009.
9001:2000 Quality Management first retailers to introduce the Electronic
System Tax Register (ETR) across their branch
• Planet Retail Global Ranking network. They have also paid out around
• East Africa Superbrand KSh420 million in taxes and are projecting Tel: +254-20-650137
• GCR Credit Rating to pay a total of KSh600 million.

Best of Kenya 73
The Village Market, Nairobi
Shopping and Retail

A Multinational Shopper’s Delight The Village Market

Shopping and Recreation Complex
The international flavour of The Village Market in Nairobi is
a shopping delight for the discerning bargain hunter. The
Village is one of Kenya’s top attractions for the traveller who
wants to sample and explore the very choicest of what this
East African country has to offer.

74 Best of Kenya
A walk within or around the Village Market
gives one the feeling of being a true citizen
of the world. Large numbers of people of
different races and colours mingle here,
shopping, socializing, lunching, wining and

A weekend family outing at the shopping

complex is something to savour for a long courts, restaurants, movie theatres, 20-feet- of art such as paintings are usually the main
time. high water slides, bowling alleys, and many feature at the exhibitions, with traditional
shops, this is one of the places that family and music and dances as an additional attraction.
Variety and luxury are just two words that may tourists tend to visit, during the day and well
serve to describe the experience of visiting into the night. International anniversaries and holidays,
and shopping at the Village Market. The such as Halloween and Christmas, are
Village’s shopping experience can be a real Among the most popular places within the celebrated in pomp and colour as visitors in
pleasure as well as a challenge due to the Village Market complex are the various their thousands come together to join in the
difficulty of making choices on where to go eateries and cafes, which offer both traditional merry and cheer of the season. The Christmas
within the complex and what to purchase. and modern cuisine at affordable prices. season is usually the busiest, with a lot of
The variety of goods on offer is simply After one has done some shopping or simply activity in every corner of the Village Market
stunning and shoppers are seriously spoilt for walked around to view what items are on offer, from the barber’s shops to the electronics
choice. it is usually time to sit down and relax in one outlets.
of the cafes before making an order for a hot
When on a visit to Kenya, a tourist might or cool drink/beverage. Coffee and tea, along The famous Maasai Market, where one
wish to have a little taste of “home away with the various delicious tropical fruit juices can view and purchase various offerings
from home” – at the Village Market, with are popular. of traditional Kenyan fashions, curios and
its multinational ambience, this is easily artifacts, usually takes place every Friday. For
arranged. With more than 150 stores, shops, The variety of foods and cuisine on offer range the tourist, small traders offer a wide variety of
offices and eateries offering a variety of from Kenyan maize meal-based (ugali) dishes souvenir Kenyan items at good prices. These
products and services from around the region to Italian pizza and Chinese fried noodles. include colourful beaded necklaces, headwear
and the world, the Village Market is a treasure and belts, among other things. Items of
trove of shopping. The Village Market hosts more than 300 clothing include the famous kitenge, kikoi and
events and activities annually making it one of khanga. There are also the famous weaved
Conveniently located near the United Nations the busiest shopping and recreation complexs Kenyan kiondo baskets.
Centre in Nairobi, the Village Market is a in the region. With estimated foot traffic of
global marketplace. up to 6,000 visitors daily, the Village Market Ladies Day and the Car Boot Sale are among
is a good choice for organizations targeting the most popular activities and events that the
Every Friday, the Village Market hold an open- various clientele for their products and Village Market is proud to host all through the
air Maasai market where colorful artifacts services. year. The “City within a City” concept works
and traditional Kenyan crafts from over 300 well among the residents of the surrounding
traditional artists and vendors are on offer. The complex’s marketing and public relations up-market residential areas of Nairobi.
departments organize the events and
The Village Market is located at Gigiri, about exhibitions, usually choosing African themes,
16 miles from Nairobi’s central business with art exhibitions being are a weekly feature
district. It is arguably the capital city’s most in the mall’s exhibition halls. Kenyan-made Tel: +254-20-7122489
spectacular shopping complex, with its food curios and artifacts as well as other works

Best of Kenya 75
Chapter 5

76 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 77
Sanabora Design House Limited
• Graphics & Communication • Business Development Training • Product Design

A fusion of creativity and innovation

Effective use of Design improves prosperity and the general
well being of society. It is on this ground that Sanabora Design
House Limited was established way back in 2004, to enable
enterprise development through design support.

The word ‘Sanabora’ is a literal translation of the Swahili On its journey to becoming a benchmark for sustainable design
words ‘very good’, a metaphor for the reputation Sanabora in Kenya, Sanabora is keen on forming partnerships with those
is committed to uphold. who seek to pave the way for Kenya in the global market place.

To achieve the above goal, Sanabora offers design support Graphics & Communication
and business development training tailored to enable Sanabora doesn’t just put words in your mouth. They scan you
competitiveness of enterprises in local and international business to establish its initial impact, its clarity, content and
markets. potential for excellence. Asking the questions that your client
might have about your business and evaluating ways
This in addition to communication support offered to in which they can improve your business by designing identity
encourage conception of ideas and promotional materials systems, publicity and promotional materials that supply the
that inform, motivate and educate consumers on products much needed pizzazz and well crafted enthusiasm needed to
offered. sell you and what you do.

Sanabora prides its success in the application of creativity Business Development Training
and innovation in meeting the needs of its clientele and the Sanabora Design House offers a wide range of short term
markets. This is on the belief that success in the corporate enterprise development courses. Each training programme is
world today is likely to come through offering differentiated tailored to meet the needs of individual businesses both
products. in the formal and informal sectors of Kenya.

With a pool of highly qualified design and business Product Design

professionals, Sanabora offers unmatched value in product Product design support is offered to business in developing
and service delivery, a position that has earned Sanabora the thousands of products required by consumers each year.
a strong client base in Kenya. Among these clients are; Teams of experienced technical professionals lead clients
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Export Promotional through taking a product form concept to fulfillment of market
Council (EPC), German Technical Corporation (GTZ), needs.
United Nations Education and Scientific Organization
(UNESCO), Africa Medical and Research Foundation Tel:+254 20 374 1240/46
(AMREF), Oxfam - UK, Jetlink Express Ltd and the list Cell:+254 721 828 699
goes on.

78 Best of Kenya
Sanabora - Contemporary African Design
Best of Kenya 79

KikoRomeo design and fashion house cuts a niche in outstanding

designs with great emphasis on excellent cut, fit and finish.

80 Best of Kenya
Ann McCreath and other partners founded the recycled and organic material. Kikoti and the
business which deals in African fashion and uniforms design are produced in a factory
design in 1996 and have since produced high setting, incorporating textiles from the
quality fashion incorporating community trade continent.
materials and craftsmanship.
They are produced in bigger numbers, with
KikoRomeo collections have been shown and little hand crafting, thereby reducing costs and
won accolades in Kenya at FAFA and provide for the middle market with a smart
overseas including Italy, Cameroon, South African fashion option.
Africa and the Seychelles.
KikoRomeo’s business sprouted in 2006,
The design and fashion house’s core business after venturing into business contracts with
has been garment production and retail of blue chip corporate firms by designing and
KikoRomeo and Kikoti brands – both done in making their corporate uniforms. Among the
fabulous African design. They include fashion companies KikoRomeo landed successful
and accessories for men, women and contracts with are; Safaricom Customer Care,
children. Air Kenya, KACA, Java Coffee House, Origins
Safaris and Mercury Lounge.
KikoRomeo is currently developing a line
of recycled and organic items, to meet the In June 2007, a new line “Kikoti” (“the place
growing demands of the international market. where life began” in Maasai’s Maa language)
KikoRomeo lines are designed by Ann was launched, with the aim of offering a more
McCreath together with Norbert Ochieng and affordable African fashion to suit the middle
Martha Gakii. In its outstanding design, great market.
emphasis is put on excellent cut, fit and finish.
Most of the textiles are from Africa produced In November 2007, Kiro, East African
both industrially and handcrafted. Designer Store was opened in the Yaya
centre together with other East African
KikoRomeo holding company Kiro Limited’s designers. This was to enable designers to
philosophy is fair trade and commitment retail their ready-made garments at a central
to working with local artisans to promoting spot.
community development through economic
empowerment. Outlets:
KikoRomeo has its studio on Mogotio Rd,
Kiro Ltd has developed a concept in which it Westlands, Nairobi. Collections are also sold
works in support of Africa’s heritage by through KikoRomeo, 2nd floor Yaya Centre,
actively promoting traditional skills and crafts. and KooRoo at le Rustique on General
The KikoRomeo line incorporates a lot of Mathenge Drive, Nairobi.
handcrafting and hand-painting, to create
unique individual items.
Tel: (254) 722 516317 / (254) 733 835438
New KikoRomeo products are being
introduced and will be designed using

Best of Kenya 81
Chapter 6

82 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 83
Home of the best of the best

The above words are said with an air of confidence and

finality. But we are not done yet. “We have highly skilled
and qualified nursing staff that is well grounded in bedside
nursing quite apart from being registered nurses.”

The speaker is the Chief Executive Officer of the Nairobi Hospital, Dr

Cleopa Mailu. His first statement is about the doctors at the Nairobi
Hospital. The second is about the nursing staff.

84 Best of Kenya
And this about the hospital itself: has the best skilled nurses, but also trains
“It is assumed, indeed believed, that if it fails
at the Nairobi Hospital, then nothing can be It is instructive here to note that the current
done or, to put it another way, when all else matron not only trained at the hospital, but
fails, you have to go to the Nairobi Hospital. was also a nurse there for 27 years. “Our
If you get to us alive, chances are you will nurses have a great attachment to the
survive.” institution that trains them just as most people
are greatly attached to their schools much
Dr Mailu says that this belief about The more than they are to their universities,” says
Nairobi Hospital is firmly held and buttressed Dr Mailu.
by those who have been at the hospital,
“brought in when they were on the brink The idea here is that nursing staff will undergo
and came back to life” and their relatives. targeted training that will enable them to bond
And that fits in well with the hospital’s motto with the patients and ultimately meet their
Lux Tenebris which translates as Light in needs and yield excellent practice.
The Nairobi Hospital is reputed to have the
Those who have been wheeled into the wards best training for nurses and while many of
after they were mauled by wild animals or had them prefer to work at the hospital, there are Those who practice at the hospital must be
been involved in freak or tragic accidents and others who join different institutions spread accomplished specialists recognised as such
were in a state of darkness have seen light all over the country. That means the Nairobi by the Doctors and Dentists Medical Board
after treatment at the Nairobi Hospital. Hospital trains nurses for itself as well as the and must practice for at least three years
country. before they can get admitting rights.
And the motto has an ironic twist to it too.
The hospital has over 400 consulting doctors The third pillar of the hospital is the deliberate
The foundation stone for the Nairobi Hospital who specialise in varied disciplines of investment in advanced technology. “We
was laid on October 20, 1952. That is the medicine. challenge professionals to exercise what
same day the colonial state herded the
leaders of the nationalist movement into
prison and declared a State of Emergency.
The stone was laid by the Governor, Sir
Evelyn Baring, after he had sent the resisting
Kenyans to jail. That was a dark day for
Kenya, but the laying of the stone could be
said to have lit a light in healthcare terms.

From the small facility of 57 years ago, The

Nairobi Hospital is now a 14-ward, 302-
bed facility, with Intensive Care and High
Dependency units, Casualty and six theatres.
Its 32-bed pediatric ward was opened recently
and the aim is that the hospital catches them
early so that they can stay with it throughout
their life.

The highly skilled nursing staff and the best-

of-the-best doctors are only two of the pillars
of the Nairobi Hospital. The hospital not only

Best of Kenya 85

they were taught. We invest in technology to This could well be the best part of the Nairobi
enable us to give the best healthcare. Hospital: It is a non-profit institution. The
Board of directors is voluntary and it prides
“We have also invested in the best there itself on being a public hospital well run. Dr
is in information technology to drive our Mailu says “it is Kenya’s jewel, the hope of
business, our front and back offices, ease our Kenyans when public hospitals go down.
processes and enable us to serve our clients
quickly, simply and efficiently”, says Dr Mailu. The ten gentlemen who came together to
found The Nairobi Hospital under the aegis of
The Nairobi Hospital has positioned itself as a the Kenya European Hospital Association did
market leader and Dr Mailu says that it has to not make this a private company, but opted
innovate for others to follow or the healthcare to bequeath it to posterity.
sector in Kenya will stagnate!
Founding President Kenyatta, former
That is to say the hospital intends to stay President Moi and current President Kibaki
ahead of the competition or to be a market have all been treated here, but it is a general
leader always. This is in tandem with the hospital, admitting all and one paying
hospital’s stated corporate culture of caring patients. However, the hospital will not turn
about quality, providing the highest standards away a patient when there is an emergency
Dr. Cleopa Mailu of healthcare and its belief that patient because they do not have money.
CEO, The Nairobi Hospital satisfaction is paramount.
Talking about the future is especially
Indeed, the Nairobi Hospital has positioned interesting for CEO and staff of the Nairobi
itself well to take advantage of the emerging Hospital, not only because they want to excel,
and fast-growing field of medical tourism. but also because of what it is they intend to
Given its facilities, expertise and the do.
infrastructure the country has, the Nairobi
Hospital is in good stead to lead the way in “We intend to invest in innovative areas
welcoming patients from all corners of the of medicine such as telemedicine and
globe. other cutting edge diagnostic and curative

86 Best of Kenya
Innovation provides horizon scanning to keep
us in the right direction - The Axion Artis dTC
Cardiac Angiography System

technologies. We intend to enter into

strategic partnerships with other medical
institutions in Kenya and beyond,” says a
hospital brochure.

The Nairobi Hospital, true to its reputation

and standing, has received several awards
over the last two years, beginning with its
being ranked sixth in Africa by the African
Almanac list of the top 20 hospitals on the hospital seeks to “provide a regional centre
continent. of excellence for quality healthcare through
efficient services and facilities”.
It was the recipient of the 2005 Johnson
Midwives of the Year Award, has an HACCP The Nairobi Hospital’s vision is to “be a leader
certification in catering and has been in healthcare within Central and eastern
awarded the Afya (Kiswahili for health) Africa”.
Excellence Awards in the rational use of
medicine and in innovation and leadership. This is to be done by staff being passionate
about the quality of service, supporting,
In 2005, 2006 and 2007 the Nairobi Hospital strengthening and involving staff, innovation,
was recognised by the Computer Society growth of institution and leadership by and
of Kenya and given the award of Best through example.
Health Applications. Still in 2006, UNICEF
and Kenya’s Ministry of Health certified the The hospital’s core values revolve around
hospital as baby-friendly. visionary leadership, quality healthcare,
compassionate care, professionalism,
Where does the inspiration come from? A integrity, social responsibility and dynamism.
brochure from the hospital informs that staff
is inspired by the institution’s mission, vision Tel: +254-20-2845000
and core values. The mission says that the

Best of Kenya 87
Award-winning trailblazers

Avenue Group
“We want to be known for providing high quality
healthcare at an affordable price.”

This, says Managing Director Diana Patel, is the driving force, indeed
the mission, of the Avenue Group, Kenya’s multiple award-winning
and trailblazing healthcare providers.

88 Best of Kenya
The Avenue Group is unique as a provider of stay in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city and you
healthcare, having established Kenya’s first hear the name Avenue, it is highly unlikely
private and self-contained psychiatric facility you will think about any of the metropolis’
in 1990, a time when most such patients streets or boulevards.
had no place to go to other than the public
Mathare Hospital. Most Kenyans know Avenue Hospital, a
70-bed modern facility with male and female
That was but the beginning of the Avenue wards, a dedicated paediatric wing, maternity
Group’s firsts, for, in 1994, the group led the wards, a psychiatric wing, and theatre and
way in providing home-based nursing care mortuary services.
and in the same year pioneered the still rare
service of rental of medical equipment. Next in the group’s stable is the flagship
Lifestyle Clinic so called because it is situated
“We want to be in the lead; we want to keep on a facility of the same name in the Central
innovating and, that way, not only stay ahead Business District. Then there is the P J Place
of the competition, but also introduce the in Nairobi’s Industrial Area to complete The
best healthcare products and services in Avenue Group facilities in the capital.
Kenya,” says Diana.
There are three more clinics which are
In 1995 the group became Kenya’s first situated in Mombasa, Kenya’s world-famous
provider-based health management coastal resort, Kisumu on Lake Victoria and
organisation (HMO) and the following year Thika which is some 40 kilometres away from
introduced the country’s first managed Nairobi.
healthcare system.
It is the services offered at these facilities, say
The group’s last two firsts are not just Diana and Etta, that set The Avenue Group
trailblazers but assert emphatically The apart from the rest. For example the 24 hour
Avenue Group’s commitment to training medical taxi is part of the group’s rescuen
and patient safety and comfort as pillars of package which provide for high quality
excellence in healthcare. The Emergency rescue, evacuation and transport services.
Medical Technicians
Avenue Healthcare (AHC) was founded in
Training Course commenced in 2000 and 1995 specifically to manage the Avenue
2005 saw the introduction of the Medical Hospital Outpatient Department and offer
Taxi. Medical taxi? “Exactly,” says Ms Etta mobile medical services to company clients
Ligale, the Operations General Manager, and is the one tasked with operating the
“often times we realise that what a patient Mombasa, Kisumu and Thika outpatient
needs is not an ambulance, but transport to clinics.
Apart from the outpatient services, Avenue
What comprises The Avenue Group? If you Healthcare offers inpatient services,

Best of Kenya 89

in-house clinics, special clinic services a diabetic clinic and Voluntary Counseling,
and medical examinations. Regarding Testing and Treatment (VCTT). Notice that
examinations, Avenue Healthcare is licensed most are VCT clinics but Avenue’s includes
by the City Council of Nairobi, for example, treatment hence the extra T in VCTT!
to carry out tests for food handlers.
Avenue also offers training in emergency
And Avenue doctors carry out routine medicine, including cardiopulmonary
preemployment examinations, including resuscitation as well as First Aid training for
urine and stool, HIV, VDRL, widals, and corporates and the general public.
chest x-ray.
The medical taxi service includes scheduled
The Special Clinics, which are housed at doctor and late night casualty visits. This
the Avenue Hospital Special Clinics Wing, service also offers travel home from the
include antenatal clinics, well baby clinics, group’s hospital or clinics and the vehicles

90 Best of Kenya
equips the in-house clinics and manages What this boils down to, Etta takes over,
them. is that at Avenue patients have the right to
The Avenue Group operates a diabetic clinic participate in decisions involving their health
at Avenue Hospital and at the Lifestyle clinic care and give informed consent to treatment.
whose services include advising patients
on management of diabetics, diet, exercise Professional talks
and modification of one’s lifestyle, laboratory
services and specialist referrals where The Group is well known for the health talks
necessary. its professionals give for such clients and
beyond. These acclaimed speeches revolve
Indeed, of the many card products that around varied and valued topics such as:
Avenue Group has on offer, the Diabetics
Card stands out because it guarantees one u HIV/Aids
unlimited outpatient consultations at the u Alcoholism
Diabetic Clinic. u Occupational health and safety
u Infectious diseases
Most visitors and patients at the Avenue u Rational use of drugs
are equipped with a wheel chair, first aid Group facilities are often pleasantly surprised u Health, living and lifestyle
kit, sickness bags and radio call. The taxi to be informed that patients have rights u Malaria
comes complete with nurse aid, security such as the right to receive superior health u Smoking
guards and drivers who are trained in First care regardless of their race, tribe, national u Stress
Aid. origin, sex, age, financial status or cultural u Nutrition
preferences. u Hygiene
Avenue Homecare is a service that provides u Family planning
nurse aids under the supervision of Patients are informed that they have the right u Breast cancer
qualified nurses and offers a less expensive to be treated with respect and courtesy, their u First Aid
alternative to hospital care, with medical personal privacy is respected and medical
equipment such as wheelchairs and records handled with utmost confidentiality. The above are also available as full courses
crutches available for weekly or monthly by Avenue Rescue Services.
hire. Indeed, it is also made known to patients
This has been hailed as a cost effective that they have the right to demand to know AWARDS
service carried out in an environment that is the names, qualifications and professional
familiar and comfortable to the patients and, responsibilities of their health care providers. It is not an idle boast when the Avenue Group
therefore enhancing recuperation in privacy executives say they believe in leading the way
and freedom and reduced risk of cross At Avenue Group they make it plain for the group is the winner of four Afya (by the
infection. that patients have the right to treatment Ministry of Health) awards.
This service is especially recommended appropriate to their choice, age, physical,
for elderly and terminal ill patients, those spiritual, emotional, cultural and intellectual These are:
addicted to substance abuse, post-surgery needs.
patients and general convalescents. u Quality, Affordable, Health Care (2003)
Given that most will find a doctor’s notes u Health Insurance and Finance (2006)
The Avenue Group has offers in-house cryptic, Diana enlightens that a patient, u Innovative Leadership - First runner-up
clinics for corporate clients which enhance has the right to receive information (2006)
access to medical care and reduce time about diagnosis and treatment plans in a u Diabetes Care (2006)
off work to seek treatment as well as language he or she easily understands, with
personalised service for staff and their explanations of alternatives, including risks, Tel: +254-20-3742907
families. It is the group which furnishes and benefits and burdens of each.

Best of Kenya 91
Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) is the oldest hospital in

the country, having been founded in 1901 as the Native Civil
Hospital and then King George VI Hospital in 1952. It is currently
the largest national referral, teaching and research hospital.

