Day two of CSCLeaders in Nairobi has come and gone and we’re starting to feel like we might apply for passports! We’ve travelled to different corners of the city, eaten its food, picnicked in the park and heard from some of its most senior leaders. Quite the citizens of Nairobi, we are.
Let’s face it, we were charmed this morning. The Deputy Governor of Nairobi, Jonathan Mueke, was such a revelation. He has both a head and a heart for the city. He took us on a tour in our minds eye, first to the founding of the city and the construction of the railway line from Mombasa; then to a graphic picture of its present day challenges and its vision. We’ll remember him for his youthfulness, his courage and his clarity of purpose.
Then it was time to break out again from the comforts of our hotel to the streets of Nairobi - busy streets, congested streets, slow streets. Today was our day for understanding a little more about the infrastructure issues of the city and how these are viewed by its residents. Vehicles for this learning were the Kenya Resident’s Alliance and Nairobi Water. We also met with KDI (Kounkuey Design Initiative), which partners with residents of impoverished areas to develop and implement design solutions that improve the physical, economic and social quality of life. Lastly there was a much anticipated visit to the Huduma Centre. These centres host a range of government services under one roof – a ‘one stop shop’.
This evening saw us gather again at Mezze on the Deck, a restaurant perched on the roof top of a local hotel with a 360 degree panoramic view. We were welcomed by Professor Yashpal Ghai, a retired constitutional law expert of global significance and then challenged to make a difference by Dr Manu Chandaria, one of Kenya’s favourite sons and most respected businessmen. And to provoke us to thought and perhaps to deed, in closing, Kenyan poet Sitawa Namwalie performed her ”State of the Nation Undressing” - having seen the nakedness of this city, we could identify.