26 March 2019

Kenya - the Need to Match Hardware and Software


Apparently, three years ago, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta 'came to the coast for a month and things got tidied up'. The solution to Mombasa's chronic road traffic congestion was simple: Increase the number of lanes across the four-lane Nyali Bridge to the north of the city, depending on the flow of traffic, and station officers to police key intersections. Eureka. Things work for a reason, but they also don't work for good reason.

The East African Tea Trade Association is a venerable institution, established more than 60 years ago. The new building was opened by Mr JGH Thwaites, scion of the famous Ceylon botanist who developed the Assam tea seed variety, in October 1994. Today it hosts the regional tea auctions, where more than 600 million kilograms of tea from 10 countries -- Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe -- were sold in 2018.

This makes Mombasa the second-largest black tea auction centre in the world after Colombo in Sri Lanka, with Kenya the third-largest tea producer worldwide behind China and India. Auctions are held weekly, on Mondays and Tuesdays, a blend of modern technology and idiosyncratic practice.

As custom dictates, teas...


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