"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

Mar 01, 2004
The real challenge of corporate governance: reinvent the board of directors!

The EastAfrican announces a new management series by Sunny Bindra focusing on the key strategic issues facing senior executives in the region today. We start with the first part of a challenging look at a hallowed institution: the board of directors. The corporate board is on fire. Across the world, boards are under unprecedented pressure. […]

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Feb 29, 2004
The truth will return to haunt Iraq’s invaders

If you’ve ever heard members of the Sikh religion greeting each other, you will know that they always say “Sat Sri Akaal”. What you may not know is what it means: “Truth is Eternal”. The enlightened founders of Sikhism asked Sikhs to place truth so high that it is embedded in their daily greeting. The […]

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Feb 22, 2004
Love is the loser on Valentine’s Day

So, did you have a good Valentine’s Day? Did your loved one deliver the goods? Were the roses red enough, and was the candlelight soft enough? Did the presents bestowed on you show taste and discernment (and an acceptably hefty price tag)? And oh, before we forget – did you feel the love? But we’ll […]

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Feb 15, 2004
Poor management is the root cause of under-performance

During the early stages of the African Cup of Nations tournament in Tunisia recently, we learned something important: that the defence of our national team, Harambee Stars, is ‘porous’. This was the adjective favoured by most local commentators, implying that the defence leaks goals. Actually, during the 3-1 and 3-0 thrashings that our boys suffered […]

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Feb 08, 2004
We must emphasise skills and knowledge above all else

Last week I wrote about the remarkable progress India is making in transforming its economy. India is attracting the attention of economic commentators around the world; most agree that the country has come out of an economic ‘Ice Age’ and is going into a dramatic ‘takeoff’ stage. What can we in Kenya learn from this […]

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Feb 01, 2004
India became an economic powerhouse before our eyes

This is my 50th article since I started writing this column nearly a year ago. To mark the milestone, let me take you on a trip beyond our borders. When I was a schoolboy in Nairobi in the early 1980s, we would often compare our economy with that of India. Kenya was growing at a […]

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Jan 25, 2004
Let us give legitimacy to the small entrepreneur

This week, I’d like to introduce a couple of Kenyans to you. January is traditionally the time of year that many of us try to accumulate calendars to give out to junior employees, underlings etc. This year, a dog trainer did a neat reversal on me. Instead of pleading for a cheap calendar from me, […]

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Jan 18, 2004
Spare the poor taxpayer all this wasteful spending

I am not a fan of TV soap operas. They are poorly written, with wildly unbelievable plots. They focus almost exclusively on adultery and sexual intrigue. The characters are overheated and very far removed from common reality. Or are they? Kenyans have found themselves fascinated in recent weeks by the real-life soap opera that is […]

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Jan 11, 2004
To win in 2007, start to deliver in 2004!

It is the dawn of 2004, and you might be forgiven for thinking that we’re already in the run-up to the 2007 election. Every politician in the land seems to have his or her beady eye fixed firmly on December 2007. All the political buzz in the land is about coalitions, alliances and deals. The […]

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Jan 04, 2004
New roads need new standards of driver behaviour

Have you ever found yourself caught up in one of those inexplicable traffic jams on one of Nairobi’s (very few) dual-carriageway roads? You’ve been there for an hour or more, crawling along amongst several hundred other cars, wondering why two whole lanes should be blocked. An accident, perhaps? Then, as you creep over the cusp […]

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Dec 28, 2003
Narc is a problem child for its voter parents

Last week we celebrated the achievements of the child called Narc in its first year in government: the opening up of discourse in society; the granting of free basic education; the very public steps taken to tame the HIV/Aids pandemic. These are real achievements, worthy of real praise. Now that the spirit of Christmas is […]

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Dec 21, 2003
The real achievement of 2003: an open society

It is traditional in December to offer a review of the year that has passed. And 2003 is well worth reviewing – the first year in our history in which a non-Kanu government took the reins of power. Narc itself has published a glowing record of its achievements in office in year one. On the […]

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Dec 14, 2003
How to make money in Kenya

There must be thousands of you dreaming of joining Kenya’s Rich List someday. So I thought I should offer young people a guide to making it big in Kenya. If making money is your thing, then here are the Top 4 ways of doing it. For all you youngsters out there with dollar signs in […]

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Dec 07, 2003
Where have all the ‘Kenyans’ gone?

