his month’s prize letter Astonishing Kenya! Indicators are good
My country, Kenya, has great potential and so to read the special feature on my country was a very welcome experience (‘Astonishing Kenya!’ African Business, No- vember 2011 issue). It covered both the politi- cal and economic issues in a way and in such detail that I have not seen before.
Our new constitution is a remarkable achievement in a short space of time and one that we should be justly proud of. In my considered opinion, the economic indicators are good for Kenya and for our continent as a whole.
The cost benefits are obvious to small and LETERS
But throughout Africa, our leaders must be proactive in working to improve the living standards of people in the continent. As long as our African leaders rely on foreign donations and aid from Western countries, Africa’s economic future will be compromised. It is time we started to take the initiative in deciding how fast we want our economy to grow, rather than letting the World Bank dictate the pace for us. Unless our leaders start putting policies in place to create a sustainable economy, Africa will always be in a state of economic subordination. If we can have leaders with foresight and integrity, then our economy can grow to greater heights!
Cole Wangai Mombasa, Kenya elecoms Heads in the clouds
The future for information technology lies in exploiting the potential of cloud computing (‘Telecoms’, African Business, No- vember 2011 issue), and I speak from personal experience. In East Africa, the availability of increased broadband connectivity is starting to make everything possible. I can see that more business enterprises will become un- wired through mobile devices with access to cloud services.
Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki: “Together we made our country a better place.”
medium-sized businesses. Here in Kenya, traditional IT infrastructure is particularly costly. The cloud model will serve Kenyan entrepreneurs well because it is cheaper to operate in a hosted environment than to have an onsite server and storing critical data in multiple and secure locations lessens the chance of a catastrophic loss of data in the case of power outages.
But it seems to me that your correspondent has glossed over the crucial problem of information security. If we business people use the cloud, we will be faced with various challenges in implementing these new computing trends, namely our lack of preparedness to deal with threats to information security from outside and inside our companies.
Until we have a system of protection in place, organisations should be warned to avoid placing sensitive information in the cloud. We urgently need to address the question of how to deal with information security and train the skilled professionals who are able to do so.
John Githuri Nairobi, Kenya Mo Ibrahim Prize and Index More acceptance needed It is gratifying to read in your article so fully about the African Prize for Leadership and reflect that it is not often that initiatives from Africa or Africans attain the sort of esteem and respect as this one does (‘Mo Ibrahim Prize and Index’, African Business, November 2011 issue). Mo Ibrahim’s enterprise and commitment to development are beyond question. As well as Mr Ibrahim, there are many distinguished Africans both in the continent and in the diaspora but few have come up with initiatives that are effectively competing with such aplomb with rival international endeavours. But it is also perhaps rather unexpected to note that, rather than appreciating his independence, there still remains a feeling in some quarters that acceptance of his achievement, especially by Africans, would have been more if his awards were driven by some quasi-governmental or international organisations. Some sort of colonial mentality, unfortunately, seems to still exist, including among some of our governments. Isaac Komba London, UK Opinion Chance to offer global leadership? I have been observing news footage of riots, first in London and now in New York. Young people in affluent Western countries are protesting against economic inequality and corporate greed. I was disappointed that the African Union and leaders in Africa did not recognise these protests as an opportunity to offer global leadership and to mediate, helping the West understand the underlying cause of these discontents and to carry out reforms. Do you think that the West would have remained silent if these riots were taking place in Africa? African leaders should show that they have the self-confidence to play leadership roles on the world stage. We should be-
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lieve it is possible for advice and suggestions for reforms to flow from Africa to the West as well as the other way around.
J.K. Fatunla New York, US
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African Business | December 2011