Kenyatta National Hospital plays a major role in healthcare The institution facilitates medical training for students of the
delivery system in the country, East Africa and the whole of College of Health Sciences of the University of Nairobi, The
Africa region as provided for in its mandate. The hospital has Kenya Medical Training College, and other higher learning
an efficient and effective referral system and receives referral institutions. This is in addition to facilitating research either
cases for specialized healthcare from other health institutions directly and/or through other cooperating health institutions.
within and outside the country. KNH is the hospital of choice The hospital also participates in national health policy
to the majority of the population in the capital city, Nairobi, planning.
and it’s environ due to its affordability and quality healthcare

92 Best of Kenya
Clinical Departments
Medicine Obstetrics& Gynaecology Dentistry Laboratory Medicine
Nursing Dermatology Paediatrics Pharmacy
Surgery Respiratory & Infectious Diseases Ophthalmology Radiotherapy
Radiology Accident and Emergency Anaesthesia Quality Assurance

Professional Support Departments

Medical Records Occupational Therapy Public Health Laundry
Medical Social Work Physiotherapy Nutrition Catering

Administrative Departments:
Administration Personnel Finance Supplies & Procurement
Public Relations Legal Planning Maintenance & Transport

Specialized Units
Renal Unit The Heart Unit Interventional Cardiology Intensive Care Unit and HDU

Kenyatta National Hospital is well equipped KNH provides specialized services like patients coming from the larger Eastern
to set stage for attaining continental and open-heart operations, brain surgery, and Southern Africa region for specialized
international healthcare standards. This complicated eye surgery (intra-ocular), skin care.
has led to efficient diagnosis and patient operations using laser and plastic surgery.
management for better medical outcomes Doctors Plaza
as well as enhanced its competitiveness Private Wing Wards
in the contemporary healthcare industry at These facilities enable the specialist
local, regional and international level. In an effort to improve quality of services doctors to do private practice within easy
and at the same time boost its financial reach of the hospital. The project earns
KNH has comprehensive care centre that base, KNH opened amenity wards which the hospital revenue and helps keep many
handles HIV/Aids patients, dispensing today form a fully fledged Private Wing doctors within the hospital (KNH).
medicine, monitoring viral loads, and occupying the 9th and 10th floors of the
counseling. The centre has a patient Tower Block. The Private Wing concept Key Statistics
support centre devoted to recovery of aims at providing quality healthcare at an
gender violence victims. affordable cost and retaining most of the Staff Capacity: 6,000
professional staff within reach even as they
The Accident and Emergency facility continue with their private practice within Bed Capacity: 1,800 beds
was expanded to improve patient flow. the hospital.
Improved integration of emergency and Average annual Outpatient attendance:
support services has made it a one- The Private Wing wards have enabled the 600,000 visits
stop patient management complex. hospital to improve the quality of care and
The complex has an acute room, six reach out to the corporate clientele. The Average Annual Inpatient attendance:
emergency beds, laboratory and three quality of services provided in the Private 89,000 patients
spacious operating theatres dedicated to Wing is comparable to that of other private
emergencies and surgery trauma patients hospitals. This facility has indeed given Average length of stay: 7 Days
as well as financial services, counseling Kenyans an alternative quality medical
and pharmacy. The hospital has also care that is affordable and competitive to Annual budgetary allocation: KSh4.6 billion
improved other services such as Radiology, In addition, the existing services offered
Cardiology, Neonatal Critical Care Unit, by KNH private hospitals have attracted Tel: +254-20-2726300
laundry and power upgrade. clientele in some parts of Africa with

Best of Kenya 93
A bastion of care and service

Upper Hill Medical Centre

An array of medical services is situated under one roof at the
Upper Hill Medical Centre, which is ideally located in the middle
of a rapidly growing business district of Nairobi.

It is a private healthcare facility with a wide variety of medical services, including a sophisticated diagnostics laboratory, a
services and some of the most modern equipment as well as diagnostic imaging unit, a kidney centre, a laser kidney and
highly qualified medical personnel who are dedicated to the endoscopy centre, a hearing aid centre, a physiotherapy centre,
provision of the best services in Kenya and beyond. a children’s clinic and a chemist.

Both tourists and local residents of Nairobi and the entire The all-inclusive ultra-modern six-storey complex situated
eastern and Central African region are assured of an impressive along Ralph Bunche Road only a short distance from another
world-class medical facility which provides a wide variety of top private medical facility that is the Nairobi Hospital,

94 Best of Kenya
houses specialists in various medical the supply of drugs at discounted prices.
fields that include allergies, anaesthetics, The reduced cost is passed to customers
aurology, cardiology, cosmetics, dentistry, ensuring low retail prices. Owing to
dermatology, endoscopy, ENT (ear nose & continuing research and development in drug
throat), gynaecology, laparoscopy, neurology, manufacturing, pharmacists must constantly
nutrition, obstetrics, opthalmology and keep abreast of new information.
At this Centre, the patient is provided with
Other specialist medical fields offered at every available service, hospitality and
the Upper Hill Medical Centre, which is care. Children are given particular attention
one of the most sophisticated privately- because of their fragile and still growing
owned healthcare facilities throughout the bodies and minds. Safety enhancement
eastern African region, including pathology, is a highly valued feature of the Upper Hill
psychiatry and medical psychology, Medical Centre, which is easily accessible
physiotherapy, plastic surgery, radiology, from the Nairobi central business district,
reproductive health, traumatology, urology without going through the sometimes
and vascular surgery. There are also stressful traffic jams that have become a
pathologists and various categories of common feature on the roads of Kenya’s
paramedics at the facility. principal metropolis due to the rapid increase
in the number of public and private vehicles.
A number of highly qualified general UHMC has good security and ample parking
physicians and surgeons are located at space.
the Upper Hill Medical Centre, which has
numerous well-equipped, state-of-the art In a region where good medical and
surgical theatres. Patients whose ailments healthcare facilities are at a premium,
do not require lengthy or complicated the Upper Hill Medical Centre is a unique
surgical procedures are normally treated enterprise. Services to corporate clients
and discharged on the same day. The health are provided on credit without requirement
environment provided by this superlative for a deposit. The process is easy and has
medical facility is highly supportive of the no waiting time. UHMC Corporate Account
various needs of patients. members can receive services from any of
the specialists or centres. The client is then Insurance Co., CFC Life, Heritage AII,
Doctors and other medical staff at the Upper billed through a central billing system. Madison Insurance Co., AAR Health Services/
Hill Medical Centre, although hailing from Insurance, AON Minet, Health Management
different social and academic backgrounds, Many organizations have chosen the Upper Solutions, and Apollo Insurance.
form a harmonious entity, dedicated to the Hill Medical Centre as their preferred medical
provision of the best healthcare available service provider. Reliable and consistently The reputation of the Upper Hill Medical
anywhere at affordable prices. Support high service standards have been recognized Centre has continued to grow rapidly since
for continued professional education for by many corporate clients in Kenya. Some of it was established in 2001. It is highly
members of staff ensures a workforce that UHMC’s leading partners include important rated both in Kenya and internationally as a
is reliable, fast, and friendly. The highly public sector organizations like the Kenya first-class healthcare provider that provides
trained and experienced staff is available for National Assembly (Parliament), the Kenya unrivalled medical services within the eastern
consultation on drug information. Anti-Corruption Authority (KACC), and the and Central African region. The Centre has
National Security Intelligence Services (NSIS). been accredited by several governmental and
The UHMC Pharmacy is conveniently international organizations while patients of
located on the ground floor. It is dedicated to Valuable private clients of UHMC include Zain all classes highly value its high standards of
ensuring the health and well-being of every (formerly Celtel Kenya Limited), the United medical care.
patient through stocking of an extensive Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
range of prescription drugs and healthcare (UNHCR), PricewaterhouseCoopers, HTH
products. The health facility has partnered Worldwide, the British High Commission, Tel: +254-20-2721580
with drug manufacturers and suppliers for Oxfam GB, Jubilee Insurance Co., APA

Best of Kenya 95
Chapter 7
Coffee, Tea and Horticulture

96 Best of Kenya
Best of Kenya 97
Coffee Board of Kenya
Coffee, Tea and Horticulture

Best of Kenya interviewed CEO Mrs Louise Wanjira Njeru

Q: How can you describe the current state of Kenya’s aromatic Arabica coffee that is used in blending with
coffee industry, considering the fact that it was once coffees produced in other countries in order to improve
the country’s leading export crop, but has now been their quality and make them milder and more appealing
overtaken by horticulture and tea? to the consumer. Arabica coffee is usually mild and
aromatic, while the other main type of coffee, known as
A: The coffee industry in Kenya is currently on a strong Robusta, is much stronger in taste. Robusta is the type
recovery path, with excellent prospects for local grown in many countries around the world, especially in
processing and branding, coupled with an upward, Latin America. Here in Kenya only negligible amounts of
though still volatile, price movement since the year 2000. Robusta coffee are grown, mainly in the lowlands.
Kenyan coffee has witnessed a steady rise in both value
and quality in recent years. The industry can now look Q: What are the Coffee Board of Kenya and the other
forward to real growth and diversification of production. stakeholders in the industry doing to make Kenyan coffee
even more popular around the world?
Q: What distinguishes Kenyan coffee from that produced in
other countries around the world? Is there anything that is A: The main issues at the moment in marketing Kenyan
special about coffee grown in Kenya? coffee around the world revolve around value addition,
quality assurance, packaging and branding. At the
A: Oh yes, Kenya leads the world in having the best coffee moment, Kenya is selling most of its coffee abroad as a
found anywhere. We produce very high quality and commodity rather than a brand. Apart from drying and

98 Best of Kenya
roasting there is little value addition charge only a 1% levy on the marketed
in the coffee exported abroad from coffee. This has necessitated some
Kenya. We are shifting focus and restructuring and downsizing of
looking at various ways to add value operations in certain non-essential
and sell pure, high quality Kenyan areas. Regulation, research and
coffee abroad as a distinctive brand. development remain the core functions
Our neighbour, Ethiopia, is already of the Coffee Board of Kenya. Research
branding its coffee but we are fast is conducted through the Coffee
catching up with them. Research Foundation at Ruiru on the
northern outskirts of Nairobi.
Q: Which are the most important
international markets for Kenyan coffee Q: What are the top accomplishments of
and what are the current trends in the Coffee Board of Kenya and what
those countries? challenges now face the Board and the
coffee industry in general as it faces the
A: The most important markets for future?
Kenyan coffee at the moment are the
Federal Republic of Germany, which A: The CBK, through the Coffee Research
imports around 30%, followed by Foundation, has developed several
the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, valuable varieties of coffee, which
Norway, Denmark) with around 25% to include the famous Ruiru 11. The other
30% and the United States of America main commercial varieties are SL28
at 20%. There are other emerging and SL34. The Blue Mountain variety
markets, especially in Asia, with is mainly grown in the Kisii highlands
China, Japan, India and Iran coming of western Kenya. We have managed
up strongly. Others are Russia and to maintain the high quality of Kenyan
the Middle East. Unfortunately, in the coffee, although there have been
Arab countries, most people prefer declines in production volumes. Prices
the strong, low quality coffee of the on the world market still fluctuate
Robusta type. widely, depending on production
and consumption elsewhere in the
Q: When was the Coffee Board of Kenya world. We still have challenges with
established, what are its functions and productivity among smallholder coffee
how does it fulfill that mandate? growers and diseases such as Coffee
Berry Disease (CBD) and Coffee Leaf
A: The Coffee Board of Kenya was Rust (CLR). Low productivity, especially
established in 1935 for the purposes among smallholder coffee growers due
of regulation, research, marketing and to various factors such as poor farming
development of the coffee industry in and management techniques, increased
the country. Since its establishment, soil acidity and climatic vagaries,
the CBK has evolved considerably still pose a major challenge to our
and emerged rightfully as a key player coffee industry. For the CBK, the main
within the Kenyan coffee industry. In challenge is how to maintain relevance
2002, there was a major restructuring and growth within a liberalized regime
that not only liberalized the industry, but and within a smaller budget. Despite
also delinked the marketing function all these challenges, I see the future of CEO Louise W Njeru
from the Board. The liberalization of the industry in Kenya as very bright;
the coffee industry had some serious especially if we can produce and market
financial implications for the Board, high quality processed, packaged and Tel: +254-20-315754
which is currently allowed by law to branded coffee.

Best of Kenya 99
Iconic and tech-savvy farmers’ union
Coffee, Tea and Horticulture

The Kenya Planters’ Co-operative Union Limited, better known by its

acronym KPCU, is one of Kenya’s iconic, best known and well-run non-
governmental public institutions.

100 Best of Kenya

It is also a unique institution because it is w Provision of crop advances to finance
wholly owned by coffee farmers who vote in production;
the leadership or management at all levels
from the grassroots to the national office. w Coffee nurseries for high quality seedlings;

KPCU boasts more than 70 years of w Value addition and marketing;

experience in the production and processing
of coffee and representing the interests of w Provision of farm inputs;
Kenya’s farmers on all fronts.
w Direct coffee sales and export;
Indeed, all coffee farmers in Kenya are
shareholders of KPCU, with the membership w Designated clean coffee warehousing;
of the union consisting of 3,000 plantation and,
farmers and over 700,000 small-scale farmers
who are represented through more than 600 w Facilitation of joint small and medium
co-operative societies. scale coffee farmers’ business units to
access credit and related services.
Kenya’s coffee growing regions are divided
into 15 electoral districts, each of which Through these services KPCU provides
nominates one representative to sit on the forward and backward linkages to farmers
KPCU Board. The Board is the supreme organ and consumers through vertical integration
in the decision-making process of the Union. of the services.

The Board in turn delegates specific functions KPCU not only keeps abreast of farming
to the Audit Committee, Finance and Tender technologies but also embraces modern
Committee, Staff Committee and Milling and communication technologies to make its
Marketing Committee. These committees work more efficient and effective.
operate under specific terms of reference
sanctioned by the Board. That is why the Union has modern
information communication technology
Advisory committees oversee the day-to- (ICT) facilities, which has seen all its
day running of KPCU’s countrywide network branches across the country networked for
of branches, with the specific mandate of faster exchange and flow of information.
ensuring the greater involvement of farmers in Farmers are, therefore, able to receive
the decision-making process. The decisions crucial information at branch level online.
of the committees are ratified by the Board.
Storage is an important service in the
KPCU is known for value adding services to production of coffee, which is why KPCU incorporates HIV/Aids awareness sessions
farmers that include: has transit stores throughout the country in educational forums for farmers.
whose total capacity is 80,000 tons. The
w Milling, polishing and grading; Union operates mills across Kenya whose As part of its contribution to poverty
total capacity per hour is 34 tons. alleviation and food security, KPCU
w Quality control and liquoring; supports educational programmes and
As a responsible corporate citizen, it rural micro-credit schemes to foster
w Transit storage facilities; recycles waste coffee husks into Kahawa economic growth and wealth creation.
Coal (literally Coffee Coal), high energy
w Farmer education, especially on coffee charcoal briquettes that serve as Tel: +254-20-2210288
production of quality coffee; an alternative food fuel. The Union also

Best of Kenya 101

Kenya Flower Council
Coffee, Tea and Horticulture

Flowers are a natural expression of elegance and beauty, apart

from performing functions that are vital to the planetary biosphere.
To human society, flowers have since time immemorial signified
intense feelings of romance, love and decorative importance.
They are also used for the production or manufacture of different
kinds of perfumes and aromatic fragrances.

102 Best of Kenya

Kenya is a country of great natural beauty farms around the country, and representing
and one of the leading flower and ornamental around 60% of Kenya’s exports of cut
plant producers in the world and certainly the flowers and ornamental plants. There are
top on the African continent. This East African also 25 associate members from different
country produces a wide variety of flowers countries of the European Union, which is by
and ornamental plants for markets in Europe, far the largest and most important market.
Asia and America. In 2008, Kenya’s floriculture The associate members are involved in the
produce was worth more than US$870 million Kenyan floriculture industry through carrying
(KSh64 billion) in foreign exchange. out importation, provision of farm inputs and
other related services.
Even with the global economic recession
which started in late 2008, Kenya’s cut flowers The KFC very is active in promoting Kenyan
and ornamental plants are still prized around flowers to European supermarkets, florists,
the world, especially in Europe and North and at trade shows in the United Kingdom,
America. Other markets for Kenyan flowers Holland, Germany and other European Union
and other horticultural produce are in the countries. The floriculture industry body
Middle East and the vast Asian continent. has embarked on a well-organized global
marketing for Kenyan flowers and ornamental
The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is a voluntary plants. Globally, the board subscribes to the
private association of the floriculture industry Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) guideline
in Kenya. Formed in 1996 to represent system of the UN Food and Agriculture
independent Kenyan cut flower and Organization, and to EurepGAP.
ornamental plant growers and exporters,
as well as to foster responsible and safe Domestically, the Kenya Flower Council is
production of cut flowers and ornamental affiliated with the Kenya Horticulture Council,
plants, the KFC also seeks to provide a the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of
common platform for growers and exporters Kenya (FPEAK) and with the Kenya Bureau
to ensure the implementation of strict local of Standards (KEBS). It publishes a detailed
and international standards. Code of Practice and employs a rating system
for its member companies, involving Gold
Currently one of the richest, most influential Standard ranking, Silver Standard ranking and
and best organized industry organizations Associate rankings.
in Kenya, KFC is involved a variety of issues
of concern to the stakeholders in industry Efforts are currently underway to harmonize
lobbying, worker safety, environmental the activities of KFC with those of FPEAK
protection, industrial regulation, industrial under the umbrella of the Kenya Horticultural
development and floriculture company Council (KHC), which was established in
accreditation, as well as more weighty issues 2007 with the main objective of enhancing
of global carbon dioxide emissions and the efficiency and effectiveness of resource
international industrial diplomacy. utilization and service delivery within the
horticulture industry in Kenya.
With its headquarters in Kenya’s capital city,
Nairobi, the Kenya Flower Council currently
counts a regular membership of more than
60 flower growing and exporting member Tel: +254-20-3876597
companies and organizations owning 70

Best of Kenya 103

Impressive growth with effective
Coffee, Tea and Horticulture

authority H CD A
As the regulatory agency for the horticultural sub-sector, the
Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) aspires to be
at the forefront in providing efficient, effective and quality service.

Established as a state corporation in

1967 under the Agriculture Act, HCDA is
mandated to regulate the horticultural industry
through licensing and application of rules
as prescribed under the Act. HCDA also
provides advisory and marketing services to
the stakeholders in the industry for planning

HCDA ranks among the most important

agricultural institutions in Kenya. Horticultural
exports are among the top foreign exchange
earners for the country, while the growing and
processing of horticultural crops is a major
industry employing more that three million
Kenyans directly and indirectly.

The massive growth of the horticultural sub-

sector under the supervision of HCDA is one
of Kenya’s most important economic miracles.

104 Best of Kenya

noteworthy that indigenous Kenyans hardly
participated in the introduction or growing of
horticultural crops which were not part of their
diets and were inaccessible because trade did
not exist.

After independence in 1963, the government

recognised early the need to develop
effective marketing systems for the
horticultural subsector however, because of
the overwhelming demands on the young
government to provide both political, social
In 2008, recorded marketed horticultural and economic changes, efforts to give priority
produce in Kenya was valued at around to horticulture were slow.
KSh58 billion, a drop from the KSh67.2 billion
in 2007, mainly due to changing climatic Horticulture is a viable solution for Kenya’s
patterns. In 2004, Kenya’s total marketed need for cash crop diversification, enhanced
horticultural produce was still worth only nutrition, income generation, employment
KSh32.5 billion. creation and foreign exchange earning in
addition to providing raw material for the
The figures indicate that the value of the agro processing industries. The focus of
country’s horticultural produce, which the Authority is mainly on the smallholder
includes cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, farmers who use labour-intensive methods of
has almost doubled in just four years. production.

Rapid growth in Kenya’s horticultural sub- Horticulture offers high returns for small
sector began in 1966 with the creation of the scale farmers with limited land resources and
Interim Horticultural Development Council. thus remains at the centre of focus by most
A year later the council was converted by government policies including the current
the government into the Horticultural Crops Poverty Reduction Strategy Programmes to
Development Authority (HCDA). which it can make substantial contribution.
Over the years, HCDA’s functions have
Since its establishment, HCDA has never evolved with changing government policies
looked back and is now focused on making and industry demands.
horticulture the main source of income for
Kenya and its people. Vision
and nutritious diets for the ever-rising
Horticultural farming in Kenya began during To be the centre of excellence in providing population
the early settlements of immigrant races under services in production and marketing of • Attain food self-sufficiency and security at
British colonial rule. Missionaries brought with quality horticultural products both locally and household, local and national levels
them some fruit trees and vegetable seeds for internationally. • Provide processors with dependable
growing in their kitchen gardens and so did supply of suitable raw materials
the early settlers. There was no commercial Mission • Meet the increasing demand for top quality
activity as all the products were consumed at produce in the export market
family/group level. To promote, develop and facilitate production • To earn foreign exchange by diversifying
and marketing of horticultural products that crops grown in suitable agro-ecological
The Asian workers who came in during meet customer driven needs at competitive zones
the building of the Kenya–Uganda Railway costs through appropriate policies and • To generate more employment
between 1893 and 1902 brought with them technologies, and enhance socio-economic opportunities within the horticultural sub-
vegetables and fruits such as (mooli, karela, sustainability. sector by introducing layout intensive
mangoes, gourds, drumsticks, etc) while the enterprises and use of appropriate
Europeans brought in cabbages, carrots, Objectives technology
beetroots, rhubarb, plums, apples, pears, • To enhance development in arid and semi-
peaches and strawberries. To accelerate the rate of horticultural arid areas through horticultural production
growth and production, the following broad under irrigation
With the Dutch settlers came citrus, objectives are pursued in the sub sector to • To contribute to generation of income and
avocados, South African grapes, potatoes, facilitate increased production of top quality alleviation of poverty
fennel, kales, fenugreek and cape horticultural produce in order to:
gooseberries, essential oils such as tung, Tel: +254-20-3597356
geranium, eucalyptus and cedar. It is • Meet the rising demand for more food

Best of Kenya 105


Largest Private estate

grower with 8% of national
crop and 58 years of
agronomy experience

Leading quality commercial

millers and marketers

Our eight coffee plantations

and mill are certified
by several international
certification bodies

We play a major role of

safeguarding our workforce
and environment as a policy

PO BOX 10 –00232 RUIRU

Tel. 020 8011041 Fax 020 8011045
Best of Kenya
Chapter 8
Corporate Profiles

108 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 109
Kenya’s top notch regional
Corporate Profiles

development power house

The Coast Development Authority (CDA) is Kenya’s top-

notch Regional Development Authority seeking to better the
livelihoods of the nation’s populace.

Its area of jurisdiction is within the coastal belt, covering all Authority intends to close the food deficit gap by encouraging
the 13 districts of the Coast Province. Due to its positioning, a deliberate shift from rain-fed agriculture to irrigated crop
it also serves a swathe of the expansive and semi-arid North production.
Eastern Province.
To achieve these goals, the Authority has focused on the
The authority’s operational area has a total population of revival of Irrigation Schemes (IS), having conducted a
about 3 million people, and a region endowed with unique feasibility study to identify potential areas along rivers that
natural resources. farmers could adopt.

