Thursday, December 27, 2012

Will tea farmers hear the 'balance' message?

Tea farmers at work
I am writing this post from a village on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, the atmosphere is very relaxing I must admit. It is a predominantly tea growing village (see photo). I had time to evaluate how my passion to help companies balance between corporate rights and human rights trickles down to local enterprises in such a village. The last time I visited this village, electricity was a pipe dream. Now most homes are served with hydro-electric power. Well things change so fast and that’s why local entrepreneurs must think about the rights of their business ventures and the rights of the people they affect directly or indirectly. The earlier the better.

In Kenya we enacted a human rights centered Constitution that seeks to guarantee the rights and liberties of all Kenyans. The Constitution itself defines the term ‘Person’ to include corporate entities. It therefore goes without saying that Companies (small, medium or large) can claim some Constitutional rights against the state and against other corporate and to a certain extent against individuals.

Kenyan companies, from those in the villages to those in the big cities must now start thinking business and Human rights. Some have argued that human rights are a burden on companies, that they are aimed at diminishing profits. However companies now have a better opportunity to enforce their own rights especially against the state.

The nature of rights that companies can claim is limited as compared to individuals. A company cannot for instance claim the right to marry or to human dignity. It can on the other hand claim the right to privacy, freedom of association, labour rights, freedom from discrimination and so on. Nevertheless one point is quite clear, that a more democratic society based on human rights is of benefit to individuals and companies.

A balanced society is good for business.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Africa's expertise to utilize its Natural Resources

Imagine going to a five star hotel for lunch with no idea about how to use the fork, what spoon to use when…leaving you all confused. If you had gone for a business meeting, then it all goes wrong. If on a date then you are lucky if you get another one with the same party. What is my point here?

Today I had lunch with a friend and we partly discussed how important it is for Africa to develop local expertise to manage and govern the exploitation of its resources. African experts understand their people, the environment, Africa’s history and have a vision for its future. They are therefore best placed to guide the continent in developing just, sustainable, objective and innovative solutions to help us manage our vast resources.

Africa is on the verge of economic regeneration and developing local talent, across all industries and sectors, will help us more than ever before balance between corporate rights, public policy and the collective welfare of our people.

Therefore when we go for lunch as a continent we shall know how to use the fork, what spoon to use when and so on, as we dine on our natural resources.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Construction Site

My current work location is close to the site where a modern state-of-the-art national library is under construction. The construction workers seem happy as they lift heavy metal bars, work with the hammer and chat animatedly. However this is not without the watchful eyes of site – supervisors who are making regular site visits.

Today has been a very wet day in Nairobi, wishing we had some sunlight reserved from yesterday’s scorching sun. The construction workers have however been working in the rain, as if they don’t feel the raindrops. It got me thinking about their welfare and that of the supervisors.

Here is a construction company glad to execute a strategic project, but this cannot be done solely by machines. The company needs people on the ground who sometimes bear the brunt of the erratic weather conditions.

The more reasons why we should balance between the economic rights of a corporation and the social, economic, cultural and political rights of individuals so as to create a stable and just society. Soon the residents of Nairobi will have a modern library, but let us never forget the great effort of these joyful workers…

Have a warm day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Balancing economic, social and political interests

Kenya’s vision 2030 has three main pillars, economic, social and political. On the economic front Kenya hopes to improve the prosperity of all Kenyans through economic growth of at least 10% annual growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Socially the country’s vision is to build a cohesive and equitable society. Lastly, politically Kenya hopes to have a democratic state based on issue based politics, rule of law, good institutional governance and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms for all Kenyans.

I am reading the vision document and was quite intrigued by the fact that we have pegged our prosperity to three main pillars. A balance of the three will therefore be critical. We can be truly prosperous if our economy grows rapidly and consistently, achieve social equity and have a stable democracy.

An institution or individual whose goal is to promote any of the three pillars should also keep a close eye on the other two pillars. For instance civil society should put the state to account on each of the three pillars. It is only by having a true balance of the three that we can ensure that every Kenyan enjoys the nation’s prosperity in a stable society.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

To all young aspiring entrepreneurs

Why we succeed at 20..

The 'Matatu' madness: What about business owners?

