Immigration Officers, a Menace to the Country’s Economic Growth and Development

These are the guys who could be trusted to take good care of both citizens and visitors, ensure that the country is secure and that the activities at the border are running efficiently. But this is not the case more so in developing countries like Kenya.

When I went to apply for my passport at Kisumu, I learned a lot about poor customer care at Immigration offices. These guys, instead of serving you are guiding you to make mistakes. These mistakes are meant to make you give them something small. The same case was observed at the border.

Before, I thought this a problem affecting only Kenya but then I reached the Tanzania side during my AMI visit for an inception meeting with the Missing tool project team. Here, you are not supposed to queue if you have some small cash. Give them something and you will be served very fast. . Also, when I reached AIMS Tanzania, It was the same case when I tried to share my experience with a certain lady from Nigeria. She said when you go to apply for a passport, charges are discriminated. Haha, she reminded me of First, Second and Third degree Market discrimination knowledge I acquired at Kenyatta University where I did my undergraduate.

But this is not market discrimination neither is it monopoly but clear Corruption cases which are pulling Africa’s development backward. Africa cannot develop with such level of corruption. I don’t blame the government but individuals. Corruption is a state of mind and is mostly experienced when the gap between haves and have-nots is very big.

To get rid of corruption one should:

Learn to be honest: This can be achieved through trusting yourself and learning to do things on your own under minimum supervision.

Be patriotic: A sense of patriotism makes one to avoid breaking the rules set by the law

Lastly, Be respectful. No one will ask for bribe if she/he is truly respectful.

Nurturing Talents through Computer Programming in Africa

I remember, while I was a high school student at Nyang’ori Boys High School used to respect guys taking computer studies for no reasons. Why? There is a notion created by a set of people in the society that learning how computers work is hard. What really is computer programming which is better known as Programming? Wikipedia explains it as “a process that leads from an original formulation of a computing problem to executable computer programs”.

I think this a bit harder for a beginner to comprehend. Personally, I would describe programming as giving a computer a set of Instructions that is aimed at solving problems. From my definition, Programming is then driven by innovations, creativity and surrounding problems.
I first came across serious programming while working as a volunteer at AMI. This was mostly R programming and other set of Programming languages such as Python. It is due to this that I was pushed to research more about programming and its effects to the society and currently working on the Climsoft project. This project has enabled me to interact with Visual Basic.Net a lot and it has really helped me build my programming skills and passion too. In fact the task on mapping using Gmap.net was one of the best throughout the period.
Also, when I was watching a documentary about Google and saw kids being introduced to programming I got excited. Even my favorite music artist, Black Eyed Peas, mentioned in that video that everybody must learn how to read and write codes which I thought was a very good idea. He ended up saying that he had enrolled for programming sessions.
Talents then can be best nurtured through programming since one is trained on how to think creatively, critically and abstractly, which boost innovation in society. To borrow some information from Maseno Math Camp 2015, students were introduced to Scratch. They used scratch to come up with games after which they had to play and enjoy. Also, the end of camp survey report showed that most students liked the computer sessions and I think this is the way to go Lastly, University students had a construct 2 sessions at AMI offices to create simple mathematics games for Kids and many of them really liked the Idea. I was really happy since I was among the guys who organized the event. . Such sessions are supposed to be carried out frequently to see students excel both academically and talent wise.
Although, we have drawbacks in Africa created by inadequate or lack of resources, we must use the resources we have to improve the state of education, knowledge and our countries’ economies. Economies are driven by both talented and knowledgeable scholars and Computer programming can help achieve these.

Crowd sourcing, The concept yet to be adapted in Africa

As the name suggests, if you hear the mentioning of ‘crowd sourcing’ what really comes to someone’s mind is something being done by a large number of people. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, crowd sourcing is explained as a process of obtaining needed services, ideas or content by soliciting large contributions from a large group of people and especially from online community, rather than traditional employees or suppliers. Before I was actively involved in crowd sourcing, African Data initiative campaign, I ever wondered how large tech projects were being financed and the procedures involved.

In my own understanding, Crowd Sourcing is a concept that can spur Africa Economic development by funding good projects and at the same time getting people to understand what is happening around them. It also enables the people behind the project to get various thoughts from the community that is either directly or indirectly affected by the projects. I think this is a bit different from crowd funding which is aimed at only funding the projects. Some good example of crowd funding are: Google raising 11M dollars for refugee crisis in Europe, Kenyans raising money via MPESA pay bills to help victims of terror attacks and even resident in poverty stricken areas, Bring Zack Back Home funding initiative that aimed at raising KShs. 250M to build a spinal injury treatment center in Kenya and, lastly, Face Book and twitter funding on Kick Starter.

Why African Scholars Should Consider Blogging Part of Their Culture

Sincerely speaking, I learned how to blog when I was working under Danny at African Math Initiative. Before, I used to think blogging was only meant for ‘geeks’ or tech savvy. I came to realize that anyone can be a passionate blogger if you have interest, a desire to improve on your writing skills and educating the society. It is through blogging that I developed interest to study HTML and CSS on Code Academy.

To start with, I have been doing research on blogging tips and characteristics to get to have good knowledge and also improve on the way I blog. A blog post is any piece of writing which is published online while blog is regularly updated webpage just like a journal. A blog enables one to post content, edit and also allow readers to post comments. Blog post must have a title and the body which is posted by publishing.

Some of the good blogging tips are: Getting ideas from your audience which can be achieved through engaging people on social media, writing for yourself, learn to give stuff for free and learning how to engage your critics.

Blogs can be used in various ways: blogs can be used for commentary purposes, marketing, business purposes, educational platform , even as a platform to publish your research content and also, blogs can be used to get people understand what you have previously been working on.

Meeting Giovanna’s students from the School of Development and Strategic Studies to talk about my experience with blogging was one of the exciting things in my life. I had a clear understanding that Development Studies, International Relations and Political Science scholars think a lot and they can only make their thoughts important by publishing them online. We shared a lot and students got to learn various ways of creating their blogs. From the interaction with the students, I learnt that being kind with your knowledge is only way to make the society learn and also it is a way forward for the best blogging.

Wide knowledge which is readily available is the only way to spur development in Africa and I think blogging can be used to achieve this.