CDA’s fundamental duty is to initiate, plan, coordinate and Under the minor irrigation scheme the Authority embarked
implement integrated development programmes and projects on the construction of a permanent weir in Vanga. The Vanga
within the coastal region and its environs. That explains Irrigation Scheme is made up of five sub-schemes and
why its vision is to be the lead agency in exploitation and abstracts its water from the Umba River, which is seasonal
development of resources for the betterment of the people of through temporary weirs constructed across the river.
the province.
Also in its arrangement is to build farmers’ capacity via
With the occasional cereal food deficit and food importation training on crop production, marketing and improvement of
from neighboring regions, resulting in skyrocketing prices, the irrigation infrastructure.

110 Best of Kenya

The programmes are as a result of a On catchment conservation CDA has set
strategic study and research, conducted by a target of planting at least 100,000 tree
the authority and which identified causes seedlings in the Mwache catchment area,
of underperformance. Weak scheme while also teaching the community on
committees, lack of good governance, methods of tree-planting and caring.
appropriate food production skills and
group cohesiveness were identified as major A project on ranching which aims to
drawbacks. promote the livelihood of the communities
by transferring appropriate ranching
Others are capital deficiency, costly farm technologies to farmers has also been
inputs, conflicts among clans due to established.
undefined landownership, poor marketing
linkages, bad roads leading to crop loses, About 100 cattle were restocked in a ranch in
lack of repair of facilities and irrigation Kilifi and a cattle crush constructed.
infrastructure, donor inconsistency and
intermittent funding by the Government of The water department has been charged
Kenya. with the responsibility of facilitating rural
communities’ access to reliable and
Lack of model irrigation schemes was adequate water.
also identified as a hitch. And in efforts to
create such a model, the CDA has set funds CDA is also undertaking, the Palm Product
to revive Chakama Irrigation Scheme to Use Project, which was started and made
benchmark its revival endeavours. operational through the formation of the Palm
Products Working Group (PPWG) in May
The scheme is located 75 Kms to the west of 2007.
Malindi town and 20 Km from the Malindi –
Tsavo road at Kitsanga in Malindi district. Priority has also been given to exploration of
minerals in areas endowed with rich mineral which seeks to empower farmers, strengthen
The scheme is within the arid and semi arid deposits such as gemstones, iron ores, public and private sectors with knowledge
lands (ASAL) where the main economic gypsum, silica sand and lead. There are and skills to address production, processing,
activity is livestock keeping. Subsistence also abundant deposits for building sands, and marketing and credit issues.
farming particularly in the Galana riverine is limestone and salts which are mined on a
also practiced here. small scale basis-in the Taita and Kwale The project has adopted the FAO Farmer
districts. Field Schools (FFS) approach to address
The United States Aid for International the production constraints in areas with
Development (USAID) and the Ministry of The authority is also involved in the favourable conditions for the production of
Agriculture (MOA) were co-partners in the promotion of eco-tourism where it is the lead mangoes, citrus and cashew nut.
initiative at inception while IFAD through agency in the Technical Working Group
the Ministry of Agriculture assisted with the Farmers groups are trained on various aspect
rehabilitation and putting in place a new (TWG) in the Ishaqbini Conservancy. of production such as nursery establishment,
main canal in the 1990s.. grafting/budding of seedlings and orchard
The conservancy initiative brings together establishment and management.
The authority though, has identified areas pastoral communities of Hara, Korissa,
of intervention such as increasing the and Kotile where residents are engaged in Another project undertaken by the CDA is the
participation of farmers through awareness advocacy against the translocation of the improvement of the Borstal Institute, which is
creation, sensitisation and mobilisation, Hirola antelope to ‘safe havens’ outside Ijara. a facility for juvenile delinquents who by virtue
strengthening the scheme committees by of their age cannot be integrated into the main
training on roles and responsibilities of the Other projects in this cluster include; the Shimo La Tewa GK Prison system.
various stakeholders. Bodhai Community Conservation Project
targeting the flora and fauna around Lake The institution currently houses almost 300
Improvement of irrigation infrastructure, Jerey, construction of a water pan in inmates with a daily staff attendance of some
training of farmers on appropriate irrigation Hulugho, livestock purchase and marketing 30 people. Its capacity was 100 people at its
methods, provision of market linkages and rehabilitation of Bodhai dispensary to inception by the colonial government.
and training on micro-credit as means to improve access to health care facilities
self sustaining schemes are continuously Tel: +254-041-2224490
addressed. There is also the integrated tree crops project

Best of Kenya 111

The Better Option
Corporate Profiles

Despite the global economic downturn, Safaricom Kenya is

still the largest and most profitable corporate organisation in
the eastern and Central African region. Although its profits
dropped from a record KSh19 billion in 2007 to KSh15
billion in 2008 due to the economic recession and increased
competition, Safaricom remains the telecommunications
giant of Kenya. The Company is set for the future with great
foresight and determination.

With greater clarity about global challenges, Safaricom’s main The Brand
areas of focus remains meeting its subscriber and customer
needs, offering unparallel quality service and continuing to Being the leading telecommunications company operating in
improve on its communications coverage countrywide and Kenya and East Africa, Safaricom provide a host of products
regionally. In order to succeed in its core business, Safaricom and services for telephony, GPRS, 3G, EDGE, Data and Fax.
has come to symbolise success and foresight. The Company The Company’s services are all geared towards growth.
takes pride in its unique understanding of a variety of customer Having established a highly successful and recognizable brand
segments where it continues to make a great difference in the name, Safaricom now seeks to make positive contributions to
field of modern communication. communities in direct ways through value added services and

112 Best of Kenya

financial support for community projects. Our The main strategic partner was Vodacom
commitment in giving back to the society (Kenya) Ltd., a subsidiary of Vodacom Plc of
seeks to address Health, Sports, Culture and Great Britain, with 35 per cent shareholding
Education. while a minority shareholder was Mobitelea at
5 per cent. Until 20 December 2007, the GoK
The Company relies on its versatile and shares were held by Telkom Kenya Limited
skilled employees to make it tick. That is why (“TKL”), which was a State corporation under
Safaricom has been exceptionally successful the Act.
by always seeking to attract, develop, reward
and retain outstanding individuals who we Following the public offer and sale of 25 per
are committed to offering quality service and cent of the issued shares it held in Safaricom Michael Joseph
taking on challenging responsibilities and through the NSE in March 2008, the Kenya
development opportunities. Government ceased to have a controlling
interest in the local telecommunications giant factors and the decisions that we have
Heritage under the State Corporations Act. From that made from time to time, such as the
time on, therefore, the provisions of the State tariff structure that we adopted at the
Having started its long and ultimately highly Corporations Act were no longer applicable. beginning, charging our network users
successful journey to corporate stardom Safaricom thus became a public liability per second rather than per minute. Our
as a department of the Kenya Posts & company trading vigorously on the NSE. The customers found per second charges we
Telecommunications Corporation (KP&TC), initial public offer was worth KSh50 billion but settled for to be cheaper than the per-
the former monopoly operator, Safaricom was oversubscribed by more than 200 per minute charging that was adopted by our
was initially a State-owned entity with strong cent. rivals. Our customer base grew rapidly
government involvement in its shareholding. from then on. Our marketing strategies
The Company launched its operations in Interview with CEO Michael Joseph have also been adapted to the prevailing
1993 based on an analogue ETACS network local market conditions.
and continued to develop innovatively, Q: Safaricom is currently the biggest and
upgrading to GSM in 1996 (the licence most successful corporate entity, not only Q: How do you assess the state of Safaricom
awarded in 1999). in Kenya, but throughout the East African and the Kenyan mobile telephony data
region. How did you get there? transmission market at the moment, given
With a majority shareholding by the the fact that several more players have
Government of Kenya through KP&TC, A: Safaricom was established in October either entered or are preparing for entry?
Safaricom Limited was incorporated on 3 2000, some eight years ago, as a wholly
April 1997 under the Companies Act as a owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. We A: Safaricom is currently the market leader
private limited liability company before it started out with a very small group of and we intend to remain there for as long
converted into a public company with limited about five people in June 2000, but we as possible, although it will be increasingly
liability on 16 May 2002. By the time it was inherited some of Telkom Kenya’s network more difficult in the future given the stiff
on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) the new at the time. We had to work hard to competition offered both by newcomers
telecommunications company was already on revamp the communications network that and more experienced operators. We
a highly profitable business trajectory. existed at the time. The decisions that have to constantly adapt our operations in
we made at the time (between June and the volatile market conditions. Flexibility
By virtue of the initial 60 per cent October 2000) would have a huge impact is one of the key factors for our success
shareholding held by the Government of on our success in the future. and we must maintain that competitive
Kenya, Safaricom was a State corporation edge by providing our customers with
within the meaning of the State Corporations Q: So, what is the secret of Safaricom’s huge the best possible services in the market.
Act (Chapter 446) the Laws of Kenya, which success in the mobile telephony market We must always design our products to
defines a State corporation to include since its establishment? provide us with a competitive edge.
all corporate bodies operating under the
Companies Act wholly or partly owned or A: There is not one single secret for our Tel: +254-20-4273272
controlled by the Government. success. In fact, it is a combination of

Best of Kenya 113

It’s no gamble when 200 million
Corporate Profiles

customers are satisfied!

Procter & Gamble (P&G) East Africa is one of the smallest

subsidiaries of the multi-national company. It has however
diligently kept 200 million customers spread across sub-
Saharan Africa satisfied and happy by consistently supplying
them with its high quality range of products.

It also provides Duracell batteries, Gillette

shaving products, Oral B toothbrushes, Vicks
Kingo lozenges and Ariel Washing Powder
which was re-launched in the market recently.
For consumers the combination represents, in
its barest terms, the potential for getting most
of the products they may need from the same

Andrew Plastow, the P&G Country Manager,

is happy to be part of the success, “We offer
a variety of products and most of our brands
are market leaders in their own niches, he

P&G brands such as Always and Pampers

have been blended into Kenya’s national
psyche and as a result have become an
integral part of the country’s history, reflecting
customers’ faith in quality products and
resonating with their passion.

Being mass brands, the products appeal to

both the top end and low end consumers.
Pampers is a market leader commanding
about 70% of the diaper market in Kenya
and is expected to perform even better as its
popularity and consumption increase.

P&G is organized into three business units namely beauty, health and well-being P&G is committed to the delivery of quality
and household care. The company boasts a wide product range that cuts across for its consumers, rewarding them for their
beauty, grooming, healthcare and snacks. loyalty and ensuring they get the best value
for money.
In Kenya P&G has built an enormous base of loyal consumers to its diverse set
of brands with catchy names such as Pampers diapers and Always sanitary pads P&G believes the Kenyan market has potential
which are all leading players in their categories. for growth as customer preferences become

114 Best of Kenya

more sophisticated and quality driven. With purpose of providing products and services
the attractive appearances of the Company’s of superior quality and value.
products and consistency in quality, the
brands’ volumes, market share and turnover The power of P&G’s purpose is the one
are also expected to increase. factor that has contributed to the company’s
long heritage of growth. It first entered the
Heavy Investment East African market when it bought the
Vicks Richardson Company, which was
Plastow attributes P&G’s success in part manufacturing Vicks lozenges, Vicks inhaler,
to the Company’s substantial investment in Vicks Vaporub, Vicks Triangles and Vicks
human resource development, which he says Kingo Lemon.
has been shaping employees and preparing
them to take up future roles in managing the In 1992, it began an Always line to
firm’s affairs. manufacture various variants of the brand.

“I’ve worked with the company for 12 Corporate Social Responsibility

years now in different positions, I started
out small, but I’ve risen to the current P&G, in partnership with a local non-
position. There are several other individuals governmental organisation (NGO), has
with similar stories, which is testimony to provided approximately 3.2 million free
P&G’s strong emphasis on human resource sanitary pads to 15,000 girls from poor
development”. families in a project that ended in December disparity in primary and secondary education.
2008. The Company has recently expanded the
With the growing economy and changing Always Keeping Girls in School programme
retail trends, the Company has been Dubbed ‘Always Keeping Girls in School,’ through a pilot with the Ministry of Education
working hard to take its products to the the programme provided each girl from the targeting 20,000 girls in over 200 schools.
consumer. Plastow says ensuring products target schools with free pads for every month The Ministry of Education is using the pilot to
are available in shelves is key to winning in each school term. In addition, the girls also collect data on the need for pads in schools.
consumers. This calls for better distribution received education on issues of feminine
network (visible distribution.) hygiene, puberty and menstrual protection. P&G, through Population Services
International (PSI) a social marketing NGO
P&G has a continuous strategy of taking The programme whose immense effect was has a programme where they visit schools in
services closer to the consumers to serve felt when enrolment of girls increased in areas with unsafe water sources to educate
them better. The firm also ensures it meets both primary and secondary schools in the students on the importance of drinking
the Kenya Bureau of Standard (KEBS) selected areas, targeted girls in their last two purified water. They also provide them with
minimum standards for all products. years of primary education in order to help free sachets of Pur, a low cost technology that
them stay in school as they prepared for the purifies contaminated water, and a brochure
History: The Power of Purpose final examinations. to reinforce the message.

P&G’s story started in 1837 when The premise was that if the girls were able to P&G has reached over 400,000 children with
distinguished entrepreneurs William Procter stay in school and concentrate, they would the free samples and education since the
and James Gamble formed a humble, but be able to perform better and also compete programme begun in 2007.
bold new enterprise. What began as a on an almost equal platform with their boy
small, family-operated soap-and-candle counterparts. The programme is in line with
company, has grown into a multinational Agenda Three of the Millennium Development Tel: +254-20-3601300
and thrived, inspired hugely by P&G’s Goals, which seeks to eliminate gender

Best of Kenya 115

Chapter 9
Banking and Finance

116 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 117
A giant at home and beyond
Banking and Finance

Kenya Commercial Bank

KCB, as the Kenya Commercial Bank is popularly known, is
the one financial institution that is making the biggest and
most positive difference in the lives of many people, not
only in Kenya, but also in other countries in the eastern and
Central African region.

118 Best of Kenya

It is a bank of many attributes, with a the security and political situation in those
solid capital base, numerous branches two countries stabilises sufficiently for
country-wide and a wide variety of financial sustainable financial and banking business.
services and instruments. In Tanzania and Uganda, the KCB Group
is already making a name for itself in the
Having established itself as one of the financial markets.
most reliable banks in Kenya, the KCB
Group has looked beyond the boundaries As a financial and banking institution, the
of its original base to make itself into a KCB Group now consists of the Kenya
regional financial giant and has become the Commercial Bank (a combined retail and
preferred bank for big and small savers, merchant bank); Savings and Loan (S&L – a
traders, entrepreneurs and builders alike. mortgage lender); KCB Uganda Limited; stake in the National and Grindlays Bank
KCB Tanzania Limited; KCB Sudan Limited to take full control of the then largest
The KCB Group has transformed itself from and KCB Rwanda Limited. The bank’s commercial bank in the country. National
a purely one-country-based, State-owned branches in the different countries are and Grindlays Bank was then renamed the
bank into the main player in the financial registered and licensed as autonomous Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). Two years
and banking sectors within the entire corporations owned by the Group. The later, in 1972, KCB took over the ownership
eastern and Central African region, with KCB Group is currently listed on the of Savings & Loan, which specialised in
branches in Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) and on the mortgage finance. KCB and its various
Rwanda. Kampala and Dar es Salaam bourses. financial services were growing rapidly.

Solid Asset Base, Widest Outlets Network From State to Public Ownership The first branch of this giant financial
institution outside Kenya was established
The leading position occupied by the KCB The Government of Kenya, the original and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1997 as
Group in the region is securely buttressed principal shareholder of the KCB Group, has Kenya Commercial Bank or KCB (Tanzania)
by a formidable asset base of close to gradually reduced its stake in the financial Limited. Other branches have since
US$2.5 billion and the widest network institution to the current 23.1 per cent been established in three of the largest
of outlets, comprising more than 150 through the public sale of its shares at the Tanzanian urban centres of Arusha, Dar es
branches across the region and over 300 NSE. Last year, a second rights Issue by the Salaam and Mwanza. In pursuit of its vision
Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Kenya Government, which raised additional to be the best bank in the region, KCB
capital in the region of US$80 million extended its financial and banking services
Serving the Eastern, Great Lakes Regions (KSh5.5 billion), was one of the largest at to southern Sudan. The South Sudanese
the most active bourse in the region. subsidiary, KCB Sudan Limited, now has
As a Financial Services Provider within branches in Juba and Rumbek.
the eastern and Central African region, Historically, the KCB Group can be
the KCB Group has no equal. From its described as the oldest financial institution Further expansion to make the KCB Group
headquarters, which are situated in an in the eastern and Central African region, the largest and most prestigious financial
imposing white-painted building right in tracing its roots to 1896, when one of and banking institution within the eastern
the centre of Nairobi, KCB controls a vast its progenitors, the National Bank of and Central African region took place in
financial business and banking empire. India, opened its first outlet at Mombasa, 2007 with the establishment of KCB Bank
The giant financial institution, whose now Kenya’s leading port and second Uganda Limited. Then in December 2008
shareholding is now mostly in private largest city. Eight years later, in 1904, the latest subsidiary, KCB Rwanda, began
hands with many small savers, prides itself the National Bank of India established a its operations, with ready plans for rapid
on being the “Green Bank” of the region. branch in Nairobi, which had become the expansion.
headquarters of the newly constructed
Destined for Greatness Uganda Railway. KCB’s balance sheet now stands at
KSh183 billion, making it one of the largest
The next destination in the strategic plan Exponential Growth in the region.
of the KCB Group in the Great Lakes
Region is to move into Burundi and the In 1970, the Government of Kenya bought Tel: +254-20-3270000
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) once the remaining foreign-owned 40 per cent

Best of Kenya 119

Rapid Growth from
Banking and Finance

Humble Beginnings
The beginnings of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya – simply
Coop Bank to many Kenyans – can be traced back to January
1968, when it first opened business as a financial institution
under the Co-operatives Department of the then Ministry of
Agriculture. From the time of its registration in 1965, the bank had
been restricted by statute to serving co-operative societies and
unions, but since 1994 serves the entire market, albeit retaining a
strategic focus on the co-operative movement.

120 Best of Kenya

G. B. Muriuki

In 2003 the bank re-occupied its headquarters and management advisory that specialises in shares at KSh9.50 ($1.3), which raised around
in Nairobi, Co-operative Bank House, after providing subsidised consultancy to Kenya’s US$80 million (KSh5.4 billion). This was a
renovations following the extensive damage cooperatives. vital boost to the Bank’s capital base, which
by the terrorist bomb blast of August 1998. stood at roughly US$100 million (KSh.7.4
Despite this major setback, in October of the Services to Co-operative Movement billion) before the offer. The public share offer
same year, the Bank signed a contract with was made possible through the resolution
MoneyGram International to become an agent With every one in 5 Kenyans being a member passed by a Special General Meeting held on
of the global company’s funds remittance of a co-operative, the role of the Coop June 27, 2008, which approved the change
business. In 2000, the bank became only the Bank as an apex financial institution for co- in the status of the Bank from a cooperative
second bank in Kenya to interconnect all its operatives becomes even more critical, as it society to a limited liability company. Under
branches in order to offer fully centralised affects the lives of the majority of Kenyans the new regime allowing for private individuals
banking. who directly or indirectly derive their livelihood and corporate bodies to hold a stake in the
from the Movement. Bank, its previous shareholding, which was
Market Leadership previously limited to cooperative societies and
Coop Bank continues to enhance the capacity unions, was ring-fenced and placed under
Coop Bank led the market in pioneering of the movement to offer products through Co-op Holdings Co-operative Society Limited
mobile banking in Kenya by launching their Front Office Service Activities (FOSAs) as a strategic investor. The bank today has
M-Banking in 2004, a banking service thereby reaching every Kenyan household 116,000 shareholders.
delivered via mobile phones. M-Banking with banking services even in locations that
enables customers to access their bank are unattractive to mainstream financial Going Regional
accounts and carry out transactions such institutions. In addition to the conventional
as getting bank balances, paying utility bills, lending and deposit-taking service, Coop Coop Bank is expanding footprint by
registering for salary alerts and loading airtime Bank is adding value to this relationship venturing into the wider Eastern Africa,
on cell phones, among others. by launching Sacco Link, which is an IT- beginning with Uganda and Southern Sudan.
supported link that connects the FOSA The one feature that distinguishes Coop
Co-operative Bank recently expanded into banking outlets to Coop Bank systems. Bank’s regional strategy from its peers is
stock broking by acquiring a 60% controlling The bank then issues the Sacco Link Visa the adoption of its successful co-operative
stake in Bob Mathews Stockbrokers, now debit cards to members of participating co- banking model in the new markets. Already,
re-named Kingdom Securities Limited. This operatives, thereby enabling them to access the Southern Sudan operation will see the
has enabled Coop Bank to move a step closer their money from any Visa ATM or other Visa- bank allocate a 30 per cent shareholding in
towards realization of a financial supermarket accepting outlets worldwide. the proposed Co-operative Bank of Southern
model. Coop Bank also operates two wholly- Sudan to co-operatives in the new market.
owned subsidiary companies, namely Co-operatives to Public Listing
CoopTrust Investment Services Limited, which
is a licensed Fund Manager and Investment The Cooperative Bank of Kenya was listed
Advisor; and Co-operative Consultancy on the Nairobi Stock Exchange on December Tel: +254-20-2776000
Services (K) Limited, the capacity-building 22 2008, with a public offer of 710.3 million

Best of Kenya 121

Tour de force in finance
Banking and Finance

The success story of Equity Bank has been like a

fairytale, capturing the financial worlds attention and
earning many local and international awards. It is the one
bank with which the ordinary Kenyan can most easily
identify because it has opened a completely new chapter
in financial services for them.

Bank of the Future It is a bank of the people, for the people and by the
Kenya is a fast growing market for financial services and people. Opening an account of whatever nature with Equity is
banking. A growing economy needs fast, reliable financial as easy as having a snack and Kenyans have been trooping to
services. As a locally developed concept in financial and its outlets and branches in their hundreds of thousands.
banking concepts, Equity Bank has had a steady, unrivalled
run of success, showing the kind of innovation that other Fastest Growing Bank in Kenya
institutions can emulate. Equity, as it commonly known, is truly Over the past few years, Equity Bank Ltd has been the fastest
a financial institution for now and the future. growing financial institution, not only within Kenya, but in
the entire eastern and Central African region. The Bank has
One of the biggest attractions of Equity Bank to the ordinary won various local and international awards for its pioneering
person is the easy and relaxed manner in which it transacts its efforts to bring the benefits of modern financial services to the
business, without compromising quality and ethical standards. common man and woman.