When operators of public service vehicles decided to strike, I was in the library studying a beautiful course - Financial Institutions and Markets, once in a while reading about successful entrepreneurs. A city that was alive with business activities was now spotting streams of people walking fast from their offices. That was 4pm. The following day, a Friday, 'furahi day' (happy day) many never turned up for work.

This then got me thinking what tremendous losses entrepreneurs have incurred as a result of lost man hours. What about our economy?

Thats why i advice before standing with a loud speaker claiming, your right...think about the rights of others and how they will be affected by your action. I do not say that we terolate violations or that we keep our problems to ourselves. But some caution and responsibility is required. This is the message leaders must promote.

I wish the many hardworking entrepreneurs who felt the impact of the strike, well and recovery in days and months to come.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Education for all

“The right to education must remain the foundation for advancing the Education for All agenda” – UN expert
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, today called on world governments to ensure that the right to education guides their efforts to meet the Education for All* objectives of providing quality basic education to all children, youths and adults by 2015.
“We must make sure not just that an ever greater number of students gain access to primary education, but that governments ensure education is an enforceable right for their citizens, is of high quality, and provided equally without discrimination,” Mr. Singh said following the first UNESCO-led Global Education for All Meeting in Paris.

“We must take full care that the learning crisis is not prolonged,” the UN expert stressed. Referring to his 2012 report to the UN General Assembly on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) from a right to education perspective, the Special Rapporteur emphasized that quality imperatives are inextricably linked with TVET, which is emerging as an area of critical importance in education and learning.
The Education for All initiative provides a framework for governments to accelerate progress for meeting EFA goals by 2015. “The right to education means more than just being able to attend school,” the UN expert said. “Increasing access without ensuring the quality of teachers, curricula and schools will not improve our societies. We must also ensure schools are accessible for all students, including women, rural or economically disadvantaged students.”
The Special Rapporteur called on governments to enact legislation to ensure minimum quality standards are set for teachers and educational curricula, and to address inequalities in education, particularly for girls, minorities and poor children. “States must take their international legal obligations seriously, and must ensure that their domestic legislation meets such obligations,” he added.

(*) Education for All:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

No business as usual

The Constitution has changed the environment in which people operate. Most critically it has also changed the context in which businesses are run. Present age business managers should seek to understand the change in the legal and social dynamics brought about by the new Constitution. To put it in simpler terms, its no-longer ‘business as usual’ for business enterprises.

This is particularly so for foreign investoers seeking to explore the various investment opportunities or local start-up companies

More to follow but what are your views.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Amnesty International: Staff on strike!!!!

Employees at Amnesty International do have problems in matters of employment law. They defend rights but they also need protection. This makes labour law quite interesting. I guess all of us desire individual justice.

But i was also impressed to see that A.I plans to establish a regional hub in Nairobi. Follow the link and read this captivating story.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lamu Port: What of future generations?

Sign: Lamu port project
Travelled to Lamu a while back, doing investment work. Dont ask for details, its classified.

However i was amazed by magnitude of the projects the government hopes to undertake. The 'gold' rush is on, people running to purchase property and the inhabitants of Lamu eager to sell and earn monies they never dreamt of.

In all this i wondered, are we thinking of future generations?

Do we have a balanced approach to investments in Lamu?
Section of the ground cleared for the port

Police Go Slow: Does our Constitution allow??

There are reports that the Kenya police will start a go-slow next week. They are dissatisfied with their current wages. The labour market is just becoming more and more interesting. The more reason why we should move towards a balanced approach to labour relations in the public and private sectors.

I hope the matter is resolved by the government soon. Among all the strikes we have had this year, teachers and doctors, a strike by the police would be dissastrous.

Cant help but think, who is advising the government on labour relations??

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Righting the Balance!!!!Social Justice

'Women and men without jobs or livelihoods really don’t care if their economies grow at 3, 5 or 10 per cent a year, if such growth leaves them behind and without protection. They do care whether their leaders and their societies promote policies to provide jobs and justice, bread and dignity, and freedom to voice their needs, their hopes and their dreams...'

See the book by -Juan Somavia at:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why balance?

Now this is why we should balance. This week business men are being killed in Kisumu County (my condolences).

