Johnnie Carson and Mark Bellamy have a very well done op-ed up in the New York Times on "Obama's chance to revisit Kenya". In case you missed it, I would recommend it as the most worthwhile commentary I have seen…
Election Observation as "Diplomacy or Assistance" in practice We learned four years after the 2007 Kenyan election from my 2009 Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department that U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger had witnessed in person the inflation…
A diplomat has warned that the move last week by law makers to have Kenya pull out of the Rome Statute could jeopardise future search for international justice for Kenyans. Canadian High Commissioner in Nairobi David Angell said pulling out…
A key indicator of major Kenyan general election problems ahead that was downplayed in 2007 was the magnitude of problems in the party nominations process. All of us who were involved in supporting and watching the process were aware from…
Here is the official State Department language describing the diplomacy: Secretary Clinton travels to South Sudan where she meets with President Kiir to reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related…
Just as the big annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Conference is kicking off in Washington, and USAIDs Frontiers in Development conference has ended, the Washington Post has run a large story, "U.S. expands secret intelligence in Africa" which will…
USAID's "Frontiers in Development" Conference in Washington Live Video Feed On Twitter: #Frontiers #DevelopmentIs Speakers relating to East Africa specifically include Rakesh Rajani of Twaweza: Twaweza is an independent East African initiative that was established in 2009 by Rakesh Rajani,…
For those of us who would still like to have a better understanding of what went wrong with the last Kenyan election, and how to do better this year, it's worth taking advantage of the passage of time (and the…
A priceless bit of diplomatic history, from October 1, 1975, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meets with Kenyan Foreign Minister Waiyaki at the U.S. United Nations Mission in New York. You just have to read it:
The Secretary: It is good to see you here.
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: We are enjoying ourselves very much.
The Secretary: I was in Nairobi before your independence. I went to see the animals. I was there in June. It was very pleasant. How long are you staying here?
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: I hope to leave tomorrow. I have been here a long time.
The Secretary: You were here for the Special Session of the UN?
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: Yes.
The Secretary: How did you get into your present job? Were you a career officer in the Foreign Ministry?
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: No, I am a member of Parliament. I was formerly Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.
The Secretary: The only way I could get into the State Department was to be appointed Secretary of State. I was told that I don’t have the qualifications for entry into the Foreign Service.
The Secretary: What are the major problems in our relations?
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: Our relations are good.
The Secretary: I can’t understand Foreign Ministers saying that our relations are good. Normally everyone says they are lousy.
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: Relations are good.
The Secretary: I agree with you. Our relations are good. It is pleasant to hear this. Usually I am told that everything we are doing is wrong. You have a very constructive policy and our intention is to support you within the limits the Congress will go along with.
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: I hope Congress will understand the requests which we make.
The Secretary: Congress does not go along with the requests I make, but we are going to get them under control soon.
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: I am in the strange position where I am a congressman myself, but I still get pushed around by other congressmen.
The Secretary: You have a parliamentary system?
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: Yes.
The Secretary: You have only one party?
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: Yes, but I am questioned by backbenchers and also by assistant ministers sometimes.
The Secretary: We have had some talks on arms. We are trying to put together a military assistance package for Kenya.
Foreign Minister Waiyaki: I hope you can move quickly.
The Secretary: What is holding things up?
Mr. Coote: We thought we had some F5A aircraft lined up for Kenya. They would have been available immediately at a low cost. This was the big advantage of that package. However, it did not work out.
The Secretary: Why didn’t it work out?
Here is the link to a multimedia page for Raila Odinga's speech and Q & A last week at CSIS in Washington. Nothing newsmaking in itself that I saw, but a good speech of interest to those following governance and…