122 Best of Kenya

It has become the preferred bank for the
small saver, providing a vital and secure
link between the rural trader or farmer and
the complex modern world of financial

Established initially as a building society,

Equity Bank commenced business upon
registration in 1984 and has evolved from a
relatively small microfinance institution to a
giant, all-inclusive commercial bank that is
now listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange
(NSE), the leading bourse within the entire
eastern and Central African region.

Before and soon after its listing on the NSE in

2004, Equity Bank experienced phenomenal
growth with its focus on the “unbanked”
segment of the population, which constituted
the largest portion of the people of Kenya.

Excellent Services for the Small Saver

Success for Equity Bank is pinned on a

deliberate strategy that relies heavily on
Kenya’s important agricultural sector in
the rural areas, where the majority of its
customers are found. The bulk of the Bank’s
deposits and the majority of its lending target
the rural folk. In the short-term, Equity Bank
has made a major impact in the Kenyan
financial sector, while, in the long-term,
prospects for continued growth look fairly
bright after institution of processes and
systems aimed at ensuring sustainability of its
operations at various levels.

With more than 3.1 million accounts, Equity

Bank is currently home to around 48 per cent
of all bank accounts in Kenya. This makes it
the largest bank in the entire region in terms of Dr. James Mwangi, CEO Equity Bank
customer base.

Equity Bank has also been named by Africa opening of Equity Bank in Uganda
The solid foundation upon which Equity Bank
Investor as the 2008 Best Performing Public and Equity Bank in Southern Sudan.
transacts its financial and other business is
Listed Company in Africa (AI 100). The bank
underpinned by its massive shareholder fund
has been voted by the African Banker 2nd Adopting Modern Technology
base of over KSh18 billion complemented
Edition as the Best Microfinance Institution
by an additional KSh7 billion of subordinated
in the entire continent. It won the African Equity runs on a state-of-the art Global
tier-two capital. The capital base makes
Business Award and the FT Financial Robust Information Technology (GRIT)
Equity the most capitalised bank in the region.
Sustainable Institution in the emerging Computer System supported by Infosys, HP,
markets, Africa and Middle East by the FT Oracle and Microsoft. As a financial
The Bank is credited for taking banking
and ther IFC. Equity enjoys an AA- Long institution, Equity Bank is guided by principles
services to the people through its accessible,
term and A1+ Short term credit rating from and core values that can be translated into
affordable and flexible service provision.
the Global Credit Rating Agency. the following simple illustration:
Dr. James Mwangi, CEO Equity Bank
Multiple Award Winner
As it seeks to expand its activities even • Professionalism
further afield, Equity continues to offer a • Integrity
In 2007 and 2008 consecutively, Equity was
variety of attractive and affordable financial • Creativity and Innovation
named the Best Bank in Kenya by Euromoney
services through its over 110 (and still • Teamwork
Awards for Excellence. Equity is also the
expanding) branches countrywide network • Unity of purpose
holder of the 2007 Global Vision Award in
in Kenya, supported by Alternate Delivery • Respect and dignity for customers
Microfinance “for initiating a concept of the
Channels, which include 550 Visa-branded • Effective Corporate Governance
future that will shape the global economy”.
automated teller machines (ATMs), 2,500 which abbreviates as
In 2008, the Kenya Banking Survey named
Points of Sale (POS) cash back services in PICTURE.
Equity as the top ranked bank in Kenya, and
all leading supermarkets as well as Internet
the Renaissance Capital Bank Awards 2008
and mobile banking channels.
also named the bank as the Overall Best Bank Tel: +254-20-2736620
Equity has also gone regional with the
in Kenya.

Best of Kenya 123

Chapter 10

124 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 125
Driving Kenya’s economic

transformation, the power of IT

The leveraging of information and communication technologies (ICT) is
increasingly critical to Kenya’s socio-economic development. Indeed,
the Government of Kenya has made ICT a priority in its economic
recovery strategy, continuously putting in place sound and responsive
regulatory policies to enhance the socio-economic impact of the ICT
sector and maximise its contribution to Kenya’s development.

The development of ICT in Kenya is guided and governed by a • The transformation of Kenya into a destination of choice
well-thought-out strategy whose objectives include: for ICT-related Foreign Direct Investment with the potential
to become a competitive regional and international ICT
• The promotion of the deployment and exploitation business hub.
of information, knowledge and technology within the
economy and society as key drivers for socio-economic This takes on board the development and promotion of a
development. globally competitive local ICT industry for the development,
production and sale of information, knowledge and technology
This is given impetus by the modernisation and expansion of products and services.
Kenya’s ICT infrastructure and services to improve universal
access and service as well as the quality of service; • To develop a highly competitive ICT-led valueadded and

126 Best of Kenya

export oriented services sector driven by
a dynamic ICT services sub-sector and

This emphasises the need to promote and

facilitate the development of the private
sector to serve as a key driver for the
development of the economy.

• To create a dynamic knowledgebased,

technology-driven, light and modern
industrial sector that is export-led and
globally competitive.

• To improve both the national human

resource development and research
and development capacities to meet President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga witness the completion of the final stretch of the
the demands and requirements for shoreend cable during the official launch of the East African Marine System (TEAMS) at the Fort Jesus,
developing this country’s information and Mombasa.
knowledge-based economy.
The Government recognises that Kenyans • Developing rural ICT centres to ensure
• To modernise Kenya’s education system are increasingly becoming reliant on awareness and application of technology
using ICTs to improve and expand access information and communications services to throughout the country;
to education, training and research enable their effective participation in national
resources and facilities, as well as to economic and socio-political development. • Aggressively reforming and enhancing
improve the quality of education and ICT research and development in all
training and make the education system The national ICT master plan aims to institutions of higher learning through
responsive to the needs and requirements achieve the following objectives: Industrial Incubation Centres to ensure
of the economy and society, with specific linkages between industry and academia
reference to the creation of an information • Enhance Kenya’s economic in hardware and software development
and knowledgebased economy and competitiveness through utilisation of its and Value Added Services (VAS);
society. abundant human resources in Business
Processing Outsourcing (BPO); • Revamping and extending e-government
The desire to achieve these objectives throughout the country to ensure
explains why the Government has put in • Develop a knowledge-based society and exemplary service delivery to citizens;
place an ICT master plan which outlines thereby enhance the quality of life of the
the roadmap and implementation strategy Kenyan people; • Encouraging ICT entrepreneurship while
to actualise public policy pronouncements discouraging the culture of dependency
spelt out in the National ICT Policy adopted • Ensure universal access to ICT for and unsuitable projects;
in 2005. sustainable development through Digital
Villages countrywide; • Allocating sufficient resources for human
A key objective of the policy is to make ICT capital development and training for the
more accessible and affordable to the wider • Strengthen Kenya’s learning opportunities industry (with emphasis on Business
population and therefore accelerate Kenya’s and capacity to meet future technological Process Outsourcing and VAS).
transformation into a prosperous society challenges.
where day-to-day decisionmaking is driven
by knowledge. The achievement of these objectives
is in turn dependent on the ongoing
This kind of society, which is also envisaged implementation of the following strategies:
in Kenya’s economic transformation
blueprint, Vision 2030, is known as a • Expanding infrastructure with the aim of Tel: +254-20-2211960
knowledge society. making Kenya the ICT hub of Africa;

Best of Kenya 127

It is crucial the rural areas are not left behind

when it comes to Internet access

The Chief Executive Officer of the ICT Board, Mr Paul Kukubo, was
interviewed by Best of Kenya.
Q. What is the mandate of the ICT Board?

Our mandate is to position Kenya locally and globally as an ICT destination in terms of investment and in terms of
activity in ICT. Secondly, we have an advisory role, which sees us act as a link between the private and public sectors
in terms of ICT advice.

Our third mandate is capacity building, where we provide government and stakeholders with capacity and skills
where they are required in order to raise the country’s capacity in ICT.

World class connections: Tennis star Serena Williams joins students in a computer class at the school she
co-founded with global ICT giant Hewlett Packard, in Makueni District, which is named after her.

128 Best of Kenya

Mr Paul Kukubo

Lastly, we are tasked with co-ordinating

and implementing government projects and
ensuring that prospective investors in Kenya
in ICT are provided with relevant information.

Q. How about your vision and mission?

The vision of the ICT Board is that Kenya get work that is sourced from international using technology to store educational, cultural
becomes a top-10 global ICT hub. markets and delivered over Internet-enabled and publication material.
networks. This is akin to export of skilled
It is an ambitious vision, but that is what we services, but it is all done from here and via This is important because the Internet is
are meant to be and it fits in well with Kenya’s Internet-enabled networks without people a two-way pipe and if we do not have our
economic transformation blueprint popularly moving out of their geographical area. own material flowing in this pipe, we will be
known as Vision 2030 and which seeks to overwhelmed by non-local material. The other
catapult Kenya into a developed economy by We are confident this is an area of vast project is called Government Shared Services.
2030. potential and growth because we are This a platform for sharing applications
witnessing a lot of traction here already. Some developed by a department across all
We are important as a board in this regard of the firms that we are targeting have the government departments, thereby linking
principally because ICT is seen as a cross- potential to employ as many as 500 people these departments together.
cutting enabler of Vision 2030. each.
Q. Why is rural access to Internet of such
The mission of the Board is to rapidly and The second initiative involves the Kenya concern to the ICT Board?
innovatively transform Kenya through the Transparency and Connectivity Project,
promotion of ICT for the socio-economic which aims to create transparency in It is crucial that the rural areas are not left
development of our society. We are very clear government interactions through conversion behind when it comes to Internet access for
as a board that Kenya must be transformed of government data into electronic format this will be an impediment to participation
and ICT holds the key to this transformation. and connectivity to ensure that people are in the global economy via Internet-enabled
connected to the Internet in a way that they networks.
Q. What are some of the specifics? will be able to enjoy the benefits of a global
economy. A huge digital divide between rural and urban
initiatives or projects in which the ICT Board Kenya may mean that entrepreneurs based in
is involved or is undertaking with a view to Q. How exactly is the ICT Board going the latter part of the country may not invest
realising the foregoing? about this? in the former. They key issue is for us to bring
down the costs of Internet access to help
The flagship initiative is the business process Under these objectives we have four projects bridge the Digital Divide between the rural and
outsourcing (BPO) programme, which is also of which the first one is e-services facilitation, urban areas and this is why we are bringing in
quite clearly articulated in Vision 2030. The which enables government services to be the international fibre optic cable.
objective of the programme is to rapidly make delivered electronically; the second one is
Kenya a top BPO destination in Africa and making Internet services available in our Apart from driving down costs, the fibre optic
compete with Egypt, South Africa, Mauritius, rural areas or Internet access for Kenyan cable will also provide high speed broadband
Morocco, Ghana and Senegal who have got villages or the rural digital project. The third access.
very aggressive outsourcing initiatives. is content development through which we
are encouraging the development of local
What we basically mean is that there will be software, local applications and local content Tel: +254-221-1960/1 / +254-208-9061
job creation by enabling our young people to editorial material so that Kenyans can start

Best of Kenya 129

From Digital Divide to Knowledge Society

The Permanent Secretary for Information and Communications,

Dr Bitange Ndemo, was interviewed by The Best of Kenya. Excerpts:

Q. A key plank of Kenya’s ICT policy is to bridge the rural/urban Digital Divide. Is this achievable?

A. We can almost instantly bridge the gap between the rural and urban divide, especially given that Kenya has very
many young people with sufficient education that can handle our rural ICT digital centres. They can collect content
from the rural areas and share it with the rest of the world.

130 Best of Kenya

We can create revenue models from these digital villages
along the lines of Youtube, which is a multi-billion-shilling
enterprise. All it entails is collecting information (content)
and being able to share it with multitudes around the world.

Such content would be important for Kenya, for example,

in terms of preserving our national heritage. Right now
there may be no motivation for doing this, but if our young
people are given the monetary incentives that come with
sharing of information worldwide, they will be encouraged
to work in these digital centres and help bridge that rural/
urban divide.

With digital villages in place, the benefits of e-government

Dr. Bitange Ndemo will be evident and in this way government will have taken
services closer to the people. People will not, for example,
have to travel long distances to police stations or varied
government offices to get forms they need to fill in order
to get services. These will be available online in the digital
village centres.

Q. Why does the policy lay a great deal of emphasis on

creation of a knowledge society?

A. Because a knowledge society leads to greater

innovation, sharing of information and creation of quick
and multiple job opportunities, especially, for example, in
business process outsourcing. This will also lead to cost
reduction in terms of telecommunication. The benefits that
will accrue from this fibre optic cable are simply enormous.

Q. Why the migration from analogue to digital


A. The reason why we must migrate is that the demand for

frequencies is much higher than before and it is the digital
format that creates more frequencies, the minimum being
eight for every frequency, depending on the technology
that is employed.

The more channels there are, the more entrepreneurs will

be challenged to come up with content to broadcast and
our airwaves will be filled with variety and there will be
more opportunities for creation of jobs.

The creation of more channels, in fact, fits in well with the

digital ICT villages we are creating in the country, especially
in terms of gathering of content. The rural ICT centres will
lead in gathering content for preserving and showcasing
our heritage.

Q. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) seems to have

a special place in the development of ICT in Kenya?

A. Business Process Outsourcing is an area of high

potential as regards the creation of jobs and BPO is
therefore a key plank in Kenya’s ICT strategy. Many firms,
local and international, are outsourcing jobs and if we
become a knowledge society we stand in good stead to
attract these jobs. All we need to do is to train our young
people to take advantage of these opportunities and to
make Kenya a service hub. The service industry creates
more jobs quickly and helps to sustain other industries.

Best of Kenya 131

They keep the data flowing

Kenya Data Networks

The transfer of huge volumes of information and data over both short
and long distances has become a key component in the operation and
development of both the public and the private sectors around the world.

132 Best of Kenya

In Kenya, which plans to become a middle-
level industrialised country within the next
two decades in accordance with its Vision
2030 economic blueprint, information
technology remains a very important sector
for growth. In the short-term, Kenya plans
to become the Business Outsourcing
Centre (BOC) for the entire region within
the next few years.

Kenya Data Networks (KDN) is Kenya’s

largest and fastest growing private data
carrier and infrastructure provider in the
eastern and Central African region. KDN
operates a combination of microwave
radio and fibre optical links, over which it
provides Layer 2 carrier services (Ethernet,
Frame Relay) to corporate customers.
Furthermore, KDN houses and maintains a
number of international Internet gateways,
which it sells to corporate customers such
as Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Business Areas

As a private data communications carrier

in Kenya, KDN has witnessed tremendous
growth since 2006 to become the country’s Infrastructure The first phase links Malaba to Nakuru
largest private data carrier, operating on a through Busia, Kisumu, Kisii, Kericho and
similar scale as the state-run Telkom Kenya. KDN started off by providing infrastructure via Njoro. Then the link from Nakuru to Nairobi
microwave radio in a hub-and-spoke fashion. is backed up by the link through Nyahururu,
KDN started business when it was licensed Currently, it operates a number of base Nyeri and Thika to Nairobi. The Nairobi to
as a Public Data Network Operator by the stations in Nairobi, Mombasa and upcountry Mombasa leg is backed up by the link through
Communications Commission of Kenya (Embu, Meru, Kisumu, Diani and Malindi), Thika, Garissa, Garsen, Malindi to Mombasa.
(CCK) in 2003. which are connected via directed radio
backhauls. This rather old but still reliable The fibre optic cable also goes round Mt.
As the communications regulatory body technology will eventually be completely Kenya to cover the towns of Nanyuki, Meru
in Kenya, the CCK has also licensed KDN superseded by more advanced fibre-optic and Embu. The fibre cable is now the main
as a local loop operator that was also infrastructure. backhaul for the 70-odd WiMAX base-stations
authorised to provide fixed line voice and in different parts of the country. Kenya is now
data transmission services. KDN also owns Fibre Optic Network truly on the path to becoming an electronically
an International Gateway Licence, under wired country. The laying of the fibre optic
which it sells Internet connectivity to local KDN has deployed the largest fibre optic cables in the country should become the
ISPs. network in the eastern and Central African backbone of national future development. It
region so far. With over 500km of Metropolitan will bring virtually all of Kenya into close links
Fully owned by the Sameer Investment fibre optic cable in Nairobi, 50 in Kisumu with the rest of the world.
Group, KDN, which has set up a number and Mombasa and 20 in Nakuru, Eldoret
of companies both in Kenya and other and Thika, KDN has the key towns in Kenya In a largely agricultural but rapidly developing
African countries, is currently involved covered. The main backbone across the country like Kenya, the fast flow of data is vital
in a number of valuable projects in the country, from Mombasa (through Voi, Nairobi, in linking farmers and small businesspeople,
telecommunications sector, although Nakuru and Eldoret) to Malaba (Kenya- especially in the rural areas, with essential
its core business remains that of data Uganda border) was completed in 2006. services and potential markets. Kenya will
transmission. KDN’s motto is “Keep the Recently, KDN embarked on creating a soon become one of the few African countries
data flowing”. The KDN Managing Director number of redundant data transmission links, that are able to receive and transmit almost
is Kai Wulff, a seasoned manager in the which will form figure eights on the main back unlimited volumes of information and data,
telecommunications sector. bone. thanks to efforts of companies like KDN.

Best of Kenya 133


Philanthropic Projects The main advantages of Wi-Fi • Enjoy IPTv and VoIP services

With the idea of providing connectivity to all, • Uses an unlicensed bit of the broadcast • Access to Butterfly Camera at your
KDN, in conjunction with Kenya SchoolNet, spectrum, this means less regulatory house for traffic updates.
is working on a project to donate free controls.
wireless communication and Internet access • Enjoy incentives such as rebates on
for connecting schools and marginalised • Many Notebook computers come with installation, reduced cost of service,
youth and communities. KDN is also inbuilt Wi-Fi devices. 90% of Laptops and bonus airtime for our broad-band
working with the Eagle Unlimited ICT4 E&D produced last year were Wi-Fi enabled. service.
project, which strives to facilitate education,
social and economical development to the • Many reliable and inexpensive Wi-Fi Butterfly Portal
marginalised, underemployed and physically products in the market.
challenged. Kenya has very low internet penetration
• While connected on a Wi-Fi network, due to lack of infrastructure and local
KDN Products & Services it is possible to move about without content.
breaking the network connection.
Butterfly Wi-Fi We are developing a “shopping mall”
Butterfly ADSL concept for internet services where users
Intended to be used for wireless devices get free access to the internet.
and LANs (Local Area Network) like in KDN has embarked on an exciting venture
offices or homes, but is now often used for to offer services to the homes. This will The Butterfly portal by Kenya Data
Internet access. It enables a person with a through a digital subscriber line (DSL) Networks will provide a platform that
wirelessenabled computer or personal digital connection. DSL is a very high-speed will provide Kenyans with an avenue to
assistant (PDA) to connect to the Internet connection backhauled on fiber. exchange information store it and develop
when in proximity of an access point called the local internet market.
a hotspot. This enables KDN to provide fast, reliable
and affordable internet to all its users. All clients connected to the KDN network
KDN is now setting up mobile internet/ across the country will have access to
networking products that end users with Benefits of this service are: local content at no cost whatsoever.
Wi-Fi enabled computers and PDAs to link to
ISPs and other service providers or to their • Connect all PC’s to the internet via a We are seeking to enter into partnership
offices in a more or less transparent way to single broadband connection. with content providers interested in
take advantage of the systems. KDN will expanding their distribution channels.
market this under the Brand name Butterfly • Enjoy improved quality on-line activities The Portal will be available to everyone
Freedom such as gaming & Shopping using the Butterfly (metropolitan wireless

134 Best of Kenya

network) and KDN ADSL network across
the country.

The Butterfly portal will provide content

to schools across the country in the KDN
i-schools initiative.

International gateway

KDN holds a license to provide Internet

backbone and gateway services. Currently
we are doing over 75% of all outbound
internet traffic in Kenya. With our
participation in the TEAMS, SEACOMM
and other Submarine projects, we expect
to bring faster, cheaper and efficient
services including cable TV. We shall
live up to our promise of providing low
cost bandwidth that will generate reliable
highspeed broadband service.


VoIP allows one to make a call directly

from a computer, a special VoIP phone, or
a traditional phone connected to a special
adapter. In addition, wireless “hot spots”
in locations such as airports, parks, and
cafes allow you to connect to the Internet
and may enable you to use VoIP service
wirelessly. This service enables clients Hi-tech turns Kenya green: KDN staffers Evelyne (above) plants a seedling with a local boy in Siaya while
get digital quality communication while at Wangombe (below) joins students to plant a tree in Isiolo.
the same time save their company costs
associated with the normal telephony.

This service converts voice into a digital

signal that travels over the Butterfly Wi-Fi
network To use this service, register your
Softphone on your PDA or Laptop with the
KDN 5 Million numbers provider and TALK
within the butterfly network begins….

Home office

The home office solution is an extension of

the services we provide to our corporate
clients. We provide clients with a link from
their homes to the office so that they are
able to access the internet and the LAN at
the comfort of their homes.

• We use WIFI technology i.e our butterfly

product in the areas where we do have
the coverage and will even consider
providing coverage in the areas where
we do not have it. We use radio/
antennae in the areas where we do not
have the butterfly coverage.

• The service is on an unlimited access

basis and therefore no limit on the usage

Tel: +254-20-500000

Best of Kenya 135

Security, integrity and confidentiality
Isolutions Associates – Isols in short – is a Nairobi-based IT
network security provider whose products reduce systems’
downtime while ensuring information confidentiality and integrity.

As network security consultants Isols concentrates on system Revenue Authority, several government ministries, Centenary
hygiene, containment of viral outbreak, data availability, Bank of Uganda and government agencies across East
confidentiality and integrity. Africa.

The single most important reason for each Isols IT product is The IT security solutions Isols provides include:
the satisfaction of the client. It is why it proudly asserts that its
Reliable Support + Finest Products = Peace of Mind. ∞ Anti-virus;
∞ Content Filtering;
Founded in 2005, Isols provides comprehensive IT solutions ∞ Firewalls, Integrated Security Appliance (UTMs);
because it has strategic relationships with stalwart global ICT ∞ Network Management;
companies. These include Kaspersky Labs, Tripwire, Cyberoam, ∞ Encryption;
Websence, InfoWatch and GFI Software. ∞ Change and Configuration Audit;
∞ Backup and Data Recovery;
These firms have in turn appointed Isols their authorised ∞ Data Leakage Protection; and,
resellers. Isols is the sole authorised partner of Kaspersky Labs ∞ IDS/IPS
and Tripwire products in East Africa. Isols has in turn made
making Kaspersky the security solution of choice in the region Corporate Antivirus
its primary goal.
Isols specialises in high-performance virus protection and
The guiding light for Isols is the customer, which is why the content security products and services. Its solutions have
company insists on customising its products or solutions to the advanced centralized management capabilities that are
customer’s unique needs. scalable for any enterprise network or desktop.