I then asked, why investors while they are contributing to job creation and improved welfare for families and communities?

An answer started is not just about profits, since investors run their enterprises within a society or community. Therefore, the issues affecting the society (famine, insecurity, elections, school, water, environment, transport, Internet, church, floods ... the list is endless) equally affect the investor.

An investor cannot dare take an 'i don't care' attitude. What affects society, affects your business.

As an investor i have come to learn and appreciate -the balance. That is why i respect and uphold the dignity of the people working in my enterprice, my customers and general members of the community.


The balance!

Businesses should learn how to balance between the rights of corporations and human rights so that we can secure a safe and stable future for future generations. But ... why balance?

What profits?

Its not just about profits, but clean profits....

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Peace, Security and Business

Peace and Security provide a good environment for investments, growth and increased social transformation. Africa must therefore invest in ensuring peace and security so as to attract and retain investments.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lamu Investment

Vision 2030, Lamu Port. We have great investment opportunities that we must utilise as Kenyans. As we invest we must balance between investment and human rights. However i commend our Government for a great vision.

Security and Business

The security of our nation is critical to a sustainable business environment.

Teachers and Doctors strike

The unions representing doctors and teachers and the government must learn to negotiate on the basis of balancing the competing interests and rights. Hard line positions will not serve our nation any good. Thats good sense.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Insecurity: What is the real problem

The insecurity and tension we face in our country is a result of unequal distribution of resources. It is the high time that as a nation we learn how to balance between the rights of corporations and human rights.

Responsible Investing: CSR

As a country we cannot take pride in economic growth and progression, while our people still fight over resources and struggle to feed our children.

Corporate Social responsibility projects by corporate organisations must now, like never before, address the fundamental needs of the majority.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Corporate Environmentalism: Voluntary Environmental conservation


Laws are meant to govern relations between people in society. What then happens to a society that already has a high form of organization? Is it possible to have a society that does not require strict legal regulation?

I came across the term ‘corporate environmentalism’ that provokes my thoughts about this broad topic.

The term simply means corporate organizations investing in environmental conservation without waiting for the ‘hawk eye’ of the law. It means that companies voluntarily taking steps to ensure that their activities are environmentally friendly. It means that citizens who have come together as a corporate body, taking individual steps to conserve the environment. It avoids a hostile approach to environmental conservation and in contrast emphasizes partnerships and co-operation.

I hope we can learn from this.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Want to buy a company, what about employees..

I recently highlighted the tussle between Kenon Kobil and its employee's relating to the acquisition of majority stake by Puma Energy.

Well this is the point. It is important to ensure a balance between the Kenol Kobil's rights and the right of the employees to fair labour practises.

So what should other companies learn from this. First, i support investments since they are a necessary part of our livelihoods. However i also believe that investments must be people-focused. As such a company cannot be stopped from entering into strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and other forms of take overs. This is an important right for every corporation, since it ensures profitable growth by establishing new business lines or growing existing ones. If the deal has the necessary legal approval, the directors shake hand and move on.

Secondly, as executives shake hands and toast to a deal, they must be reminded that their decisions will directly affect employees. In this regard, the Talent Acquisition/Human Resource department should bring its employees to understand the deal. They should ensure that employees are well protected and make them know this. If employees will be retrenched, give them good send off packages, recommend them to prospective employers, help them develop business plans (to start their own small and medium ventures) and ensure that they leave peacefully.

Lastly, updating employees on the progress made in the deal on matters affecting them will also help avoid conflict (real or imagined). I have laernt that in life, people relax when given the right information and panic when kept in the dark.

I strongly believe that resulting to courts to resolve anticipated disputes is not good for the corporation or employees. The matter will most likely delay in court and both parties bear the costs. In addittion in a global business world, the reputation of the company may be dented if such a process is handled carelessly.

All in all a focussed balance of rights, entitlements and interests will go along way to ensure investors reap from their investments.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rio+20: Business, Human Rights and Sustainable Development

The UN experts on business and human rights are not pleased with the outcome of the Rio+20 conference. This an interesting subject for CROPRI knowing the critical role businesses play in our economies and the need to balance their interests with human rights, so as to have a stable society that guarantees sustainable liveliohoods for present and future generations.

