Nairobi restaurants, the best in Africa?

When Nairobi hosted its inaugural Restaurant Week in early February, it joined the ranks of the world’s top culinary cities and marked its arrival on the international stage of gourmet cuisine.

Fifty high-end restaurants opened their doors for eight days, and slashed their rates to three courses for between Sh1,250 and Sh1,750 ($14-$20). The event attracted overwhelming numbers. Some venues did five times the volume they normally do, and the top-booked customer ate at 13 restaurants in eight days.

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Published in African Business, April 2014

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Brand fever hits Kenya

As you walk into the Nakumatt supermarket at Kenya’s Junction mall on Ngong road, pride of place is occupied by a recently opened Clarks store and, alongside it Skechers. One is classically English and the other lifestyle-defined American but the difference ends there.

The presence of the two premium shoe brands, along with the plethora of high-end clothing and shoe stores that line the avenues of this and other Kenyan malls, indicates an increasing appetite for international labels in the local market.

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Published in African Business, April 2014

Devolution heroes and villains

Kenya’s county governors made a number of ostentatious requests during their first couple of weeks in power. One was their right o fly the Kenyan flag on their vehicles; another was to be addressed as “His Excellency” – privileges that were previously bestowed only on the country’s head of state. These demands set the stage for their first 12 months in power.

But 12 months down the line the puffed up egos of Kenya’s new band of politicos have been significantly deflated, because few have achieved anything of substance in their first year of their term, and a growing number are facing impeachment.

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Published in African Business, April 2014