Isols impressive and satisfied client base includes, but is not Kaspersky Lab delivers the world’s most immediate
limited to, Kenya’s National Assembly, blue chip telephony protection against IT security threats, including viruses,
firm Safaricom, banking giant Co-operative Bank, the Kenya spyware, crime ware, hackers, phishing and spam.

136 Best of Kenya

CEO, James Kinyua

Kaspersky Lab products provide superior actively manage user access and log the on servers, desktops and laptops, and
detection rates and then industry’s fastest activity of iPods, USB drives, CDs, laptops automated backups and data transfers.
outbreak response time for home users, and network cards.
SMBs, large enterprises and the mobile Change Audit & Configuration
computing environment. Kaspersky’s Firewalls and Integrated Security Systems Assessment
antivirus unique selling propositions include:
Firewalls combine the best gateway Tripwire is a change audit and
∞ Fast response to virus outbreaks; technologies available from stateful inspection configuration management solution that
∞ Very small antivirus files; and, to VoIP. Firewalls are a means of protecting baselines (set approved standards) and
∞ Very low resource utilisation networks by implementing access control to then monitors the systems of unathorised
and from the internet. changes. A client can monitor directory
Content Filtering Software servers such as Active Directories,
Isols offers both traditional firewalls like Cisco database systems and file servers,
Most research findings have shown that ASA and UTM appliances like Cyberoam. Exchange, IIS and network nodes (Cisco,
less than half of internet usage during office Nokia, Nortell, Juniper) for configuration
hours is work-related. Websense content Cyberoam’s unique user identity-based Internet changes and issue user-friendly reports
control/filtering solutions are tailored to Security Appliances solve today’s need to on the same.
ensuring that company internet usage control individual user behavior to ensure
policies are observed without causing too comprehensive threat management. Data Leakage Protection
much discomfort among employees.
It gives complete visibility into “Who is doing InfoWatch develops anti-inside security
Network Management and Monitoring What” in the network and allows policies to be systems that detect and prevent
created at the user level based on work profiles. confidential data leakage through any
Isols clients can manage their LAN from communication channels. This solution
a single console, monitoring traffic and Backup & Data Recovery protects the information from leaks on
assessing their networks for vulnerabilities the whole perimeter of an informational
with network management tools. Isols Data protection scalable from the desktop system, both on communication servers
solutions include Solarwinds, Retina to the data centre is the benchmark for and on workstations.
Security Scanner and GFI array of data backup and recovery in today’s IT
products. environments. Consultancy

∞ GFI and Solarwinds solutions include: Regardless of the type or size of business Apart from the foregoing, Isols enables
∞ Scans computers in the network for VERITAS backup solutions protect critical data, clients:
security vulnerabilities simplify the management of data, backup and ∞ Develop sound IT security systems;
∞ Monitors severs and routers to ensure recovery and provide consistent, reliable data ∞ Carry out vulnerability assessment
total integrity and availability protection. of networks before recommending
∞ Remote/central deployment of security solutions;
application and Microsoft patches; and, Encryption ∞ Implement, reconfigure and manage
∞ Penetrating and testing and vulnerability security solutions; and,
assessment. PGP secures e-mails, disks and volumes ∞ Customise service agreement
for office and home PCs. The solutions solutions;
End Point Security allow enterprises to deploy gateway and
desktop-based encryption based on
The proliferation of consumer devices such specific requirements for data security Tel: +254-20-2349887
as iPods, USB drives, smart phones and within an organisation. +254-20-2113271
other has increased the risk of data leakage Cell phone: +254-722 331935
and malicious activity on networks. GFI PGP products can secure internal and E-mail:
End Point Security allows administrators to external communications, data stored Website:

Best of Kenya 137

Chapter 11
Transport and Logistics

138 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 139
The leading sea goods trans-shipment
Transport and Logistics

centre in the region

The port of Mombasa is excellently located on the east coast of Africa and
midway between the South African port of Durban and other major ports in
the Red Sea and Middle East.

Doorway to a vast hinterland: Aerial view of a section of the Port of Mombasa.

Since it was first developed in the time of British colonial rule The Port of Mombasa is a superb natural harbour with first-
in the late 19th Century, the Port of Mombasa has provided a class shelter and an abundance of deepwater berths for large
main gateway for Kenya’s international trade. vessels such as bulk carriers, container ships, motor vehicle
carriers and luxury cruise ships.
With a history spanning many centuries, including when
dhows called at the old port on the north side of Mombasa For those in trade – particularly transshipment consignments
Island, the Port of Mombasa is today the premier port of call – the port offers a broad range of shipping services to key
in East and Central Africa, handling about 13 million tonnes destinations around the world. The port’s major markets
of cargo each year, including 3 million tonnes of transit encompass Western Europe, Asia, the Far East, the Americas
shipment. and the rest of Africa.

As Kenya’s biggest and busiest seaport, Mombasa is the The port also provides anchorage and storage for regular
doorway to a vast hinterland where people depend on feeder services between Mombasa and Dar es Salaam,
agriculture and economic growth for their livelihood. Durban, Mogadishu, Djibouti and Dubai.

It essentially serves the hinterland of Kenya, Uganda, Container services are provided entirely by liner vessels, while
Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), other types of cargo are carried by a mixture of liner and hobo
southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Northern Tanzania. vessels.

140 Best of Kenya

The port is efficiently equipped to handle a CFSs can execute documents online. This The Authority aims at promoting the Port of
wide range of cargoes, including dry bulks is a brilliant IT system that helps in relieving Mombasa as a chief gateway to the Great
such as grain, fertilisers, cement and soda saturated container terminals through a Lakes region and also serves the Horn of
ash and liquid bulks such as crude oil and smooth flow of information on container Africa and beyond.
oil products as well as bagged products movement.
(coffee, tea, sugar, etc) break bulks (iron and The KPA’s desire is to uphold and promote
steel, timber), motor vehicles, machinery and The Authority’s mission is to facilitate a clean, safe, work and rewarding
containerized cargo. seaborne trade in the most efficient manner environment and integrating its functionality
by progressively benchmarking its operational in the development of the country by
The fastest growing traffic is containers, targets to internationally acceptable instilling sound corporate governance
which are handled at a dedicated terminal standards. practices.
with Ship-to-Shore Gantry (STGs) cranes and
a full range of yard equipment. With key objectives anchored on To achieve this goal, the KPA invests
improvement of managerial, operational, abundantly in Information Technology (IT)
It is the best connected port of call in the financial, performance and IT compliance, the programmes which cover every aspect of
East Africa region after Durban, with 17 KPA targets to be a full e-port by the turn of port operations, competitively placing the
shipping lines calling and direct connectivity the year. Port of Mombasa among world ports.
to over 80 ports.
Round-the-clock efforts are employed in
The Port of Mombasa is run by the Kenya ensuring that the port is well developed
Ports Authority, which was established and maintained, with efficient facilities and
on 20th January 1978 through an Act of infrastructure to meet up with customer Tel: +254-041-211299
Parliament. needs.

It has a close working relationship with

the neighboring Moi International Airport
for clients intending to connect by flight to
various destinations of the world.

The KPA envisions to be rated amongst the

best top 20 ports in the world in terms of
status and performance by the year 2010.

The port has round-the-clock (24/7) working

schedules, a system that has been interfaced
with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) systems,
enabling flawless movement of crucial
documents between the two institutions for
the convenience of customers.

There is also a Container Freight Stations

(CFS) component where customers using

Best of Kenya 141

Gateway to world-famous resort city
Transport and Logistics

Ferry services, a crucial transit system, in the world-famous city

of Mombasa, started early in the last century. Then they were
manually operated pontoons tied by cables to both ends of the

Later they were modified to use engine boat propulsion before

culminating in today’s cherished vessels. The Kenya Ferry
Services (KFS) Managing Director Mr John Ria walked Best of
Kenya through the development of the transit system.

Q. The Kenya Ferry Services is an integral segment of which ply the Likoni channel that links Mombasa Island
Kenya’s overall transport system. Briefly, what is the to the South Coast beach resorts, its agricultural rich
history of KFS? hinterland - which serves as the bread and fruit basket of
Mombasa - the southern part of Tanzania and the Congo
A. The era of modern ferry operations began in Mombasa region.
in 1937. Kenya Bus Services Ltd, a privately owned-
company operating on a franchise arrangement with the KFS also operates two ferry services across the
Municipal Council of Mombasa, took over the running of 500-metre wide Kilindini channel, which runs horizontally
the ferry services at Likoni and Mtongwe and introduced to the shipping gateway into the port of Mombasa.
modern ferries named St Christopher, St Michael and
Mvita in 1969 and Safina in 1975. The Likoni crossing connects trunk road A15 between
Mombasa Island and the Mainland South, leading to
However, in November 1989 the Kenya Bus Services sold the Diani tourist haven, some 40 kilometres south and
the ferries to the government, which in turn handed over beyond to the Kenya-Tanzania border.
the vessels and staff to the state-run parastatal Kenya
Ports Authority (KPA) to continue with the ferry operations. The Mtongwe ferry is a passenger-only service that
operates between 0500hrs –1000hrs and 1600hrs –
KPA turned one of its subsidiaries into the Kenya 2000hrs every day except Sundays and serves the
Ferry Services Limited and commenced the modern residents of Mtongwe, a densely populated residential
operations. suburb situated on the south west of the mainland south
of Mombasa.
Q. How many ferries does KFS operate and how reliable
are they? KFS has a state-of-the art maintenance facility which,
among other things, tremendously boosts vessel
A. The Kenya Ferry Services runs five large vessels availability and reliability.

142 Best of Kenya

Construction work is at an advanced
stage on the mainland side which
apart from containing parking lots for
public service vehicles, will also house
pedestrian and passenger shelters, public
pay toilets and modern business stalls on
both sides.

Q. How is the security of passengers

organised both on board and across
the channels?

A. In line with the International Ship and Port

Security code, KFS has put in place an
integrated surveillance system consisting
of watch-towers, vehicle checks,
passenger scrutiny at both ends of the
channel and a meticulous crowd control
Q. What is the lifespan of a ferry and how On board all the vessels are modern
do you guarantee the safety of the safety gadgets and equipment, ranging Plans are at an advanced stage
users? from life rafts, life jackets, fire-fighting for installation of Closed Circuit TV
equipment and First Aid Kit, to mention surveillance systems to detect any
A. The economic lifespan of most of our but few, for use in an emergency. possible threats that might compromise
ferries is 25 years. We do however maritime security. This is in addition to
refurbish them to comply with These safety measures are complimented the well-trained KFS security personnel
international maritime standards in the by a well-trained KFS staff in line with as well as the regular and secret Kenya
event of expiry. international sea-faring requirements. Police officers on duty 24 hours a day.

And, in tandem with International Ship Q. How many passengers use the Q. Huge ships and other sea-going
and Port Security (ISPS) requirements, ferries daily? vessels enter the Port of Mombasa
KFS has put in place various security and through the Likoni channel; how do you
safety measures. A. Each day, the ferries transport an average ensure the safety of both the ferries
of 180,000 people to and from the and incoming and exiting vessels?
We have an elaborate internationally South Coast and some 3,100 vehicles
benchmarked safety policy that ensures in scheduled 15-minute off-peak and A. All vessels operating inside the Port of
the provision of all safety gadgetry and 7.5-minute peak-time shuttles. Mombasa are controlled through VHF
trained staff on board all our vessels. radio by KPA lighthouse control tower.
This translates into a whopping 67 million The ferries are similarly on VHF radio 24
The flat-hulled, twin-engine ferries passengers and 1.1 million vehicles hours a day. Ships and other incoming
currently in use can be navigated on per year, with an average 8 and 5 per and exiting vessels have by law the right
one engine should the other fail. In the cent increase respectively over the last of way. Ferries therefore always allow
unlikely event of both engines failing, the decade. them to pass before crossing the channel.
Coxswain can either use the services of
the onboard mechanics to address the Projections for the next five years based Q. Currently KFS operates ferries only at
problem, or summon tow services which on the above averages show that traffic the Likoni and Mtongwe channels. Are
are readily available on other ferries. is expected to peak at 74.5 million there plans of broadening the services?
passengers and 1.38 million vehicles per
As a last resort the coxswain may use the year by 2010. A. Plans are already underway to venture
anchor to stop the ferry until help arrives. into providing services in a wider scope
The anchor is gravity-driven and does Q. How do you deal with congestion along Kenya’s coastline as well as
not rely on the engine. An anchor has not given the large numbers of people and diversifying their products to include sea
been so used since the start of the ferry vehicles crossing the channel? cruises and party rides in the channels of
service at Likoni in 1937. Mombasa and nearby islands.
A. Indeed, to keep up with the spiraling
The flat hull also provides sufficient traffic demands, KFS has plans to We are also laying strategies for entering
displacement which ensures floating at all purchase two new vessels to replace part the lucrative Lake Victoria market, buoyed
times. Vessel stability is further ensured of the current fleet of five. by the imminent integration of the East
by independent ballast tanks underneath African economies under the East African
that are filled with water to maximize The flat-hulled MV Nyayo has a capacity Community.
stability and cancel any possibility of of 1,200 passengers and 60 vehicles,
tilting. while MV Harambee and MV Kilindini There are also plans for provision of
together carry 1,440 passengers and 40 bunkering for sea-faring vessels, a service
The available space on board for vehicles cars. currently monopolised by the private
and passengers is restricted and leaves sector.
absolutely no room for overloading. In a bid to streamline the increasing
These vessels are structurally different traffic, KFS has embarked on the
from the ill –fated, cone-hulled Mtongwe I construction of two public service termini Tel: +254-041-2451351
which sank in 1994. on both sides of the channel.

Best of Kenya 143

For the Pride of Africa,
Transport and Logistics

not even the sky is the limit

Kenya Airways, the national carrier, is truly the pride of
Kenya and the entire African continent. It is the only airline
in Africa that has so far escaped largely unscathed from the
turbulence within the global air travel industry.

144 Best of Kenya

In 2008, Kenya Airways, known to many
as KQ, won the top Company of the Year
Award for strategic planning and emergency
preparedness. Its Human Resources Manager,
Paul Kasimu, was voted Manager of the Year.

As one of the best managed companies in the

country, Kenya Airways has been and remains
an important emissary of Kenya’s booming
tourism industry. The national carrier is the
preferred choice for many tourists wishing to
enjoy the country’s unrivalled natural beauty
and hospitality.

KQ flies to more destinations around the world

than any other African airline. It entered into
a fruitful partnership with the Dutch national
airline KLM through Shareholders and Master
Cooperation Agreements. It has become an
excellent strategic partnership. on the African continent, starting with flights
to Monrovia, Cotonou and Mayotte.
From the time of the agreement that brought
KLM aboard as a strategic partner, Kenya The airline owns a number of modern aircraft,
Airways has been a unique company, with including Boeing 787, 777, 767, 757 and 737-
three types of shareholding that include the 400. Other aircraft mainly used for internal
Government and the general public. flights include the Brazilian manufactured
Ambraer 58. With the variety of modern state-
In addition to the high recognition and of-the-art aircraft for domestic, regional and
numerous accolades that Kenya Airways has long-haul international flights it has, Kenya
received between 1996 and 2008, both locally Airways has established itself as a safe and
and internationally, the national carrier has popular airline.
been one of the Kenya Government’s most
valuable investments. Among the numerous Established as a national carrier in February
honours Kenya Airways has bagged are 1977, immediately after the demise of East
the African Airline of Choice, Best Regional African Airways, following the collapse of
Airline, Flying Blue and the Best Frequent Flier the East African Community (EAC), Kenya
Programme run by the respected Travel News Airways has undergone tremendous growth
& Lifestyle magazine in 2008. Its onboard from rather humble beginnings. With the
publication, Msafiri, was also voted the Best few aircraft – including the Boeing 707s,
In-flight Magazine. MacDonnell Douglas DC-9s, ageing DC-3
turboprops and Dutch-made Fokker
A two-year renewal of the registration Friendships – it inherited from the collapsed
of Kenya Airways for the International East African Airways, the national carrier During the same year, the airline won the
Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) of the embarked on an ambitious strategic growth prestigious African Aviation Award of the
International Air Travel Association (IATA) was plan. respected African Aviation magazine. It
granted in 2007. In the same year, Kenya’s had earlier won similar awards for three
national flag carrier joined SkyTeam as an Kenya Airways soon began to purchase or consecutive years from the London-based
Associate Airline. Internally, Kenya Airways lease newer aircraft while also modernising publication between 1999 and 2001.
established a leadership centre known as the its ground maintenance and repair facilities
Pride Centre and also started the Flying Blue as well as recruiting and training highly In 2005, Kenya Airways became the first
Service Centre. KQ has expanded its routes qualified personnel for various ground and airline in sub-Saharan Africa ever to achieve
flight activities. At its headquarters in the old the IOSA standards of the IATA after rigorous
Embakasi Airport in Nairobi and the nearby verification and testing. The airline passed all
ultra-modern Jomo Kenyatta International the various safety and operational tests with
Airport (JKIA), where it has its main flying colours. During the same year, KQ took
operational centre, Kenya Airways has highly delivery of two sparkling new Boeing 777-
skilled personnel in fields ranging from aircraft 200ER aircraft, bringing its total of this ultra-
maintenance and repair to in-flight hospitality. modern long-range carrier to three.

Both in 2005 and in 2006, Kenya Airways The first aircraft of the type had been
was voted the Most Respected Company delivered a year earlier. Two new routes, one
in East Africa, as its profits continued to to Istanbul in Turkey and the other to Bamako
soar. The airline reported a record pre-tax in Mali and Dakar in Senegal were also
profit of KSh4,829 million (around $82 million launched the same year.
at current exchange rates) on March 31st,
2006, marking a 24 per cent growth from the
previous year’s figure of KSh3,882 million ($67 Tel: +254-20-642000

Best of Kenya 145

Leaders in Land, Sea and
Transport and Logistics

Air Cargo

Siginon Freight Ltd

Siginon Freight Ltd (SFL) is a leading logistics solutions company in the region
with various business units that include a road transport division, clearing and
forwarding division, warehousing, Kencont Logistics CFS, Transworld Shipping,
and Siginon Cargo Centre – an airline ground handling service.

Siginon is an ISO-certified company serving various countries boasts being strategically located in a hub of logistics both in
in the world through its World Cargo Alliance (WCA) network. sea and air cargo.
Siginon will be celebrating 25 years of existence next year,
having been set up in 1985. It started from a humble clearing From a clearing and forwarding company, Siginon has
and forwarding firm with three staff members to its current over the years grown and expanded into fulltime logistics
state of being one of the market leaders in logistics and and transportation. Today their business is spread into the
transportation, employing directly 258 employees. following fields;

With its head office in Mombasa, the gateway to the eastern The Siginon Transport Division, with a modern fleet of over
Africa region, and branches in Nairobi and Eldoret, Siginon 70 trucks, is run by professional staff and backed by tracking

146 Best of Kenya

systems that ensure clients’ cargo is safe
and delivered within the specified time.
Siginon upholds integrity, working within the
required rules and regulations of the law of the
particular country being served.

Siginon boasts a three-year fatal accident-free

record and endeavours to uphold this in the

The Siginon Cargo Centre Division is one Transworld Shipping, a subsidiary of Siginon, This growth has been phenomenal. Siginon’s
of the four licensed transit sheds in Kenya, deals with all sea shippingrelated matters. business ethics and practices have been
and the only one with locations both at the the cornerstone of this outstanding growth
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and The Company’s mission is to be the best and success. In an industry dogged by
Eldoret International Airport. Cargo Centres provider of logistics solutions to their corruption, Siginon has upheld integrity and
offer airlines/planes cargo ground handling/ esteemed customers’ satisfaction, using the received commendations to this end from
warehousing services. With the world latest technology, through a highly motivated law enforcement agencies like the Police
being what it is today, security and safety professional staff. Their values revolve around Department.
are paramount to the airlines. Siginon has customer service, integrity, quality and a
therefore ensured full compliance in these safety culture. It has been the envy of the industry in terms
areas. of skills, competencies and commitments in
Here every employee is expected to discharging their duties. Technologically, they
The Siginon Clearing, Forwarding and exhibit high standards of integrity and have continuously invested in the latest and
Warehousing Division is the division charged professionalism. The Company believes in most relevant technology, putting them a step
with the responsibilities of providing logistics upholding very high standards of morality, ahead of the best competition.
solutions to their customers through honesty, sincerity and openness. They Knowing well that good businesses thrive
warehousing, clearing and forwarding. SFL promote and operate within a culture of from continuous investment, Siginon plans to
offers both sea and air freight clearance. transparency, honesty and respect for and invest an extra KSh1 billion in 2009 towards
upholding the laws of this country. business expansion and growth strategy,
With 24 years of experience, they have been over and above the more than KSh3.8 billion
in the forefront in giving personalised, friendly The Company always endeavours to already invested. The return on investment
yet efficient services to their customers. proactively ensure a safe and clean in all their business lines has been at
SFL will give its customers the professional environment and, under corporate social approximately 25% over the last 5 years.
guidance having worked closely with KRA responsibility (CSR), Siginon remains a
Customs over the years, and nurtured a socially responsible and ethical corporate Siginon has had a number of milestones
professional relationship. citizen and supports the community in its marking part of their success. They range
development activities. from the Sondu Miriu Hydroelectric Project,
Their customers range from major importers where they provided the logistics services to
and exporters in both the sea and air sectors, Being a logistics company Siginon’s services the main contractors in ensuring the project
to the small businessman in this field. are spread globally, working with agents was completed within the schedule time,
in various countries. Their service delivery to the Mombasa Road, part of the Northern
Kencont Logistics, a fully-owned Siginon footprint is found in Europe, the Middle East, Corridor, in which they provided the main
company, provides Container Freight Station America, Africa, Australia and the Far East contractor on the road with all the logistics
(CFS) logistics, handling vehicles, and, more and she is a member of WCA, hence its services.
recently, containers imported into the country. global presence through various agencies
that enable the picking up of cargo from They have also scooped the Lafarge Safety
CFS act on behalf of the Kenya Ports anywhere in the world into the East African Award, in the Safety on the Road Category.
Authority. Their proximity to the port (2.5km) and Great Lakes region. Locally, Siginon Under CSR, Siginon has an education
has led to faster turnaround of cargo and covers the East Africa and the Great Lakes scholarship that takes seven children from a
safety and zero security incidence over the region. poor background in the Coast region through
last five years, high school.
Over the last 24 years, Siginon has evolved
making them the CFS of choice. In 2008 they from a small clearing and forwarding firm to
handled 8,000 units of cars through their car a giant within the logistics and transportation Tel: +254-041-2314150
terminal port. industry.