Enjoy reading it.

Business must respect human rights for truly sustainable development – UN expert body on Rio+20

GENEVA (28 June 2012) – A United Nations expert body* charged with the promotion of respect for human rights by business of all sizes, in all sectors, and in all countries, expressed concern that the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, failed to explicitly mention that business should respect human rights in the drive to a green economy and sustainable development.

“Businesses will play a major role in developing the green economy and human rights safeguards are necessary to ensure that policies and business plans intended to advance environmental or development goals do not negatively impact people, communities and their livelihoods,” said Puvan Selvanathan, who currently heads the five-strong UN Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises.
“Inclusive, equitable and sustainable development can only become a reality when human beings are the central concern and their rights are realized and respected,” Mr. Selvanathan stressed. “Human rights must be internalized in both principle and practice, especially in the transition to a green economy.”
For the Working Group, internalizing human rights means at a minimum implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (see below), a set of internationally accepted guidelines, which provide a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity.
“States need to send clear and coherent messages that companies should respect human rights as the world creates a green economy, by exercising due diligence and ensuring access to effective remedies for those whose rights are adversely affected by business activity,” Mr. Selvanathan underscored.
Besides promoting and disseminating these Guiding Principles, the Working Group ensures that they are effectively implemented by both governments and business, and that they result in improved outcomes for individuals and groups around the world whose rights have been affected by business activity.
The UN Working Group called on States and business to work with it, civil society and other stakeholders, on ensuring that the path to sustainable development set up at Rio+20 is undertaken, while protecting and respecting human rights

Friday, June 29, 2012

Where do employees stand when a company is bought?

Puma Energy is in the process of buying KenolKobil. It remains to be seen how this deal will be finalised and how KenolKobil prospect will change with such huge capital injection. However and most importantly is the various players in the entire deal, both direct and indirect participants and stakeholders. In this regard several questions came to mind after i read that employees at KenolKobil have sued to stop the sale.

So, do the employees have a stake in the deal? If, yes what is the extent of their interest? How do we balance the rights of the corporation to seek strategic shareholders through such a deal and the rights of employees? What is the best mechanism of balancing such rights; negotiations or litigation in court? These thoughts will occupy my mind in the coming days and i hope to address all of them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Become an E-Coach

Association of African Entrepreneurs - Become an E-Coach
The Youth Employment Network (YEN) is a partnership of the United Nations, International Labour Organziation, and the World Bank set up after the Millennium Summit in 2001 to find new and durable solutions to the youth employment challenge. YEN is managed by a permanent secretariat hosted by the ILO in Geneva with field offices in Dakar, Senegal, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The Association of African Entrepreneurs is a Pipeline partner of the YEN Marketplace E-Coaching Program, where our specific role is to help attract young entrepreneurs and e-coaches from around the world by sharing the opportunity to apply for the E-Coaching programme.
Volunteers are invited to serve as AAE E-Coaches on the YEN program, where they provide crucial mentorship for young entrepreneurs with lots of ambition but not much experience.

Read More

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Corporate (Bank) bailouts; Whose interests?

When a company is in need of a bailout, to avoid collapse or near-collapse, for whose benefit is this being carried out. How to we balance between the interests of the company, shareholders and the general public during such bailouts.

It is important that bailouts are not done for the mere reason of saving a corporations. Behind the corporate entity are people who should be put to account. Shareholders and the general public matter and must be considered.

Here is a short piece i found on forbes

hope you enjoy reading.

Common Linkedin passwords hacked

Here is an interesting piece on securing passwords "Top ten Linkedin hacked passwords"

A good image will to along way in safeguarding your professional image in Linkedin.


Monday, June 11, 2012


Corpri sends sincere condolences and God's peace to the families, relatives, friends, colleagues and indeed all Kenyans for the loss of six Kenyans in the Ngong Helicopter Crash.

Let us continue to make the security of all Kenyans and the various enterprises they operate a primary concern for us all. Let us also continuously pay close attention to the security of our aircrafts.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Internet Security and Business

Last week i had the misfortune of my email account being hacked. My personal data was compromised and i still cannot fully detail the extent of the damage. I also regret that this may have caused a ripple effect of abuse on my friend's, colleague's and associate's accounts.

