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…
In this era of perceived relative austerity in U.S. public budgeting, there is much discussion about (1) cutting "foreign aid" and (2) addressing redundancy in federal spending. One obvious area of redundancy in terms, at least, of conceptual capacity and…
The link to the Reuters report from Beijing is here. China will send observers to Sudan when the south holds an independence referendum on January 9, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. "At the invitation of both the north…
It has been said that the Obama administration aspired to recognize development as a key aspect of American foreign policy for global security in parallel with defense and diplomacy. Thus the notion of development and diplomacy being subject to a…
Kenya's Presidential Spokesman Dr. Alfred Mutua has expressed great umbrage at the Wikileaks disclosure that his government was referred to privately by U.S. diplomats as a "swamp of corruption". No indication that Dr. Mutua has offered to disclose Kenya's internal…
Reuters reported record inflows of $660M into African regional equity funds in the past 12 months, with positive inflows in 51 of the 52 weeks based on a report from EPRF Global in Washington. Not large numbers on a global…
At the suggestion of a Kenyan blogger active in democracy issues whom I have long followed and admired, I am going to raise some discussion here about the funding of election observations, who "pays the piper" and how that may…