Best of Kenya 147

Chapter 12
Property and Real Estate

148 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 149
A World-Class Record of Projects
Property and Real Estate

and Clients

Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property Knight Frank Kenya also works closely with Knight Frank
consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank and Tanzania and Knight Frank Uganda and has done work
its New York-based global partner Newmark Knight Frank through out East and Central Africa in various countries such
operate from over165 of ces, in 37 countries, in six continents as Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan,
inestablished and emerging property markets. With acombined Mauritius and Seychelles completing a regional network that
staff number of more than 5,300, this major force in real estate links with the Knight Frank group’s expanding Central and
is meeting the local and global needs of owners, occupiers, South African interests. In Kenya, Knight Frank is synonymous
investors and developers worldwide. Knight Frank has 17 of with the sale and rental of high quality residential and
ces in 9 countries in Africa, where Knight Frank is the only top commercial property and currently manages over 400 prime
London practice making a serious and growing commitment. market residential units and over of 1,500,000 square feet of
commercial property controlling the upper end of the residential
Since its inception in 1998, Knight Frank Kenya has grown to and commercial markets in Kenya.
become a market leader in East Africa, offering a full range of
property consultancy services, in all property sectors, which Knight Frank Kenya’s clients include various leading banks,
include agency (letting and selling), property management, lending institutions and insurance companies, Diplomatic
valuation, building surveying, project management, development missions and Embassies, Oil companies, Universities, as well
advice, site acquisition, research, corporate nance and as many public sector institutions, manufacturers, agricultural
investment management.This limited company, a joint venture enterprises, international investors, foreign governments, hotels
with First Chartered Securities, forms part of the Knight Frank and developers.
Global Network.
Trading as Knight Frank Kenya Ltd
Knight Frank Kenya sets the same standard to professionalism Knight Frank (Valuers) Ltd
and integrity in Kenya that is found in all of the Knight Frank Lion Place Waiyaki Way, Westlands
Global Network. With an emphasis on transparency and P.O. Box 39773, Parklands, Nairobi, 00623 Kenya
accountability, Knight Frank Kenya has established itself as a Tel: +(254) (0)20 4440174 – 6
leader in real estate in Kenya, raising the level of performance +(254) (0)20 4442167 – 9
expectations within the marketplace. In Kenya, Knight Frank +(254) (0)20 4440040
employs over 60 of ce staff and provides services in the Fax: +(254) (0)722-520773 or 733-603260 Mobile
commercial, retail and residential markets in Nairobi and E-Mail:
Mombasa. Website:

150 Best of Kenya

Riverside Park, Nairobi
Amenities and F acilities
• Swimming pool and Health Club
• Children’s adventure play area
• Satellite TV
• Landscaped grounds, ponds and fountains
• 24 hour security and alarm systems
• State-of-the-art electronic access control system
• Walled compound with electric fencing and guard service
• Borehole water supply and storage tanks
• Intercom and telephone provisions
• Back-up generators
• Lifts
Sch. • Maintenance team on site
W ay
W aiya ki D.O'S Office Sch.





r s id

Chiromo Campus ll
e um

Best of Kenya 151

Gym Location Map
Chapter 13
Media and Marketing

152 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 153
Hanningtone Gaya
Media and Marketing

Magazines publisher with a mission

He told me to do my research thoroughly

before writing. He also advised me never to
undermine or write something negative that
would destroy my country.

Q. What motivated you to plunge into


A. The first article in the Weekly Review

magazine got me a lot of compliments from
readers. This motivated me to continue writing

I later joined the Daily Nation newspaper,

also as a motoring correspondent, before I
launched my own motoring magazine in 1991.

My inspiration in journalism has been

Ng’weno, Isaiah Kabira (Head of the
Presidential Press Service), Herman Igambi
– a former Editor-in-Chief of the Kenya
Q. When did you first entertain the idea of Broadcasting Corporation - and esteemed
going into publishing? News Editor and trainer Mutegi Njau (now of
the trend-setting Royal Media Services).
A. I have always loved writing. In high school,
I was the editor of the school magazine in Q. How many titles does Media7 Group
1974. own?

When I finished high school I approached A. Media7 Group has six specialised niche
quite a number of publishers to publish my magazines, namely the Motor Monthly,
articles and Hilary Ng’weno, the publisher of Lifestyle magazine (a young ladies’ lifestyle
the now-defunct Weekly Review – Kenya’s magazine), HM magazine (His Magazine –
first analytical political and business magazine now the only men’s-only lifestyle magazine in
- gave me audience and hired me as his East Africa) and Business Monthly (the only
motoring correspondent in 1984. serious business magazine that is published
He gave me lessons in writing and publishing
which have been my guiding principles in Others are Mum and Dad, (the first
Hanningtone Gaya writing and publishing. professional parents’ magazine) and Her

154 Best of Kenya

(the first young women’s magazine which Some magazine publishers do not go into
celebrates the unsung heroines). the publishing trade with good intentions,
which means their products can’t last. The
We however intend to have seven titles and high cost of printing and poor quality in
ultimately go into television broadcasting. colour printing is a major disadvantage in
Q. Why must you publish all these
magazines? Q. Who are your target clients?

A. My main motivation in publishing all A. My target clients are Kenyans who love
these titles is to inform Kenyans. I feel that in-depth and well researched information.
Kenyans still do not have enough sources These are the clients who consume foreign
of well-researched and in-depth articles in magazines.
both specialised writing and lifestyle.
My magazines are well distributed
Am an expert in motoring and a fellow of throughout East Africa by our distributors.
the Institute of the Motor Industry. I was 70 per cent of our products are bought in
the first African in the Commonwealth to Kenya, 20 per cent in Uganda and 10 per
hold that qualification. cent in Tanzania.

Q. How do you find magazine Q. Do you contemplate getting into

publishing? weekly and daily publishing?

A. Magazine publishing in Kenya is A. Yes. First I want to get into TV and then investing in human resources. My hope is to
extremely challenging. daily news publishing. This is because I see recruit the best professionals and pay them
a gap in socio-economic news reporting. well to discharge their duties. My view is that
Kenyan advertisers do not believe in Indeed I want to change the Kenyan mindset the Kenyan media has for too long glorified
advertising in magazines, therefore there and convince them that media content mediocrity in its human resource pooling. I
is no advertising revenue to sustain is more than the screaming politics that wish they can niche.
magazine publishing. Kenyans do not occupy Kenyan daily newspapers.
like reading books or magazines, which Q. Where do you see the Media7 Group in
undermines magazine circulation and Am also tempted to get into weekly the next 10 years?
subscription. newspaper publishing.
A. I see the Media7 Group being the
Most magazine publishers carry very Q. What is your take on the Kenya media? pacesetter in professionalism with the
shallow articles which are not well best niche magazines, a TV station, and a
researched. The magazines appear A. The Kenyan media is stereotyped and respected socio- economic daily newspaper.
sporadically and therefore disappointing to copy-cat. This confuses the consumers. I see myself achieving these even before 10
loyal readers, subscribers and advertisers. The Kenya media has refused to recognise years elapse.

Best of Kenya 155

King of Outdoor Advertising
Media and Marketing

Magnate Ventures Limited is Kenya’s outdoor advertising

company of choice, with neon-lit billboards and creative
imagery promoting a wide variety of products from both local
and international firms.

Its signage and advertising billboards are a common feature, In 1999, Magnate Ventures made its first strategic acquisition
dotting streets, buildings and other prominent places in the when it bought Kenya Neon and General Signs, a long-standing
country’s main urban centres and major highways. firm and the best equipped signage company in Kenya at the time.

Magnate Ventures, now in its tenth year of operation, has Through this acquisition, Magnate Ventures took a vital step in
developed into the leading promotional advertising and image creating one of the strongest signage and image companies in
projection firm in East Africa. the region. Association with a company that was already well
known in the market gave Magnate Ventures a solid head start.
In 2008 the company was ranked sixth among the top
100 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) surveyed by The company has since its first year of operation, experienced
reputable international accounting and polling firms, KPMG & healthy growth patterns and is now well prepared to maintain
Steadman. sustained growth through expansion of its product lines and
services to cover the entire East and Central African region.
Established in 1996 by indigenous Kenyan entrepreneurs,
Magnate Ventures started operations after a two-year Magnate Ventures’ focus is in strategic advertising
gestation period during which a solid foundation was laid for development, printing, branding, supply, manufacture,
success and future growth. installation and maintenance of indoor, outdoor signage and

156 Best of Kenya

promotional materials. Its fundamental the Company enjoys unmatched presence in personnel through vigorous training and
objective is to deliver highly visible and literally every location of mention. Magnate development programmes ensures they are
visually attractive images of customers’ Ventures ensures that it meets the changing well equipped with new and appropriate
products and services through creative needs and requirements of the market by skills and can, therefore, be in line with the
artistic impression and strategic positioning. targeting technological changes in outdoor changing trends in the market.
and indoor advertising and signage in
The Company’s range of products includes readiness to meet customer expectations The Company now has close to 100
billboards, screen printing, street lighting, and demands. employees and an annual sales volume of
suburban signs, bus shelters, digital around US$10 million.
advertising, electronic signage, wall branding The Company’s technological edge is
services, road signs, and petrol station maintained through constantly keeping in Magnate Ventures is an ISO-certified
signage. touch with developed markets and strategic Company, which means its services and
partners. Use of the latest technology and products are of the highest international
In recent years, Magnate Ventures has equipment ensures increased efficiency standards.
achieved rapid regional expansion and in production and reduces delivery time,
currently has operating bases in Uganda, which results in cost-cutting and satisfied Tel: +254-20-550950/4
Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan. Locally, customers. The multi-skilling of company

Best of Kenya 157

Why they acclaim Exclamation
Media and Marketing

Famed for its high standards and state-of-the-art

advertising and marketing techniques, Exclamation
Marketing Limited is a full-service marketing
communications agency that offers advertising,
public relations, and event management services.

Located at Whitefield Place in Nairobi’s

up-market Westlands citywithin-a-city,
Exclamation Marketing is known for
implementing creative and customised
programmes that are designed to impact
a client¹s specific business goals and

Unlike most advertising agencies whose

promises sound the same and which appear
to be all trying to employ as much jargon as

158 Best of Kenya

well as non-governmental organisations clients. Its energetic, fastpaced, and focused
and government entities. Over the years, culture earned the firm the prestigious
Exclamation Marketing has provided PR and International Star for Leadership in Quality
event management services to companies (ISLQ) award 2008 in Paris. Exclamation
such as East African Breweries Limited, Marketing received the award in the gold
Old Mutual, Proctor and Gamble, HP, Bel category for its outstanding business
International, Resolution Health, the World achievements, perseverance and leadership
Bank, IFC (GOWE), Howard Humphreys, the in excellence and quality.
Public Procurement Oversight Authority and
more. Other prestigious awards and recognitions
Exclamation Marketing has won include:
Exclamation Marketing has built a sound
reputation for shrewd development and • Public Sector PR Campaign Of The Year
coordination of PR strategies, editorial – 1st runner up – 2008 (By the Public
material and media liaison. It is equally Relations Society of Kenya – PRSK))
renowned for memorable corporate product • Public Sector PR Campaign Of The Year –
launches, client celebrations, sports runner up – 2007 (By PRSK)
sponsorships, road shows and exciting • Best Stand Award for Exclamation
experiential marketing activities. Marketing Ltd at the Marketing Expo 2001
• 1st Runners Up with the Public Sector PR
On the advertising front, the Company Campaign of the Year, at the 2008 PRSK
believes in brand building campaigns which awards.
it implements in an integrated, cost effective • 2nd runners up award for the Public
and proactive manner. Chief Executive Officer Sector PR Campaign of the Year at the
Sue Omanga attributes the Company’s 2007 PRSK awards in December.
steady growth over the last 10 years to • International Recognition AWARD in
its commitment to client service, quality, France presented by Bel Africa for
creativity and innovation. outstanding work in Anglophone Africa -
Oct 24th 2002.
“We focus more on making the client win
and not on award winning campaigns with Exclamation Marketing has its eyes on East
no positive effect on the cash register or the Africa and is set to have a footprint in Uganda
clients’ bank account. There are many ads by the end of 2009.
out there that are entertaining, but when it
comes to building business for the client, they
bring in very little. Our approach is different
as evidenced by the long running campaigns
possible, Exclamation Marketing feels there is that we have done for various clients and the
a better way to present its capabilities. long relationships we build.”
The agency believes communication is the
key to success and it is adept at effectively Exclamation Marketing has a fully-fledged
communicating clients’ messages to target audio visual department to capture, edit,
audiences. Exclamation Marketing listens catalogue and archive video and photography
to clients’ needs, gains insight, and creates for all events. Besides capturing events, these
trusted extensions of marketing departments. images and footage are reserved as back-up
to be used by media at the client’s request.
Founded in 1999, Exclamation Marketing Exclamation Marketing has bagged many
serves big names in corporate Kenya as awards for these exceptional services to

Best of Kenya 159

98.4 Capital FM The Best Mix of Music!
Media and Marketing

‘We set the trends, and the others follow’. That’s one of
the Capital FM’s philosophies, and remains Kenya’s most
recognizable radio station, with its exceptional blend of
music, energetic and witty radio personalities, fun interactive
promotions and unique programming.

era of high competition in the Kenyan radio

market, stations continue to try and replicate
the programming, style and format of Capital
FM with little success. We remain relevant,
entertaining, informative and interactive all
day: morning to morning. Our breakfast show
‘Capital in the Morning’ handles issues on the
economy, society, and the political scene. It’s
witty, fast-paced and full of laughs.

If you love ROCK!, want to know about the

latest fashion and style, gadgets, hangouts,
cool drinks, and hot outfits, our mid morning
‘Fuse’ show will take care of you – the young
and upcoming socialite.

The afternoon airwaves on Kenyan radio are

ruled by the ‘Afternoon Jam’-a fun-filled, raw,
intelligent, and sometime cocky but always
entertaining show, with the most unique style
of music formatting each day-From the latest
R&B, Slow Jams, 80’s classics, Neo Soul, and
90’s hits and New Jack swing.

Hits not Homework comes next, targeted

at the young and young at heart, this show
has attitude and energy, and gives the
youth the chance to voice their opinions on
everything from relationships, sex, partying,
fashion, technology and much more. ‘Hits
Not Homework’ plays the hottest and most
current hip-hop, rap, crunk, and local tracks,
coupled with music exclusives, interviews
with your favorite artists and shout outs
between different high schools, colleges and

After the high octane energy of hits not

homework –slow it down with ‘Late Night
Capital’ our slow seductive way of winding
down your evening. It will mend broken hearts,
keep you in love and soothe your mind as you
prepare to call it a night.
Launched in 1996, 98.4 Capital FM has created its own niche in the Kenyan radio
market with its stand out style. Capital FM is a brand unlike any other in the Kenyan For all you night owls and international
market, that continues to excite, entertain, stimulate and reward its listeners. Capital audience in different time zones, ‘Urban
FM has the most loyal listeners of all stations, who have in turn been rewarded with Nights’ is definitely your show, with hot jams
consistent programming that continues to be a blueprint for the rest of the Kenyan and current affairs that will definitely hold your
radio market. attention.

PROGRAMMING As your Official weekend Station we give you

If you should ever traverse the airwaves moving from frequency to frequency, our an equally amazing line up of non-stop mixes
guarantee is that you will not find a fresher, edgier sound than Capital FM Kenya. to put you in the mood on Friday and Saturday
Capital FM Programmes have their finger on the pulse of the nation; our shows Nights.
are informative, fun and definitely set the trend. With Kenya’s most energetic, Watch out for the best syndicated countdown
witty, and lively presenters, we are often imitated, but never duplicated. In this shows, including Rick Dees, Randy Jackson

160 Best of Kenya

and Ryan Sea-crest! The best of the best call They have consistently managed to keep up dynamic audience”. Capital’s Digital Media
Capital FM Home! with high quality commercials and the best allows its audiences to make use of the
on-air promotions for the biggest brands in powerful tool that is the Internet to access
NEWS Kenya. The Creative Services department at information ranging from:
As the company has grown, so has the News 98.4 Capital FM is innovative, competent and • News ( , where one
Department, confidently filling the competitive will give your brand that extra edge needed to can have access to breaking local and
circle, where it has now earned the right to be make an impact in the market. International news when it happens;
one of the most respected news sources in the • Business (, with
country. Speed, virtue, integral and expertise EVENTS access to business news and features from
have played an integral part in this. C.I.A (Capital Interactive Agents) is the industry experts;
unique arm of Capital FM that is charged • Radio (, where one
Comprising of a formidable team of journalists, with representing the brand on-ground. C.I.A. can stream live radio, download ring tones,
editors, and news presenters, the Newsroom’s creates, develops, manages and, executes wallpaper, play games, enter radio contests,
main task is to give out the information on-ground activations for the station and our win tickets to events, and much more.
collected in a responsible, ethical and timely clients and advertisers.
fashion. The objective of our in-depth news For Kenyans in the Diaspora, the website
reports every top of the hour and informative C.I.A. creates and manages opportunities for further serves the purpose of being one of the
features is to keep Kenyans abreast of the the listeners to experience the brand (98.4 few links they have with home. The best part
goings-on around them. Information is power Capital FM) and its attributes (The best Mix of it is that website users can not only listen
As Kenyans become increasingly aware of their of Music) on a one-on-one basis. It offers to Capital FM from anywhere in the world, but
rights, more information is needed. And Capital experiential, on-site marketing to our clients they can also access breaking Kenyan news as
News team is here, fully loaded, to meet their and advertisers. C.I.A. consistently creates well. With interactive and multimedia tools like
needs. and develops cutting-edge promotions and live chat that allows listeners and presenters
activations that are unique and specific to to interact, blogs, and music and video
SALES AND MARKETING each brand. From brand parties, to in-store downloads, is a truly a
The Capital Sales team is client-driven, working promotions, road shows, cocktails, corporate community on the web, and a grand marketing
as consultant rather than just regular sales parties, sports activations, launches, etc, we do tool that reaches a global audience who access
representatives or account managers. Want to it all! our website. Capital Digital Media truly has a
know more about our competitive rates, our global presence that few companies in Kenya
account managers will be your perfect guides. While Capital FM delivers brand equity on air, can boast of.
Marketing in Capital FM is the nerve centre C.I.A. delivers brand volumes. We make sure
of the organization. Capital Marketing goes your target market interacts with, samples, and CBC TV
beyond the call of duty to link the client, the experiences your brand, redefining experiential CBC TV business television channel went live
listener and the station. Capital Marketing marketing in Kenya through the creation of in February 2008 and ever since has been the
keeps our award winning brand strong and powerful and effective brand experiences! source of business news on Kenyan television.
recognizable. As part of our Social Corporate CBC TV partnered with CNBC Africa to bring
Responsibility, we initiate projects that uphold CAPITAL DIGITAL MEDIA the Global business to your screen.
humanity and the rights of the less fortunate. The world has become a global village, and
We also sponsor organizations that do so. capital fm have found a way to connect all CBC TV on channel 47 is on the air round-
listeners worldwide through the Capital Digital the-clock, covering economic, financial and
CAPITAL CREATIVE media. This interactive media service that market analysis from around Africa and abroad.
The 98.4 Capital Creative provides an connects the Capital FM family to friends and CBC TV promises to provide excellence in
integrated service available to all advertisers, fans all over the world by use of its website: broadcasting.
advertising agencies, and promotions
companies alike, forming a strategic arm of
98.4 Capital FM’s commercial production and In line with The Capital Group’s Mission, “To TEL: 020-2210020
promotions division. responsibly entertain, educate, and inform a Website:

Best of Kenya 161

Perfect Filming Locations
Kenya at a Glance

Some of the world’s best movies have been shot here

Kenya has long been a popular location for film production.

Hollywood has a longstanding affair with Kenya that dates back
to the 1930s.

Many classic adventure films were shot on location in Kenya, The film’s stars, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, went on to
including The Snows of Kilimanjaro, starring Gregory Peck, form a charity – The Born Free Foundation – which continues to
King Solomon’s Mines, with Stewart Granger and Mogambo support conservation work in Kenya.
featuring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner.
Hollywood’s greatest tribute to Kenya came with 1985’s Out of
Joy Adamson’s book Born Free was made into a hit movie Africa. Adapted from Karen Blixen’s classic book, the film told
filmed entirely on location in Kenya. George Adamson was the story of her life in colonial Kenya, with Meryl Streep in the
to later take the trained lions that were used in the film and lead role and Robert Redford playing her lover, Denys Finch
rehabilitate them in the wild. Hatton.

162 Best of Kenya

With stunning cinematography and a rich ABC Television’s Good Morning America, in a
music score by John Barry, the film brought telecast that took this spectacle into millions
Kenya to life for audiences all over the world. of American homes, live from the Mara.
It won 7 Oscars, including for Best Picture,
another 22 awards and 17 nominations. Kenya hit the top of the US TV ratings with
the arrival of Survivor Africa. The third series
In 1989, Kenya was the location for the filming of the hit reality show was filmed entirely on
of Bob Rafelson’s historical drama Mountains location in the Shaba Reserve in Kenya.
of the Moon. This epic film won great critical
acclaim for its vivid retelling of the conquest For the producers, Kenya offered the perfect
of the Nile, and the great adventure of the combination of beautiful locale, stunning
Burton and Speke expedition. Filmed in wildlife and plenty of opportunity for
diverse locations including Lamu, Hell’s Gate adventure.
and Lake Turkana, the film shows Kenya at its
best. Subsequent productions have included the The Kenya Film Commission supports the
German film Nowhere in Africa, which won Kenyan film industry by providing facilities for
Kenya has since served as location for 14 international awards, including the Acemy screenings and filming as well as organizing
several Hollywood blockbusters, including the Award for Best Picture, and was filmed various workshops that form the source of
sequel to Tomb Raider. on location in Nairobi, Mt Kenya and the education on production for local filmmakers.
Baringo-Bogoria region
In 2002 Nowhere in Africa, a German The Commission has a well established
language film about Jewish refugees The Kenya Film Commission database that lists filmmakers, agents, local
struggling to create a new life in wartime talent, stakeholders and service providers of
Kenya, was shot on location in Baringo, It is against this backdrop of a rich filming the Kenyan film industry.
Bogoria and Mt Kenya. heritage that the Kenya Government
established The Kenya Film Commission The KFC is a full member of the Association of
The film was a major success, winning over (KFC) in 2005 with an aim of promoting Film Commissions International (AFCI).
14 international awards, including the 2003 the Kenyan film industry locally and
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language internationally. The Commission works closely with the
film. The 2005 box-office hit The Constant Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) which has since
Gardener, from thriller maestro John le Carré, The KFC was made operational in 2006 and inception provided an active intermediary
was also filmed on location in Loiyangalani, a instantly got into the serious work of offering role between foreign producers and relevant
small town located on the southeastern coast detailed information on locations and liaison government ministries, negotiating reductions
of Lake Turkana. services on behalf of the Government. and waivers in licensing and location fees.