It all started with an innocent looking email from a friend. It was so enticing since it related to business and online trading. I fell for it and the results were a disaster. I quickly tried rectifying the account while away from Nairobi over the weekend but the same proved futile i had to wait as the criminals vandalised my account. I am glad that the error has now been rectified.

Had the account contained any business data and  information, it would call for a declaration of a Personal Investment Disaster.

Now i have come to think about it, today we can literally trade at the comfort of our office or house thanks to Mobile and Online Trading.

You can make offshore investments as you work here in Kenya at the click of a button. Today you can invest in a public company through Mpesa. For instance AIB Capital has recently introduced AIB Mobile service for trading in stocks. This is possible due to enhanced Internet connectivity and the magic of mobile money (what i call the 'pesa mkononi' revolution).

Large and Small enterprises are now turning to e-solutions to manage their ventures in a more cost-effective means. Cloud computing is now the preferred solution to handle shared data within an organisation and has revolutionalised application of computer programmes. Internet providers and software developers are competing to introduce new and innovative produsts by the minute.

The above brief exposition is the reason why we must take On-line security most seriously. Imagine the loss a business can incur if its systems are compromised or the government if a hacker infringes its system, as it happened for the Kenya Police Website awhile back. Confidential information can be shared with and billions lost through to criminals.

Let us all take Internet security seriously and this includes the security of our mobile phones, tablets, PCs the list is endless....atleast i am now very keen on this and have learnt valuable lessons the hard way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moi Avenue Blast: Business and Security

My empathy to the victims and entrepreneurs of yesterday's blast along Nairobi's Moi Avenue. Let us work hard to make our country a safe haven for investments and trade.

I hope that entrepreneurs take individual and collective measures to ensure the security of their enterprises. May God restore the hopes and dreams represented by the hardworking business men and women who were affected.

Wise Advice for Small Entreprenuers

Murori Kiunga has very sober advice for small enterprises on the best strategy to grow their business though focus and determination as opposed to what i call 'jumpy - jumpy' joe. Enjoy reading the article in the Business Daily

Monday, May 28, 2012

Corporate governance for parastatals

There is ongoing debate on the role of the Board of Directors in state corporations in Kenya. The Boards seem to have unending conflicts with the management. The role of the state through the minister is also very confusing since ministers seem to hire and fire at will.

The suggestion of an oversight body to supervise all parastatals has come up strongly. The Prime Minister has opposed the creation of an oversight body to supervise Parastatals since this would only create government bureaucracy.

I must say that i buy the Prime Minister's suggestion since government bureaucracy does not attract investment both from local and foreign investors.

I believe that it is the high time the government embraced corporate governance principles in all corporations. If for no other reason, since these state corporations belong to the Kenyan public. The Board of Directors need to be appointed independently and its role separated from that of management. Interference from other state agents needs to be eradicated.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Business investment: Views from UN Experts

South-East Asia / Agrofuel: UN rights experts raise alarm on land development mega-projects

GENEVA (23 May 2012) – Two United Nations experts on food and indigenous peoples today urged South-East Asian states not to sideline the human rights of communities across the region who derive their livelihoods, traditions and ways of life directly from their natural environments.

“Governments must not be seduced by the promises of developers when assessing large-scale land acquisitions for export-led crops and agrofuel production,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, highlighting acute cases of competing land interests in South-East Asia, where agrofuel developments are rapidly expanding.

“Development is not always the outcome, however many jobs and export dollars a project promises to yield,” the independent experts stressed. “New economic opportunities, and new, more intensive uses of land, must not be at the expense of the human rights of local populations.”

“Governments must step up their vigilance in regard to large-scale land acquisitions to ensure that the fundamental rights of these communities are not violated, be they small-farmers, fishers, hunters, foragers or craftsmen,” they said.

Moves to convert 1-2 million hectares of rainforest and small-scale farming plots to an export-led crop and agrofuel plantation in the Meruake region of Indonesia could affect the food security of 50,000 people. Some 3,000 hectares of so-called ‘idle’ land has been converted to sugar cane for agrofuel production in the Isabela region of the Philippines, with a further 8,000 hectares due to be added, meaning a major land transformation and uncertain impacts for the municipality’s 45,000 inhabitants.