“Where have all the Kenyans gone?” Your reply to my question might be: “Where have all your senses gone? Have you finally lost your marbles? Kenyans are all around you, in all sizes, shapes and colours. Check out all their passports and identity cards. They are all Kenyans, over thirty million of them.” So, are […]

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Nov 30, 2003
Kenya at 40: let us celebrate with maturity

When I first heard of the government’s plans to celebrate 40 years of independence by indulging in 12 days of pomp and pageantry, I reacted as most of you did: with outrage. Celebrate what? What does the government think we have to show for our 40 years of self-determination? Are we celebrating the fact that […]

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Nov 23, 2003
Better pay can only come from better performance

We are in the grip of a peculiar madness. The whole of this year has been marked by agitation for more pay. In sector after sector, strikes and even riots have been witnessed, with the strident call ringing out across the land: ‘pay us more!’ No sector is immune. Whether you are a teacher, a […]

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Nov 16, 2003
Our roads are neglected arteries

It was a familiar sight: a traffic log jam on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. The usual ingredients: roadworks; a bit of rain; idiotically ill-disciplined drivers; the absence of an authority able to impose discipline and clear the mess. The result: traffic brought to a total standstill on our main transportation artery. In Britain some years ago, […]

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Nov 09, 2003
It is time to let the poor participate in their own development

The poor people of Kenya woke up to an amazing revelation at the end of 2002: they had the power to remove a government that did not perform! This had seemed impossible even weeks earlier: a government that had systematically impoverished this country seemed destined to last forever, a millstone around the necks of its […]

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Nov 02, 2003
Our corrupt judges mirror our own degraded values

Our once-dignified judges are on the run, scattered here and there by the broom sweeping through the judiciary. They were barely given enough time to gather their robes before being bundled out of office. The tales of their exploits have shocked some of us, and confirmed the worst suspicions of others. Most Kenyans are watching […]

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Oct 26, 2003
After the glamour of the White House came the harsh reality of JKIA

This week I can reveal some of the things that happened behind the scenes during the recent presidential state visit to the USA. Did you know that long before our President and his entourage arrived at Washington airport, Kenyan security personnel had arrived as an advance party to sort out the security arrangements? Our boys […]

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Oct 19, 2003
To attract investors, Kenya has much to do

The president and his entourage have been on a trip to the USA and UK to re-establish strong ties, build bridges, demonstrate commitment, renew partnerships etc. A taxi driver told me that this sort of thing is characterised slightly differently in Central Province. It’s called “looking for money here and there”. This government does indeed […]

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Oct 12, 2003
If we want money, we must learn to give it away

Most of us are unlikely to achieve true enlightenment in this lifetime. By and large, we will remain ordinary folk striving to make a decent living and extract some meaning from this brief and unpredictable existence. We will have jobs to hold down, mouths to feed, and obligations to meet. Money will naturally loom large […]

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Oct 05, 2003
Wealth: let us heed the words of the wise

If you still believe that the pursuit of material wealth should be our guiding light, both as individuals and as a nation, then you are putting yourself up against some of history’s most enlightened thinkers. This week I take you on a little tour of what the good and the great of this world had […]

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Sep 28, 2003
The folly of making the rich our idols

Why does everyone in Kenya want to be rich? Why do we look at rich men and women and envy them? Why do tycoons and magnates hold us in their thrall? Why do we fall at the feet of the wealthy and hang on their every word? The value that we place on material wealth […]

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Sep 21, 2003
The West preaches peace whilst selling guns

London is one of the conference capitals of the world. At any given point in time, you will come across a wide assortment of seminars, workshops and fairs in this city. Last week, London’s Docklands hosted an event that you and I might find rather unusual. In Nairobi we are used to attending exhibitions where […]

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Sep 14, 2003
Kenya: the poor country that spends lavishly

Meet John: he is a sensible sort of chap, but he’s going through a rough patch economically. His finances are in disarray, and he cannot currently meet his obligations. What does John do? For one thing, he makes sure that his spending goes down to an absolute minimum. This means focusing on the absolute basics: […]

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Sep 07, 2003
Oh, what a letdown these politicians are!

On Monday 30 December 2002, I sat amongst several hundred thousand people at Uhuru Park as our new president read out his oath of office. The joy of the crowd could almost be touched. It grew to a crescendo, and as the president reached the end, the final lines were said in a rousing chorus […]

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Aug 31, 2003
Let public servants first declare their competence

This week I would like to invite you all to a comedy show. Welcome, and please take your seats! Sketch 1: Phase 1 of the National Constitutional Conference is underway. Some interpreters sit in the middle of the auditorium amidst the clamour, translating the proceedings all day long using sign language for the benefit of […]

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