Kenya is a great destination for television As the international community increasingly In a nutshell, the Commission’s business
wildlife productions. Many award winning looks to filming in Kenya, the Commission entails making Kenya a centre of excellence
wildlife series have been shot on location in gives information on the locations best in film production. This includes helping
Kenya by BBC Natural History, Discovery, benefiting the clientele. to create an enabling environment for the
Survival and other production houses. development of a vibrant local industry as well
It also advises on film licensing and as marketing Kenya as a leading destination
The Masai Mara continues to be the backdrop immigration requirements, as well as for international filmmakers.
for BBC’s popular Big Cat Diary, following the facilitating the filming process for filmmakers.
lives of the reserve’s predators.
The KFC falls under the aegis of the Ministry
The Masai Mara, Kenya’s world-famous of Information and Communication headed by
game reserve, was recently named the Eighth Minister Samuel Poghisio and run by board Tel: +254-20-2714073
Wonder of the World in a poll conducted by members appointed by the minister.

Best of Kenya 163

Chapter 14
Education and Training

164 Best of Kenya

Best of Kenya 165
Oldest, most prestigious university
Education and Training

The University of Nairobi (UoN) is the oldest, largest, and

most prestigious public institution of higher learning in Kenya.

Situated within the central business district of Kenya’s capital city, the history of this great
academic institution goes back to 1956, but it did not become an independent university
until 1970, when the then University of East Africa was split into three independent national
universities. This led to the establishment of Makerere University in Uganda, the University of
Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the University of Nairobi.

Since it was established as an independent university, UoN has produced more than 120,000
graduates in a wide variety of fields.

Close to 65 per cent of Kenya’s top leaders and a sizeable proportion of middle-level managers
of both public and private institutions have most probably passed at one time or another
through UoN. The list of the UoN’s alumni often reads like a Who is Who in Kenya, while, in
the other two East African countries, a sizeable number of leading technologists, scientists,
managers and engineers have been through Kenya’s prime institution of higher learning.

In 2008, UoN had some 28,000 students, of whom 22,200 were undergraduates and 6,800
postgraduates. In 2009, the intake was 3,280 students for the regular, Module I courses.

166 Best of Kenya

Among those who received honorary as a memorial to the revered Mahatma
academic awards from UoN last year Gandhi.
were President Mwai Kibaki and Prime
Minister Raila Odinga. They both received In order to avoid duplication of effort, the
LLD Degrees (causus honoris) for the Gandhi Memorial Academy Society agreed
role they played in bringing about peace to merge its plan with those of the colonial
and reconciliation after the 2007 General governments in East Africa to form the Royal
Election crisis. Technical College of East Africa in April 1954.
The new institution opened its doors for the
Seeking to maintain and strengthen first intake of students in April 1956.
its position as Kenya’s pioneer and
still leading public institution of higher A working party under the chairmanship of the
learning, UoN has launched several policy Vice-Chancellor of the University of London,
frameworks and introduced Module II Sir John Lockwood, was formed and, through
degrees to cope with the rapidly growing its recommendations, the Royal Technical
demand for higher education in Kenya. College of East Africa was transformed and
Currently, there are more than 200 different became a university college under the name
academic programmes being undertaken Royal College Nairobi, on 25th June, 1961.
at UoN. Through its Module II programme offered non-university courses were turned
for continuing education, UoN opened up The new college in Nairobi was still entitled into campuses or constituent colleges of the
invaluable opportunities for Kenyans and to a special relationship with the University University of Nairobi.
people from other countries to access of London, whereupon it started preparing
academic and research programmes in students in the faculties of arts, science, UoN has undergone a major restructuring
order to improve their education and better and engineering for degrees awarded by the since 1983, resulting in decentralisation of
their living standards. University of London. On 20th May 1964, the faculties and divisions through the creation of
Royal College Nairobi was renamed University six separate colleges. Further expansion has
History College Nairobi as a constituent college of resulted in the establishment of campuses
the inter-territorial Federal University of East both in and outside Nairobi.
The idea of an institution of higher learning Africa, and henceforth the enrolled students
was first mooted in 1947, when the colonial were to study for degrees of the University In addition to the regular, evening and
administration drew up a plan for the of East Africa rather than the University of weekend programmes, classes are conducted
setting up of a technical and commercial London. at the university’s Extra Mural Centres located
institute in Nairobi. in provincial headquarters and other major
In 1970, as the three countries of the then urban centres. The University is proud of
By 1949, the plan had grown into an East East African Community grew further apart its distinguished record of achievements
African concept, with the aim of providing in their socio-economic and political outlook, in teaching, research, development and
qualified manpower for the entire region. University College Nairobi transformed itself consultancy while strategising for a greater
In September 1951, a Royal Charter was into the first national university in Kenya and future as the East, Central and Horn of Africa
issued to the Royal Technical College was renamed the University of Nairobi. Rapid centre of academic, research and professional
of East Africa, with the laying of the expansion, both in the number of students excellence.
foundation stone taking place in April 1952. from all the three East African countries
In the same period, the Asian community and the physical facilities, followed and
in East Africa had been planning to set up continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Tel: +254-20-318262
a college of arts, sciences and commerce Several institutions within Nairobi that had

Best of Kenya 167

Maseno: A Fountain of Excellence
Education and Training

To be a Centre of Excellence in training, research and development.

The Mission of the University is to foster and develop academic
excellence in basic and applied research at all levels of study by training
practice-oriented manpower, who can contribute effectively to social,
intellectual and academic development in the community, the nation and
the community of nations.

Core Values • Excellence in all its endeavours

• An equal opportunity institution which is open to all • Integrity, transparency and accountability in all its
qualified persons without distinction of ethnic origin, sex, undertakings Maseno became a full-fledged University
sect or creed and no barrier based on any such distinction in 2001, 11 years after its establishment as a Constituent
being imposed upon any person as a condition of his/ College of Moi University. After seven years of existence
her becoming or continuing to be a professor, lecturer, the University now boasts a number of well-conceived
graduate or student of the University, or his/her holding faculties, schools and academic departments offering
any office therein a variety of degrees and diplomas in the arts and social

168 Best of Kenya

sciences as well as the biological and
physical sciences.

Maseno University’s motto is, “a fountain

of excellence”. It has been a reservoir of
knowledge since its establishment as a
constituent college of Moi University. It is
arguably the only institution of higher learning
around the world that is situated astride the

The sprawling twin main campuses of the

university, referred to as College Campus and
Siriba Campus, are situated adjacent to each
other on opposite sides of the road around
25 kilometres from Kisumu City along the
main highway to Busia and on to Uganda.
They are located among the picturesque
rocky hills and lush green valleys of an area
known as Maseno, close to the shores of
Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water
lake in the world after Lake Superior.

As one of the fastest growing public same academic staff. The University simply construction of innovative self-contained
academic institutions in Kenya, Maseno refers to the self-sponsored as “direct intake” living quarters where students will have their
University has recently established a third students. own built-in kitchens and the expansion of
campus – City Campus – which is located in lecture halls, science laboratories and office
the central business district of Kisumu City. Apart from the programmes listed below, space.
plans are underway for the establishment of
Academic programmes the School of Medicine and the School of The University also has a number of
Fisheries and Marine Engineering. educational as well as income generating
The University offers market-driven academic projects. They include a large well maintained
and professional programmes that include the Physical expansion farm for various crops, a medium-sized
latest in information technology and computer dairy plant, a poultry enterprise, a large tree
applications. Technological, structural, and One of the most imposing recent additions nursery, a forest for wood and a botanical
methodological innovativeness is at the core to the fast expanding Maseno University is garden for plants with medicinal value. Plans
of all academic programmes at the University. the Kisumu City Campus, situated at the are at an advanced stage to start a bio-fuels
very centre of the lakeside metropolis. It is an research and production centre for both the
It is worth noting that all degree programmes impressive 14-storey structure that Maseno University and the surrounding community.
at Maseno University have the component of University recently acquired. The foundations have already been laid for
IT (information technology). This is to keep the construction of a giant library that will be
pace with current trends in the world, where The City Campus also houses an annex among the best in the world.
IT skills are indispensable in the job market. known as the Maseno Information
It therefore does not matter whether one is Technology Centre (MITC), which offers a Administration
taking Physics or Eco-tourism, Hotel and wide variety of IT and computer courses. The
Institution Management or History, at Maseno MITC is the largest and most sophisticated Maseno University has a well defined
University; the programmes are all with IT IT and computer centre in Kisumu City at the administrative and academic structure under
component. This has advantaged Maseno moment. It attracts a large number of full- the guidance of the University Council, which
University graduates a great deal in the job time and part-time students. is ably headed by its Chairman, Prof. Nimrod
market. Bwibo, MBChB (EA), MPH (Berkeley), FAAD
Maseno University is also the only institution (USA) MRCP (London), Hon.D.Sc (Egerton),
The Faculties and Schools at the University of higher learning in Kenya that can boast EBS.
currently include the Faculty of Arts and ownership and management a tourist class
Social Sciences; the Faculty of Education; hotel, the Kisumu Hotel, within the lakeside The administration of the University is headed
the Faculty of Science; the School of city. It has excellent accommodation and by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Frederick N.
Environment and Earth Sciences; the conference facilities capable of hosting Onyango, Fil.Kand and MSc (Uppsala),
School of Public Health and Community up to 120 guests. The modern conference PhD (London, UK), FKNAS, EBS, MBS, SS.
Development; the School of Development complex, just behind the hotel, offers a Under the leadership of Prof. Onyango,
and Strategic Studies; and the School of number of meeting halls and equipment that Maseno University has registered numerous
Graduate Studies. can host several meetings and conferences achievements that include expansion of
simultaneously. The Conference Complex both the human capacity base and physical
Maseno University is the only public can hold up to 600 conference delegates. facilities. Maseno University is undertaking a
academic institution that does not carry out number of projects that are of direct benefit to
two separate programmes for regular (or New projects the surrounding community.
government sponsored) and the so-called
“parallel” (or self-sponsored) students as they Among the new projects currently in The forward looking and energetic
are known in other Kenyan public universities, progress are: the expansion of student and administration under the leadership of Prof.
since both attend the same classes under the staff accommodation facilities through the Onyango is constantly seeking various means

Best of Kenya 169

• BSc in Biomedical Sciences and
Technology (with IT)
• Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of
Surgery (MBChB) (with IT)
• BSc (Applied Statistics with IT)
• BSc (Actuarial Sciences with IT)
• BSc (Computer Science and Technology)
• Bachelor of Science in Information and
• Technology Management (BScICTM) at IAT
• BSc Education (with IT)
• BSc (Horticulture with IT)
• BSc (Eco-tourism, Hotel and Institution
Management with IT)
to transform Maseno University into a hub of Currently the following are the degree • Bachelor of Science (with IT)
research and innovation, not only in Kenya programmes offered at Maseno University: • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and
but throughout the eastern African region. Dietetics (with IT)
The University is well placed to play a major Undergraduate programmes • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (with IT)
role in development and the uplifting of living • Bachelor of Environmental Science (with IT)
standards of the people of Kenya and other • Bachelor of Arts (with IT) • Bachelor of Earth Science (with IT)
parts of the African continent. • Bachelor of Business Administration (with • Bachelor of Special Needs Education (with IT)
IT) • Bachelor of Arts Education with IT
The Vice-Chancellor is assisted in his • BA in Sociology and Anthropology (with IT) (Sandwich/Regular)
administrative duties by three Deputy Vice- • BA in Interior Design (with IT)
Chancellors, Prof. Dominic W. Makawiti • BA (Communication and Media Technology Postgraduate programmes
(Academic Affairs), BSc (UoN), S1 Teacher with IT)
Cert. (KSTC), PhD (Kings College); Prof. Mary • BA (Drama and Theatre Studies with IT) • Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning
K. Walingo (Administration & Finance), BEd • BA in Urban and Regional Planning (with IT) & Management
(Kenyatta) MSc (UoN), PhD (Hyderabad); and • BA in Development Studies (with IT) • PGD in Computer Science
Prof. Stephen G. Agong (Planning, Research • BA in International Relations and • Postgraduate Diploma in Education
& Extension Services), BSc, MSc (UoN), PhD Diplomacy (with IT) • MA in International Relations
(Justus, Germany). • BA in Political Science (with IT) • MA in Political Science
• Bachelor of Arts in Music (with IT) • MA in Human Resource Management
The future • Bachelor of Arts in Textile, Apparel Design • MA in Social Development & Management
and Fashion • MA in History
With highly flexible study schemes, Maseno • Studies (with IT) • MA in Kiswahili
University is now poised for greater • Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies (with • MA in Linguistics
achievements as it lays out meticulous plans IT) • MA in French
for a brighter future as an institution for • Bachelor of Arts in Economics (with IT) • MA in Religion
academic excellence in Kenya and beyond. • Bachelor of Arts Education with IT • MA in Theology
• MA in Geography
• MA in Philosophy
• MA in Literary Studies

Maseno university quality policy

Maseno University is committed to quality

through teaching, research and development;
providing timely services to foster and
develop academic excellence in basic and
applied research at all levels of study by
training practice-oriented manpower, to
contribute effectively to social, intellectual
and academic development. The University
is committed to communicating exhaustively
with its customers, and internally with
its employees, to continually improve its
services, products, processes, methods, and
work environment to ensure each customer
is receiving the highest quality service or
product at the committed cost and on time.
In order to realize this commitment the
University Management will monitor and
review its quality performance from time to
time through implementation of an effective
quality management system based on the ISO
9001: 2000 standard.

170 Best of Kenya

• MA in Music History • PhD in Religion
• MA in Music Education • PhD in Music History
• MA in Creative and Performing Arts (Music • PhD in Music Education
and Theatre Studies) • PhD in Ethnomusicology
• MA in Women in History • PhD in Economics
• MA in Ethnomusicology • PhD in Linguistics
• MA in Economics • PhD in Kiswahili
• MA in Project Planning & Management • PhD in French
• Master of Business Administration (Thesis • PhD in Planning and Economics of
option/Project option) Education
• MPH in Management of Health Systems • PhD in History
• MPH in Epidemiology and Population • PhD in Business Administration
Health • PhD in Special Needs Education
• MPH in Health Promotion & International • PhD in Biomedical Science & Technology
Health • PhD in Public Health
• MSc in Urban Planning & Environmental • PhD in Community Nutrition and
• Management Development
• MSc in Biomedical Science & Technology • PhD in Horticulture
• MSc in Community Nutrition & • PhD in Mathematics
Development • PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology
• MSc in Cell & Molecular Biology • PhD in Chemistry
• MSc in Aquatic Sciences • PhD in Botany
• MSc in Theoretical Physics • PhD in Aquatic Sciences
• MSc in Chemistry • PhD in Physics
• MSc in Agro Forestry • PhD in Biomedical Science and Technology
• MSc in Plant Biochemistry & Physiology • PhD in Educational Communication &
• MSc in Plant Taxonomy & Economic Technology
Botany • PhD in Curriculum Studies
• MSc in Plant Pathology • PhD in Special Needs Education
• MSc in Microbiology • PhD in Psychology
• MSc in Genetics • PhD in Guidance and Counseling
• MSc in Plant Breeding • PhD in Educational Administration
• MSc in Plant Ecology • PhD in Evaluation of Educational
• MSc in Pure Mathematics Programmes
• MSc in Applied Mathematics
• MSc in Applied Statistics
• MSc in Horticulture Tel: +254-057- 351620
• MSc in Hospitality Management
• MSc in Developmental Botany
• MSc in Environmental Horticulture
• MSc in Floriculture
• MSc in Olericulture
• MSc in Physiology and Biochemistry
• MSc in Pomology
• MSc in Soil and Water Management
• MSc in Zoology
• MSc in Family Development and
• MSc in Physics Maseno is a top university as exemplified
• MSc in Urban Environmental Planning and by its recently being placed seventh in
Management performance contracting among the over 150
• MSc in Nutritional Science Kenyan corporations that signed Performance
• MSc in Apparel Design Contracts with the Government of Kenya.
• MSc in Textile Sciences & Conservation If only the universities in Kenya are to be
• MSc in Fashion Merchandising considered among the corporations, then
• MEd in Educational Psychology Maseno University is third. The University
• MEd in Planning & Economics of Education has won awards in the Total ECO-Challenge
• MEd in Creative Arts Education Kenya project for three consecutive years
• MEd in Language Education for protecting our environment by planting
• MEd in Educational Administration trees. All these achievements are within a
• MEd in Special Education short span of seven years of the University’s
• MEd in Curriculum Studies existence as a fully fledged Institution of
• MEd in Pedagogy Higher Learning. Moreover, with regard to
• MEd in Educational Technology Quality Assurance among the East African
• MEd in Guidance and Counseling universities, Maseno University was recently
• PhD in International Relations ranked second according to criteria set out by
• PhD in Planning the 22 participating universities.
• PhD in Philosophy

Best of Kenya 171

The rise and rise of the Catholic
Education and Training

University of Eastern Africa

The biggest private university in the eastern Africa region and it
is still growing in terms of student numbers, faculties, facilities
and campuses.

What began as a humble college of theology with only 22 of provision of quality and holistic education that adequately
students has not only developed into the Catholic University of prepares students for such service. They are also in tandem
Eastern Africa (CUEA) with a sterling reputation to match, but with CUEA’s scripture-based theme of consecrating students in
also a standing that is anchored in the quality of education the the truth as did Jesus with His disciples.
institution offers and the international composition of its student
community. When launching the University’s year-long Silver Jubilee
celebrations in February 2009, the Vice-Chancellor, the Rev
Popularly known by its acronym of CUEA, the university has Prof John Maviiri, was clear that the difference CUEA alumni
vastly expanded its physical facilities and capacity to meet the are making in societies and church in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania,
challenge of growing student enrolment, itself a clear indication Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe attest to the
of the confidence the students and communities have in the quality of education offered by the university.
institution’s academic programmes.
CUEA seeks to prepare leaders who are distinguished both
These programmes are grounded in the varied and changing by their academic and professional expertise and by high
demands of society and Church for which CUEA seeks to train moral standards. The various faculties dedicate themselves
personnel. The programmes are also anchored in the objective to educating and training students in scientific methods

172 Best of Kenya

of research, both in theory and practice, (ACU), Inter-University Council of East
to enable graduates to contribute more Africa (IUCEA), International Association
meaningfully to the cultural, scientific and of Universities (IAU) and the Association of
economic development of societies. Catholic Universities and Higher Institutes of
Africa and Madagascar.
The eight countries which CUEA serves
are members of the regional Association of CUEA has invested heavily in information
Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern communication technology (ICT) in its
Africa (AMECEA), but students and staff are endeavour to have this sector support
drawn from as far afield as Nigeria, South academic excellence and promote global best
Africa and beyond, giving the university its practice in the University.
enviable international character.
The autonomous ICT Department was
This is important in the sense that CUEA inaugurated in September of 2007 in line
students are exposed to cultures that are as with CUEAS’s Strategic Development Plan
rich and as diverse as their own. This enables of 2001 to 2011 to raise the status of the
them to get a better understanding of their University’s ICT systems and ensure that
fellow countrymen and women as well as CUEA remains relevant and competitive in the
their neighbours, African brothers and sisters higher education sector. This is why the ICT
and the international teachers who train them Department is at the forefront of new media
to think and how to solve challenges and development for CUEA.
problems that beset them, their communities
and countries. Indeed, CUEA aims at becoming a paperless
institution and to become leaders in
In this regard, it is also important to note innovation in the education sector. This
that while CUEA is a Catholic university, its is a vision that is driven by the Integrated
students and staff are drawn from varied Management System (IMIS) which covers the
religious backgrounds. The University’s policy three primary areas of academics, library and
is to admit all applicants irrespective of their finance. students while students are able to readily
religious backgrounds as long as they meet access lecture materials and lecturers in a
the requirements set by the institution for The IMIS system helps CUEA manage virtual classroom.
admission. However, students are expected various library processes, including book
to respect Catholic teaching and practice. borrowing, cataloguing and inventory. It As part of CUEA’s 25th anniversary
has improved revenue collection through celebrations and as a pointer to its future, the
CUEA in 2004 established the Office of enhanced debt collection. Thanks to IMIS the University opened the ultra-modern KSh300
Academic Linkages, which has seen the University’s business processes have been million Kozlowiecki Hall at the centre of its
University forge beneficial partnerships with vastly improved and been documented both new campus, which houses lecture halls,
reputable institutions around the world and manually and in electronic format. science laboratories and Kenya’s largest moot
with key associations such as the Association court, among other facilities.
of African Universities (AAU), International Again owing to IMIS’s e-learning system,
Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), lecturers are able to post notes, assignments Tel: +254-20-891601
Association of Commonwealth Universities and course projects as well as chat with

Best of Kenya 173

KU Honoured as Best Managed Centre of
Education and Training

Academic Excellence
Kenyatta University was in 2008 ranked by the Government of Kenya as the
best- run public university thus confirming its position as a leading academic
institution providing quality education and training in the region.

The Chairman of Council, Prof. Onesmo ole-MoiYoi (4th right) and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olive Mugenda (centre holding the trophy) pose for a group photograph
with members of staff and students after the University was declared the best State Corporation in Performance Contracting out of 124 state corporations in the
2006/2007 performance contract evaluation.

Over the years, KU has earned an enviable reputation for being a centre of excellence in research, teaching, learning and exemplary
service to society. Also In June 2008, Kenyatta University became the first public university in Kenya to obtain the internationally
recognised ISO 9001:2000 certification in Quality Management Systems (QMS).

As a result of this, academic programmes offered at Kenyatta University are some of the most sought-after courses, not only in
Kenya, but throughout the East and Central African region.