“Large-scale monocrop developments mean a wholesale shift in land use and land access,” warned the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, noting that the benefits of these projects accrue principally to multinational firms who export agrofuels or food crops to international markets.

“All too often, this is to the detriment of existing land users. If the environment they depend upon is repurposed, degraded and placed off limits, their ability to produce or to procure food – and thus their right to food – will be severely threatened,” De Schutter said.

“These are mostly indigenous families whose traditional livelihoods are rooted in their local environment,” Anaya warned. “Communities are often ancestrally tied to the areas in question and may not possess official deeds to the land, making their tenure highly vulnerable in the face of land conversion deals.”

”Converting bio-diverse forest land to intensive monocropping can entail wide environmental impacts, from the loss of forest-dwelling game species in Meruake, to reduced resistance to flooding and landslides in Isabela,” the Special Rapporteurs noted. “We must also be sensitive to the impacts of sudden influxes of workers on local food access, traditions and ways of life.”

The UN experts expressed concerns about an apparent lack of adequate consultation and transparency in both land acquisition processes. In neither case are indigenous communities believed to have been sufficiently informed and consulted about the land acquisitions and their repercussions on local life.

They also noted that major question marks hang over the land lease and compensation arrangements through which land is changing hands in Isabela, while in Meruake police intimidation and the signing away of land rights under coercion have been alleged.

Both experts urged the South-East Asian Governments “to align – as a matter of urgency – their biofuels and investment policies with the need to respect land users’ rights as detailed the voluntary guidelines on land tenure*, as adopted by States this month in Rome within the Committee on World Food Security.”

(*) Check the Voluntary Guidelines:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Facebook IPO

Hi, of course you know that the buzz word relating to Initial Public Offers (IPO) in the recent days has been the facebook IPO. An IPO in simple terms means through which the public buys a portion of a company. both small (retail) and large investors (institutions) invest through an IPO. The attention generated from this IPO probably resembles that generated by Safaricom in East Africa. I believe that we can all learn from facebook's history and progress.

 You can read information on the IPO on just follow the link below.

Visionary Business Structure

I have had very insightful discussions with friends on political Leadership in Africa. I however i believe that as business leaders we can draw a lesson or two from our discussion. 

Our main point of discussion was that effective leaders must have a vision. They must then come up with a strategy for achieving the vision and move to implement it. A leader must be sensitive hand over to the next generation of leaders once their vision is achieved so that we can have a cycle of good and effective leaders.

A business whose corporate structure is organised around my simple guide on leadership, and focuses on people is bound to enjoy prosperity in the long haul.

Monday, May 14, 2012

True Kenyan Spirit

I was taking an evening walk on Government street in Machakos. At 6:00pm a whistle was blown and everybody stood still. Motorists also stopped to respect the flag. Cyclists also halted. An old man went further, he took off his cap. I was the only person walking but then i also stopped to observe the residents. I have not done that in a long-while and enjoyed respecting the Kenyan flag together with fellow Kenyans. We all stood irrespective of our tribe, political affiliations or social status. We were truly one.

Human face to justice and Business

Just back from a training on trial advocacy. Well im just tired from the study lessons and insightful interactive sessions that were intensive.

The main lesson from the training was that i need to put a human face to my work as an advocate. Our profession has been described as hostile. We cant wait to win to prove that we are the best. We are highly competitive. We treasure using legal lunguage to prove that we know it all. We intimidate both inside and outside our legal engagements. The conclusion is this, we must tell stories that people can relate to. Like telling a story to a grand mother.

On the same note business and investments is all about people. Corporations are run for and by people. Businesses exist through people and for the benefit of communities. We cannot delink our businesses from the communities we operate them from.

Have a people-oriented week.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Young Venture Capitalist on the Go..

Chaeck out the story Joshua Kushner on

Image of an ideal board of directors

 Recently there has been interesting developments in relation to corporate governance in public companies and parastatals has got me thinking. What is the ideal image of a good board of directors? How can we identify a company that is run responsibly before investing? 

Well here are some cartoon photos that provoked my thoughts. Tell me what you think about them.

