• iHub a mecca for African ICT entrepreneurs

    Technology is a necessity rather than a luxury in Kenya. It was the first Sub-Saharan country to establish a government open data platform. Kenyans use the application PesaPal for online shopping and payment of bus tickets, electricity and water bills. They transfer money with M-Pesa. This demonstrates the adaptability of Kenyan society to new technologies. […]

  • Nairobi’s future success demands a mixture of competence and caring

    Republished from Informal City Dialogues. As the Informal City Dialogues moves toward its “Embracing the Informal City” conference this month, each week we will present summaries of the scenarios created in the six participating cities. These scenarios were created in multi-day workshops planned and conducted by Forum for the Future in conjunction with the Institute […]

  • Green, lush and carefully tended: Nairobi’s famous nurseries are losing ground

    As Nairobi widens roads and erects new apartment buildings, its famous nurseries, which operate on public land, are threatened. Jason Patinkin. “If I may ask,” the flower vender interrupts, “when did you last see a frog in Nairobi?” I pause. This is a question I have never been asked before. “You’ve never seen one,” he […]

  • How affordable is “affordable housing?”

    Cross-posted from MuST blog at Slum Dwellers International Muungano wa Wanavijiji has been mobilizing and positioning saving schemes groups within its umbrella on the concept of collective group savings to spur up housing development and upgrading. In efforts geared to empower the structural development framework of the federation in addressing the needs of the poor, […]

  • Household demand for sanitation improvements in low-income informal settlements: a case of East African cities

    Informal urban settlements present a range of challenges to sanitation provision, including low incomes, insecure tenure, low education levels, difficult topography and transitory populations. A household stratified probability survey complemented with focus group discussions and interviews was undertaken in low-income informal settlements in Kigali, Rwanda; Kampala, Uganda; and Kisumu, Kenya, to assess the household sanitation […]

  • Water in Nairobi: Unveiling inequality and its causes

    Water in Nairobi: Unveiling inequality and its causes. Les Cahiers d’Outre-Mer, 263: 335-348. Water and sanitation in Nairobi face problems common to many cities of the developing world which grow too fast. This situation allows the stark differences in socio-economic between the wealthy and the poor to translate into unequal and inequitable consumption of available […]

  • For town and country: a new approach to urban planning in Kenya

    In this timely Policy Voice, Professor Peter Ngau describes in detail how he and colleagues at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) at the University of Nairobi – and other institutions – have sought to revitalise the education and training that planners receive and encourage the adoption of more progressive approaches among planning professionals. Curricula reform, research and innovation, close links…

  • “You Are All Terrorists”: Kenyan Police Abuse of Refugees in Nairobi

    This 68-page report was based on interviews with 101 refugees, asylum seekers, and Kenyans of Somali ethnicity. The report documents how police used grenade and other attacks by unknown people in Nairobi’s mainly Somali suburb of Eastleigh and a government order to relocate urban refugees to refugee camps as an excuse to rape, beat, extort money from, and arbitrarily detain…

  • WIEGO briefs on informal employment in South Africa, Ghana and Kenya

    Four briefs written by Debbie Budlender at Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) illustrate statisics on informal employment in South Africa, Ghana and Kenya respectively. The South African brief provides methodological insight, while the Ghana and Kenya briefs provide fact sheets on informal employment. Measuring Informal Employment in South Africa: The New Quarterly Labour Force Survey discusses how…

  • The Case of Nairobi, Kenya

    Urbanisation in Kenya has a long history with urban agglomeration in the form of trading centres being found along the Kenyan coast as early as the 9th Century AD (Obudho 1988: 3) . However, the growth of many urban centres can be traced to the pre-independence period when they were used as centres of administrative and political control by the colonial authorities (UNCHS 1985). The proportion of Kenyans living in urban centres increased from 5.1 percent in 1948 to 15.1 percent in 1979, to 18.0 percent in 1989 and 34.8 per cent in 2000. There are…

  • A World Class African Metropolis

    When it was formed in 2008, critics hastily dismissed the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development as unnecessary political baggage for the taxpayer and even predicted that it would be a flop. But the first Minister to hold the docket, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, now Justice Minister, shrugs off such insinuations: “We want to transform Nairobi into a major wealth creation hub that will change the lifestyle of its residents”. Pointing out that his vision…

  • Provision of ARVs in a resource-poor setting: Kibera Slum, Kenya

    Kenya is one of Africa’s largest informal settlements. Health indicators are extremely poor and HIV prevalence is estimated at 20%, almost twice the national average. Despite ARV drugs being made available in a pilot programme implemented by African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), enrolment rates into the programme have been very low raising questions about strategies for providing ARV in resource-poor settings. Description: Since 1998 AMREF has been implementing a community-based health care project …

  • Crime and Violence Trends in Nairobi, Kenya

    This paper examines the phenomenon of youth crime in Nairobi especially in relation to youth gangs. The case pays special attention to the Mungiki movement and street families. It also examines some of the organized responses to crime of this nature. As the administrative, political and commercial capital of Kenya, Nairobi is a significant trendsetter in the country. The city holds approximately 3 million residents, 10% of the Kenyan population. An additional 1.5 million persons…