174 Best of Kenya

Prof. Olive Mugenda, PhD, EBS, Vice Chancellor,
Kenyatta University, made history by becoming
the first woman VC of a public university.
The appointment of the VC was through a
competitive process.


Kenyatta University traces its history back to

when it was a colonial military barracks known
as the Templer Barracks. In 1965 Templer
Barracks was converted into Kenyatta
University College, primarily a teacher training
institution. Kenyatta University College (KUC)
was elevated to a constituent college of the
University of Nairobi in 1970.

In 1985 KUC was inaugurated by the then

President, Daniel Moi, and was renamed
Kenyatta University. This was done through
enactment of the Kenyatta University Act by
the Kenya National Assembly. Its separation
from the University of Nairobi was the start of
a major shift in focus from an institution that
primarily trained graduate teachers to a fully
fledged university offering other programmes
as well.

The rapid development witnessed at KU

in the last few years is grounded in its ten-
year Strategic and Vision Plan (2005-2015).
This visionary document outlines clearly the
University’s ambition to remain competitive,
and an endeavour to help achieve the national The Kenyatta University monument – The Fountain of Knowledge.
goals of eradicating ignorance and providing
highly skilled and competent manpower in
various fields.

Academic Programmes

Kenyatta University is the second largest

university in Kenya. The University offers
various certificate, diploma, undergraduate
and postgraduate programmes in its fourteen
(14) Schools, namely;

• School of Education
• School of Humanities and Social Sciences
• School of Health Sciences
• School of Business
• School of Economics
• School of Pure and Applied Sciences
• School of Applied Human Sciences Views of the new Northcoast Beach Hotel. It will be used for practical training for the students in the School
• School of Engineering and Technology of Hospitality and Tourism.

Best of Kenya 175

Education and Training

The architectural impression of the proposed post-modern Library. Construction is ongoing.

• School of Agriculture and Enterprise 8. Highly Competitive, industry-current Infrastructure development

Development programmes
• School of Visual and Performing Arts 9. Growing Campus Network Last year, the University also completed the
• School of Law 10. Strong Emphasis on Innovative Research construction of a Science Laboratory to be
• School of Environmental Studies and Knowledge Transfer used by students in the Pure and Applied
• School of Hospitality and Tourism Sciences. In the same year, the University
Management and Current Initiatives constructed the Arts Complex – a facility that
• Graduate School that co-ordinates all hosts lecturers’ offices, computer laboratories
postgraduate programmes. The expansion of Kenyatta University has and lecture theaters. At the moment,
been truly phenomenal especially in the various projects are underway including the
Modes of study past three years. It is worth noting here that construction of the Students’ Centre, the
the University recently acquired a hotel, the School of Engineering complex, a new state-
The University offers a wide range of Northcoast Beach Hotel to be used as a of-the-art automated library and more lecture
programmes through various modes of training facility for the students in the School theatres and hostels.
learning which suit different categories of of Hospitality and Tourism and as a source of
learners. These are the much needed income to the University. VISION AND MISSION

• Full-time residential programmes. ICT Infrastructure Our Mission

• Open/distance learning, To provide quality education and training,
• e-learning, KU has a campus-wide fibre-optic through knowledge generation, research,
• school-based, technology ICT infrastructure that includes innovation, creativity and community service.
• part-time a campus network based on, wide access
to the internet for both students and staff Our Vision
As a result of flexibility in these learning to facilitate research, communication and To be a dynamic, inclusive and globally
modes coupled with the enhanced learning. Another milestone in ICT at the competitive centre of excellence in the
infrastructure in the University, the enrolment University is the completion in 2009 of a provision of quality education and research
of students has grown from 6,000 in 1999 to 3-storey 600-seater Students’ Computer for sustainable development.
over 25,000 in 2009. Centre, with brand new state-of-the-art
computers. Our identity
Ten (10) reasons making KU the University Kenyatta University is a community of
of Choice School of Health Sciences scholars committed to the generation and
dissemination of knowledge, and cultivation
1. World-Class University Education With the establishment of the School of wisdom for the welfare of society.
2. Excellent Career opportunities for our of Health Sciences and programmes in
graduates medicine, pharmacy and Public Health, the Our Philosophy
3. Impressive physical environment University has completed the construction Sensitivity and responsiveness to societal
conducive for learning, research and of the Human Anatomy Laboratory that also needs and the right of every person to
social life houses the Thika Road Funeral Services. knowledge.
4. Flexible modes of learning The University has also made substantial
5. Diverse Student and Community Support progress towards the establishment of a Key priority areas of the University’s
Services teaching and referral hospital which will be Strategic Plan (2005-2015)
6. Teaching Excellence the first of its kind in the region managed
7. Modern state-of-the-art learning by the University for teaching, research and 1. Academic Programmes for Sustainable
resources and study facilities referral. Development

176 Best of Kenya

2. Enhancing Research, Science,
Technology and Innovation for societal
3. Increasing Access and Equity in higher
4. Quality and Relevance of Academic
5. Institutional Management and Capacity
6. Information and Communications
Technology (ICT)
7. Improving Physical Infrastructure and
8. Customer Focus Internal & External
9. Financial Sustainability
10. Monitoring and Evaluation of Institutional
The new Human Anatomy Laboratory and the Thika Road Funeral Services.
Kenyatta University’s Core Values

(i) Truth: Kenyatta University will encourage

freedom of thought and expression
of opinion. Intellectual and moral
commitment to the pursuit of truth will
continue to guide research, dissemination
of knowledge and interpersonal
relationships, both locally and
(ii) Excellence: In an effort to achieve its
vision, Kenyatta University is determined
to produce graduates capable of meeting
the challenges of the 21st Century.
(iii) Creativity: To cope with the constant
change and challenges, the University will
endeavour to cultivate creativity among
staff and students. Creative people are
flexible, adaptable and imaginative in
anticipating and responding to situations
as they unfold. Students in the new Student Computer Centre.
(iv) Self-Reliance: The University will strive
to ensure that its graduates become staff-recruitment, resource allocation and staff and students are responsibly self-
independent workers, thinkers, job promotions. driven as a consequence of internalising
creators and well-grounded individuals (viii) Professionalism: . Kenyatta University self-prescribed institutional values as
in line with vision 2030. In addition, will promote professionalism at all levels indicated in the Strategic and Vision Plan.
the University will strive to create an of its operations so as to realise its vision (xiii) Competitiveness: Kenyatta University
independent financial base, as well as and mission. aspires to be a University of choice in
having an innovative and well motivated (ix) Moral Integrity: Kenyatta University will terms of attracting quality staff, students
workforce. strive to enhance interpersonal relations and financial support.
(v) Innovation: The heart of innovation is among staff and students.. The key (xiv) Academic Freedom: Kenyatta University
continuous renewal and betterment of values that the institution will strive is a community of enquirers where
existing situations. Innovation will be a to institute include integrity, honesty, intellectual liberty to pursue truth
key driver for institutional competitiveness tolerance and mutual respect. to its logical conclusion is upheld.
and service. Kenyatta University will use (x) Democratisation: This will be enhanced The institution is committed to the
innovative approaches in teaching and through inclusive participation in enhancement of academic freedom.
learning, in an effort to transform learners decision-making and management. The (xv) Respect for diversity: Kenyatta University
into creative thinkers. principles of responsibility, accountability recognises, respects and encourages
(vi) Relevance:. Kenyatta University is and academic freedom will be promoted diversities emanating from religion, race,
determined to make its academic at all levels. culture, gender, ethnicity, political and
programmes relevant. The aim is to (xi) Corporate Governance: Kenyatta ideology.
address regional and global challenges University will adopt efficient and
and to play a significant role in national effective business principles The For more information, contact
development, with specific reference University will strive to institutionalise a The Vice-Chancellor
to the Millennium Development Goals corporate culture in the management of P.O Box 43844-00100, Nairobi.
(MDGs) and Vision 2030 targets. resources, and in all the decision-making Website:
(vii) Equal Opportunity: Kenyatta University processes. Email:
will strive to be an equal opportunity (xii) Institutional Culture: To distinguish itself Tel: (+254-20) 8710901-19 Ext.57200
institution where all persons are regarded as a world-class institution, Kenyatta DL. (+254-20) 812676/813459
equally in terms of student admission, University will enhance a culture in which Fax: (+254-20)8711575

Best of Kenya 177

Your Breadbasket and Science
Education and Training

Innovation Partner
It is often said that the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and
Technology (JKUAT) is the academic symbol of Kenya’s ambitions to join
the ranks of the industrialized and technologically advanced countries. It
is an institution of higher learning with a short but rich history of research,
innovation and high productivity. Students at JKUAT are at the cutting
edge of Kenya’s technological advancement; an academic institution for
entrepreneurs and industrialists.

Three years ago, JKUAT inaugurated its own enterprise simple tractors and trailers for the small-scale farmer to
company – JKUAT enterprise Limited – whose main purpose motorized bicycles and other transport equipment. Only a
is to promote and encourage industrial and business ventures. few of the products and machinery have gone into full-scale
The University is now engaged in a number of profitable mass production but there is high potential to propel Kenya’s
industrial and business venture producing a number of highly industrialization process through collaboration with private
valued products for the local and international markets, ranging enterprise.
from computer assembly (under the brand name Emado) and
design of software (EstateXpress and NOVA University ERP) to Situated in Juja, 36 kilometres northeast of Nairobi, along the
the production of fruit juices and mushroom spawns (seeds). Nairobi-Thika Highway, JKUAT started in 1981 as a middle-
level college (the Jomo Kenyatta College of Agriculture and
The University’s engineering faculty has made a number Technology [JKCAT]) by the Government of Kenya, with the
of breakthroughs, including the design and production of assistance of the Japanese Government. In 1978, President

178 Best of Kenya

Prof Mabel Imbuga

Jomo Kenyatta donated 200 hectares of

farmland for the establishment of the college
which is now charting Kenya’s path towards
technological advancement as a leading
local and regional technological academic

JKCAT admitted its first batch of diploma

students in the fields of Agricultural
Engineering, Food Technology and
Horticulture in May 1981. They graduated This makes JKUAT graduates • B.Sc. Soil , Water and Environmental
at the institution’s inaugural graduation exceptionally flexible and easily absorbed Engineering
ceremony in April 1984. On 1st September in the labour market. Furthermore • B.Sc. Biomechanical and Processing
1988, JKCAT formally became a constituent JKUAT has forged partnerships and Engineering
College of Kenyatta University and the linkages with a number of research and
name officially changed to Jomo Kenyatta academic institutions locally as well as SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING
University College of Agriculture and internationally, all aimed at enhancing SCIENCES (SABS)
Technology (JKUCAT). training and research capacity through
sharing of resources and experiences • Diploma in Architecture
The institution was transformed into an for mutual benefit. More than 50 such • Bachelor of Architecture
autonomous university – Jomo Kenyatta collaborations currently exist. • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
University of Agriculture and Technology • Bachelor of Construction Management
(JKUAT) – in 1994 through an Act of Our Programmes:
population has continued to swell from a
paltry figure of less than 2,000 in 1994 to over • Diploma in Food Technology • Bridging Certificate in Mathematics/
15,000 students now, located on the main • B Sc. Food Science & Post harvest Physics/Biology/ Chemistry
campus at Juja, with the three campuses of Technology • Bachelor of Science Options: Chemistry/
Karen, Nairobi and Taita Taveta. • B Sc. Food Science & Nutrition Physics/ Mathematics/Pure and
• B Sc. Horticulture Applied Mathematics/Statistics and
Some students attend lectures at colleges in • B Sc. Environmental, Horticulture and Actuarial Sciences/ Biochemistry and
the Nairobi and Mombasa central business Landscaping Technology Molecular Biology/Botany (Microbiology,
districts as well as 32 other centres spread • B Sc. (Animal Health, Production and Biotechnology, Plant Pathology)
around the country. Several technology and Processing) • B Sc. Analytical Chemistry
engineering research projects are currently • B Sc. (Land Resource Planning and • B Sc Chemistry (Business Option)
taking place at JKUAT that could prove to Management) • B Sc. Industrial Chemistry
be of great importance, not only to Kenya • B Sc. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
but to the entire African continent and other FACULTY OF ENGINEERING • B Sc. Biotechnology
developing countries. Much of the research • B Sc. Medical Microbiology
effort is going into the design and production • B.Sc. Electrical & Electronic Engineering • B Sc. Mathematics and Computer Science
of cheap but efficient agricultural machinery, • B.Sc. Electrical and Computer Engineering • B Sc. Actuarial Science
transport equipment and energy apparatus. • B.Sc. Telecommunication & Information • B Sc Financial Engineering
Engineering • B Sc. Control and Instrumentation
The programmes on offer are unique, with • B.Sc. Geomatic Engineering & Geospatial • B Sc Crop Protection
a majority of them market-driven. The Information Systems
suitability of the courses on the job market • B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering SCHOOL FOR HUMAN RESOURCE
has been well researched in collaboration • B.Sc. Mechatronic Engineering DEVELOPMENT (SHRD)
with stakeholders who also provide the • B.Sc. Mining & Mineral Processing
much-needed industrial attachment to Engineering • Diploma in Purchasing and Supplies
students. • B.Sc. Civil Engineering Management

Best of Kenya 179

• Diploma in Business Administration INSTITUTE OF COMPUTER SCIENCE &
• Diploma in Mass Communication INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (ICSIT)
• Diploma in Community Development AND JKUAT IT CENTRE
• Diploma in Marketing
• Diploma in Business Information • Certificate in Information Technology
Technology • Certificate in Management and
• Diploma in Public Relations, Advertising & Information Technology
Sales • Diploma in Information Technology
• Diploma in Microfinance • Diploma in Management and
• Diploma in Human Resource Management Information Technology
• Bachelor of Purchasing and Supplies • B Sc. Computer Science
Management • B Sc. Computer Technology
• Bachelor of Commerce • B Sc. Information Technology
• Bachelor of Business Information
• Bachelor of Cooperative Business AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE (ITROMID)
• Bachelor of Commerce and Business
Prof Ali Mazrui Administration • Certificate in HIV/AIDS Management
• Management and Leadership at KIM and Counseling
• Bachelor of Development studies • Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management and
• Bachelor of Mass Communication counseling
• Postgraduate Diploma in conflict resolution • Diploma Clinical Medicine
and negotiation skills • B Sc. Medical Laboratory Sciences
• Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship
• Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY AND
• Postgraduate Diploma in Management of
Non-Profit Organizations Short Courses
• Postgraduate Diploma in Project • Environmental Impact Assessment and
Management Environmental Audit

180 Best of Kenya

• Environmental leadership Program • Bachelor of Mass Communication
• Occupational safety, Health and • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
• Biogas Energy Technology JKUAT NAIROBI CAMPUS
• Cleaner Production, Pollution, and Waste
Management • Bridging Certificate in Mathematics (BCM)
• Solar Energy Technology • Certificate in Information Technology
• Energy Management • Certificate n Computer Technology
• Wind Energy Management. • Diploma in Information Technology
• Diploma Computer Technology
INSTITUTE FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY • Diploma in Purchasing and
Supplies Management (part time)
Short Courses • B Sc. Computer Technology
• Certificate in Basic Microbiological • B Sc. Computer Science
Techniques • B Sc. Actuarial Science
• Certificate in Molecular Biology • Bachelor of Science Information
• Certificate in Bio-informatics Technology
• Certificate in Plant Cell Tissues & Organ • Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM - Full Time in Training, Research and Innovation for
culture • Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) - Part Development
• Certificate in Biosafety & Risk Assessment, Time
Biopolicy and Bioethics • Bachelor of Purchasing and Supplies Our Mission
Management (part time) To offer accessible quality training, research,
JKUAT KAREN CAMPUS and innovation in order to produce leaders
JKUAT TAITA TAVETA CAMPUS in the fields of Agriculture, Engineering,
• Bridging Certificate in Mathematics, Technology, Enterprise Development, Health
Biology and Chemistry (Full Time) • Bridging Certificate in Mathematics, and other Applied Sciences to suit the needs
• Certificate in Information Technology (Full • B Sc. Mining & Mineral Processing of a dynamic world.
time) Engineering
• Diploma in Information Technology • Bachelor of Purchasing & Supplies ISO Certification 9001:2008
• Diploma in Business Administration Management JKUAT is the first university in Kenya to attain
• Diploma in Mass Communication • Bachelor of Commerce the 9001: 2008 ISO certifications in July 2009
• Diploma in Business Information • B Sc. Mathematics & Computer Science for its Quality Management System which is a
Technology • Bachelor of Science in Information bold statement of the university’s commitment
• Diploma in Purchasing and Supplies Technology to quality provision of service in line with
Management international standards. In addition, JKUAT
• Diploma in Retail Management JKUAT has a wide range of M.Sc and Ph.D. launched the Quality Assurance Policy in July
• Bachelor of Science in Information degree programs in most of its faculties 2009 again emerging as the first university
Technology -Stage I and departments. Applications should in Kenya to do so , to ensure that the quality
• Bachelor of Science Actuarial Science be addressed to the Director, Board of of learning, teaching and research activities
• B.Sc. Mathematics and Computer Science Postgraduate Programs, JKUAT, P.O. BOX maintain the aspiration of excellence in
• Bachelor of Commerce 62000 00200 Nairobi. Check out our website compliance with dynamic market demands of
• Bachelor of Business Information for more details. the education sector.
• Bachelor of Purchasing and Supplies Our Vision Tel: +254-067-52711
Management To be an institution of global Excellence

Best of Kenya 181

Designed to excel, keen to lead
Education and Training

The essence of Makini Schools is excellence in both

academic and co-curricular areas.

Makini’s guiding philosophy is to provide holistic education

based on Christian values in a supportive and pleasant

Makini excels in academic performance, leading with policy formation and the guidance of the School.
impressive results in national examinations and outstanding
performances in sports and other co-curricular activities. The teaching staff is well-qualified and highly motivated.
Teachers are friendly, caring and enjoy their work. Teaching
This is not by default but by design. The Makini Schools’ is pupil-centred. Lessons are focussed and inter-active with
motto – Fanya kwa Makini – is Kiswahili for Work with a view to fostering a love for learning. Progress is carefully
Diligence. Every school programme and project is monitored at all levels and teachers work closely with
deliberate, planned and purposeful. parents.

Makini has an excellent Board of Directors comprising highly Makini is all about pioneering and innovation. It was Makini
esteemed and professional men and women of integrity as that first introduced computers as an educational tool at
well as a very supportive Parents’/Teachers’ Association primary school level in Kenya. The success of Makini is
(PTA). Both the Board and the PTA are very involved in such that many schools, not only in Kenya but also in other

182 Best of Kenya

countries, turn to it for best practices, a KCPE. It made history by becoming the and museums, complemented by talks by
service offered free of charge. first – and so far only – school in Kenya to artists, authors and motivational speakers.
produce the top girl in the country three There are annual trips to countries in Africa,
It is a tribute to Makini’s strong mentoring times in a row. In 2000, Makini was not Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
programme that many of its former staff only No. 1 in the country but also made
have gone on to establish their own history when it won all the trophies in the The atmosphere at Makini is a happy
successful schools. Private Schools category at the Provincial purposeful one. Pupils are cheerful, polite,
Trophy Awards Ceremony. Since then, it articulate and self-confident. They believe
The pursuit of excellence at Makini starts has been top in the country 5 times and that, once in Makini, they will succeed
at pre-school, where the classroom is never been lower than 3rd. and achieve their goals. Consequently, the
reflective of the ethos of learning through School produces high achievers in all fields.
play and practical activity. The primary Makini has not only shone academically but
school is an exciting, busy and friendly has performed equally well in co-curricular Makini counts among its alumni some of
place for both pupils and staff and ensures activities Pupils have represented Kenya the best and brightest in Kenya. The Alumni
that children learn through experience as on the national and international scene in Association was formed to foster these
well as having fun. sports such as Rugby, Swimming, Motor linkages.
Cross, Tae-kwondo and Chess.
Makini believes in building high self-esteem Kenya’s first woman commercial pilot, Irene
in children and confidence in their abilities Students regularly win in the annual Music Mutungi, was a Makini product. Freda
and strengths. It also encourages them to Festival and Nairobi International Show Laiboni also became the youngest in Kenya
build friendly and considerate relationships as well as competitions in Art, Science to receive her pilot’s licence while in Form
with one another and with teaching and Congresses and Maths Symposia. 4. A former Sports Captain, Leon Adongo,
non-teaching staff. gained a university scholarship because of
The secondary section also does well in his prowess in Rugby.
Currently, Makini Schools comprise pre- both academic and co-curricular activities.
school; a primary school, a secondary It has won the award for best mixed private The School takes its social responsibility
section and a commercial college. But 30 school in Nairobi three years in a row. It very seriously and the students are
years ago, it began as nursery school with was also chosen to launch The Global encouraged to give community service.
just 8 pupils under the leadership of the Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) Makini sponsors and offers scholarships to
late Dr. Pius Okelo and Mrs. Mary Okelo, programme – the 2nd in Africa. needy children. Students support various
the founding Directors. Mrs Okelo is now a children’s homes and run to raise funds
deservedly celebrated and much decorated The College provides professional for charitable causes. They contribute to
icon locally and globally. In 2008, she qualifications offered by ACCA, CIM and famine relief programmes and sponsor
was appointed Millennium Development CIPR. It has also established itself as a the Rhino Charge and other environment
Ambassador. trail-blazer and is the first institution in East projects.
Africa to offer the Chartered Institute of
Makini is recognized for its consistent Public Relations (CIPR) programme. Makini promotes the spiritual development
excellent performance in national of the children and fosters tolerance for
examinations and co-curricular activities, Makini has won the African Enterprise different religions by encouraging children
making it a household name in Kenya and Award and was the only educational to follow the religion of their choice.
East Africa. From 1985 – the year that institution among the top 100 mid-sized
Makini enrolled its first candidates for the companies in Kenya in 2008. Makini was The development and training of staff are
Kenya Certificate of Primary Education selected as a case study of success at integral components of school life. Staff
(KCPE) Examinations – results have been Columbia University, USA, for their MBA are encouraged to upgrade their skills and
impressive. programme. It is the only school in Kenya qualifications and up-date themselves in
to participate in the Global Fund Project their respective areas. Makini conducts
It was the start of a history of solid and facilitated many successful seminars regular in-house seminars and workshops.
achievements of which the Makini on HIV/Aids awareness and prevention.
community is proud. Makini consistently
heads the examination lists and has Educational outings form an integral part Tel: +254-20-3874950
produced top pupils in the country in of school life. There are visits to parks

Best of Kenya 183