Add caption

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lessons from Base Resources Ltd's Kwale Mining project

On Saturday i attended a Mind speak discussion organised by Rich Management. The guest speaker was Tim Carstens the Managing Director of Base Resources Limited. Base Resources is an Australian mining company listed on the Austlian stock exchange. Its market capitalisation is 244 Million Dollars. The company is currently engaged in Mineral Sand mining at Kwale. The company estimates that there are 1.4 billion tonnes of mineral sand deposits. Exploration will take about thirteen (13) years and it estimates that the project will earn the company about 1 billion dollars.

Most interesting to me was the process of convincing strategic investors to fund the project. Mining being a capital intensive business, the company first set out to convince local fund managers. Interestingly, local investors were not willing to invest in mining. It remained a foreign trade to them. Talk of missed opportunities. The project is therefore funded by foreign investors including banks that gave credit facilities.

The second most fascinating thing was on the project's community approach. Recalling that last week i shared my brief thoughts on Responsible Business, the company gave me new insights on, community mutual-benefit and partnership. Tim was very candid that without the support of the local community mining projects can be disastrous. The company has incorporated various community aspects to the project including having a data base for all skilled and semi-skilled workers from the neighbouring community.

Tim also shared that the by-products of the mining process especially clay can be used by entrepreneurs in income-generating ventures (better than making traditional pots). The company's investment in infrastructure will also go along way to benefit the community both during and after the project. The company's balance between business interests and community interests in commendable.

I hope to visit Kwale to experience the progress being made in the mining sector and hope to have a few investors on my train.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Panel discussion on Corporate Governance

I enjoyed this discussion on corporate governance. Have a look at it.

But i cant help think of how such information can reach young people in my home village on the slopes on Mt. Kenya. Anyway please follow the link.

Responsible Business

I came across a lecture, that provoked my thought on responsible business.

So when can we say that a company is carrying out responsible business. Well there are two perspectives to look at it. One is that the company's activities are ethical and contribute to social well being. But we all know that all companies cannot plant trees and take care of the environment. The second is that the company has some corporate social responsibility activities, build a school, plant trees, dig a bore hole and the list is endless. But we also know that these projects may not have the long term impact required as compared to the main business of the company.

I think that the only way to be a responsible business is to balance the various competing interests. Carry out CSR but balance it with business activities that promote the well being of people, whether directly or indirectly.

Here is the link to the lecture by Lynn A. Stout on Corporate Governance- What do shareholders really value?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Protecting Minority shareholders

I believe that although the majority shareholders have their way, we should also listen to minority shareholders. The balance between the interests of the two classes of investors is key to having a healthy company. Enjoy reading a related article in today's business daily through the link below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Responsible exploration and development

As we explore oil, invest and develop, which i totaly support, lets also mitigate the effect of such exploration on future generations. This applies more particularly as regards to the environment. In the case of Turkana, let us develop and at the same time envision Turkana in 100 years and maintain a balance between rights and obligations.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Best strategy to resolve commercial disputes

I came across this quote that afformed my belief that we should as much as possible, avoid draging commercial disputes to coourt:

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbour to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man" Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

Alternative resolution of disputes depends on the good will of the parties. Advocates should also help parties resolve the dispute. At the end of the day, it pays to resolve a dispute amicably rather than taking the judicial process. This process will be faster and more efficient. In addittion business and investments will not be adversely affected by court disputes.

So lets agree and move on with business, shall we.

The blog is back!

I last posted on this blog in September last year. I have been keenly researching within and without on the true purpose of this blog. I wanted to do something from deep within, something that i am passionate about as a person and an advocate. I wanted to contribute towards change in a different way.

Well soul searching is over folks. Today i received news about an investment i had made that affirmed my decision. I am now very keen to share information, ideas, news, views, experiences and insights on the rights of Corporations.

Briefly, if a corporation is a separate person in law, does it have rights? What about responsibilities? It is obvious that we cannot do without investments, in the very least that is how we create jobs for our skilled and unskilled workforce.

But how do the rights of corporations and the right to development and enjoyment of resources balance with the rights and responsibilities of human beings? Thats my purpose, thats my passion. Lets keep the discussion going.