I was enjoying a cold Mango milkshake in my beloved Nairobi, sitting here in that one popular café (free WLAN) and thought about the past week.

Monday started with the message, Tuesday saw me going to arrange some travel dates, Wednesday going to the Nbo office and rearranging some details, on Thursday I decided to stay and on Friday we saw Eric Wainaina introducing his new album. Well….life goes on. Somehow.

And then there was Saturday. Start of the World Social Forum at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. Curiosity lured me to that venue – especially since the view from there on Nairobi’s skyline is just beautiful.

The Forum itself? Hmm. I don’t know. And I won’t have the time to attend the various workshops. Mbuzimoja has to attend it though, and told me about the various costs of renting that stand at Kasarani, printing flyers and importing external consultants from Europe. Hmmmm.

“Say no to rape”, it said somewhere. Aha…
So, rape victims always have a choice and might just as well refuse to be raped?

Another world is possible”, this year’s motto (“clarion call”) says. Oh yeah, those slogans. As if the worlds problems, HIV+, poverty, etc etc etc could be solved by nice slogans.

Just WHAT am I supposed to think of such events? The folks I’ve seen today strongly remind me of those typical Attac jamaas, the modern festival rockers (as I call them), and of my friends at the students parliament & senate: lots of discussions, sympathy against the unjustice out there in the world, pure fight against capitalism as the root of all evil – or as they officially stated it “social justice, international solidarity, gender equality, peace and defence of the environment (are) on the agenda of the world’s peoples”.

And then there is this chart showing the registration fees:

Individual participants? ? ? Kes ? ? ? ? ? Euro ? ? ? USD

Africa ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 450? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 5? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 7

Rest of the South? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2.000? ? ? ? ? 20? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 28

Northern Nationals? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 7.900? ? ? ? ? ? ? 80? ? ? ? ? ? ? 110

Yeah. Africa, Rest of the South and Northern Nationals.

In other words:
Africa = very poor, Rest of the South = poorer, Northern Nationals = rich.

World SOCIAL Forum?


WSF opening blabla @ ~ 4pm.


Alex from Central Kenya with a true message.

Imagine the cost of all these flyers, brochures, advertisment, etc and how it could have been used for something better instead.


And this is where everything ends up. “Defence of the environment”??

Karibu to WSF Nairobi 2007!

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

8 thoughts on “WTF WSF”

  1. Since capitalist is the ‘root of all evil”, shouldn’t the meeting have been free and everything else thereof after all who needs to get a paid trip to Kenya to sight see( I saw a caption of switzerland ministers having a trip of their lives in masaailand), milking out the travel and entertainement budget line item of some(s) NPO , oh and plus a networking meeting for some Business Development consultant of the same ol’ NPO(s) whose mortgages is as result of all the social injustice that exist and they wish it may be everlasting otherwise someone would be outta of a job and renting.
    Yeah, lets blame those capitalist baggers because the bucks that New Stanley made , the CEO is not dancing all the way to the bank after all they must have been fully booked and perhaps hiked the prices of the rooms just for this weekend. How about those curio mom-pop shops, heavens opened up and the maana from heaven are flowing but the capitalist are the roots of all evil when the mama makes a little bit of profit this week that will see kamaus fees met this semester.

    Well to me, this is a bunch of baloney and time wasting, a conference or two will not change the injustice in Darfur, it will not change the rape on defenseless women nor will it stop aids from spreading. Why waste all this money and time to talk about things am sure people are already aware of or aren’t they? Should the world be in a place where we are implementing things not talking about them as if we do not already know?

    Talk is cheap! and oh speaking of talking, ahh WEF (World Economic Forum)is around the corner and since last year’s meeting in Davos Switzerland and the recommendations, how many of those have been implemented? I should know, my Org. was part of the process and the money spent just to talk is mind boggling .All in the name of changing the world.
    They need to follow Clinton’s global initiave model, pledge what you are going to do and do it not just hold some meaningless conference etc.

    Sorry JKE for blogging on your entry but some things get to me seriously.
    P/S How was Eric Wainaina unveiling of new Album?

  2. Exactly. I think most of the attendees are already aware of the facts.

    New Stanley – it was recently renamed into Stanleys.

    Eric’s concert was good. I actually thought about blogging it, but then – he doesn’t need any more promotion. It’s just a good artist with good musicians as a band, a true message and a good stage performance. Only our german ambassador tried to be cool while taking seat at the piano for one of the songs. But that’s another story…

    I just uploaded some mobile phone pics on WSF on flickr when I came across this: – bloggers from the World, let’s meet! Pls have a look at for a date & contacts…

  3. Capitalism the devil? Even the staunchest opponents (the Chinese) took another look and obviously liked what they saw. Problem is sharing that prosperity, hence the WSF and other fora.
    Have to say though, I don’t quite get what it is exactly activism achieves.

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