Sunday, March 6, 2011

10 things you didn't know about Kenya

10. As far as I can tell, Coke is the Official Sponsor of Kenya (and all of Africa for that matter). They have branded the entire continent, and it is the only soda everywhere and anywhere.

9. Kenyans drive on the left side of the road - actually, they drive on all sides. It is customary to pass at high speeds, using various blinker and high beam combinations to communicate with oncoming traffic.

8. Coffee plantations are everywhere, but all you can get is instant Nestle coffee (another company that has seized the branding high-ground here). Kenya is a tea culture - and business relationships are not sealed until tea is 'taken' together.

7. Pole Pole means "slowly slowly", and is the unofficial tagline of Kenya. Things here are task-driven, rather than time-driven - so long meetings or lunches are to be expected.

6. National Parks are enclosed safe havens for wildlife, and no one is allowed to live there. National Reserves are open land where people and wildlife live together. And yes, the giraffes, zebras and other animals roam freely around the countryside. Amazing, really.

5. Kenya is a very proud country and rightly so. Education is taken very seriously from early years.

4. The infrastructure is a major challenge, yet the omnipresent construction is one of the many signs of progress.

3. Some context to 4 above - Kenya was first declared an independent country in 1963! The US has had a 200 year head start on establishing our country, rules and infrastructure.

2. Mobile banking is widespread in Kenya - maybe moreso than in any other country.

1. Over 80% of Kenya's college graduates move on to work in other countries. Retaining and attracting top talent is a major issue, especially in the ICT industry.

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