onsdag 25. april 2012

Consumers take charge of Africa’s growth  - Politics and policy |businessdailyafrica.com

McKinsey says steady growth of Africa’s population, expansion of the middle class and rising optimism about the continent’s future will play a crucial role in determining the continent’s fate.
Consumers take charge of Africa’s growth  - Politics and policy |businessdailyafrica.com:

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onsdag 18. april 2012

søndag 25. mars 2012

Social Capital Resources


Plattforms for supporting next generation business.

Movements/Social Change

Social Ventures/Social Enterprise/Social Business/
Here is a list of 200+ that the William James Foundation has worked with: http://williamjamesfoundation.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=607



 Funds/Financing
http://www.bonventure.de/en/home.html (only German speaking regions)
http://www.vilcap.com village capital seed funding network for socent
http://www.toniic.com global impact investment angel network
http://hubventures.hubbayarea.com/ seed funding for socent in the SF Bay area
http://w1sd0m.net search 400 institutional impact investors

Inspiration/Strategy etc.
http://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/ making competition irrelevant

Text/Knowledge/Books

lørdag 24. mars 2012

fredag 16. mars 2012

Friendly Safari East Africa: African Homestays

Friendly Safari East Africa: African Homestays: We're offering African Homestays. You can read about it in this newspaper clip. Contact us at safaris @ inventure.no for more information. ...

Inventure Management Ltd.: Agro-investment projects in Kenya

Inventure Management Ltd.: Agro-investment projects in Kenya: AGRO-INVESTMENT PROJECTS Project Title : Cultivation and Processing of the Avocado Brief description of the project; Avocado is...

Inventure Management Ltd.: Summary of investment opportunities in Kenya.

Inventure Management Ltd.: Summary of investment opportunities in Kenya.: SUMMARY OF INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES IN BPO/ICT 1.1 Front Office 1.1.1 Call Centers Is a centralized office used fo...

Inventure Management Ltd.: Investment opportunities in Africa

Inventure Management Ltd.: Investment opportunities in Africa: Lean Green Business Machine - Africa : Vision NOW EmAC JV Pipeline Client Description Our role Project size Financing option Status ...

tirsdag 13. mars 2012

Lean Green Business Machine - Africa : Vision NOW


Executive Summary of Business Plan for

SocEntLab Vision


Lean Green Business Machine - Africa : Vision NOW

Our vision is to create an ecosystem to facilitate for international and local East African Entrepreneurs to grow sustainable businesses with social impact. To do that we partner with local and international companies and institutions.  By providing an ecosystem for sustainable economic development for the East African and international markets, and facilitate sustainable economic development in Africa and thus helping entrepreneurs and companies in Africa with growth capital and capacity building, we can create sustainable growth that is also economically sustainable. A Lean Green Business Machine.

There are underlying separate business plans for each of the mentioned business areas. We’re using Norway as an example for foreign companies interested in the region, but we’re not limited to Norway as is.

Africa: an emerging market

Africa is a relatively unexplored continent for Norwegian companies. Investments in Africa have been looked upon as very risky and to not give high enough return on the invested capital. But over the last couple of years, countries like South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania has had a steady economic growth. In light of the financial crises seen in the western economy, investments in Africa can no longer categorically be rated as high risk.

We believe that Norwegian companies and financial institutions would benefit from learning more about the opportunities, which currently are emerging on the African continent. Companies from countries like Holland, China and Japan are already investing heavily in several sectors like renewable energy, agriculture and infrastructure. There are many Norwegian companies that have technology and knowledge that could be implemented in Africa. There are opportunities north to south, but also south to north.

In addition to promoting entrepreneurship and development in Africa we can  be a door opener for Norwegian and other foreign business in the region. African entrepreneurs will gain access to expertise not otherwise available in the market, and if we manage to engage the Norwegian business sector in these processes we will also be able to give Norwegian industry expertise in African makrjets, and otherwise facilitate for their CSR activities and promote their businesses while doing good in Africa.


Investing in Africa

We’re working with local partners and other incubators to build an ecosystem for african entrepreneurs. To attract investments we work with local banks and financial institutions like Chase, Barclays, First Community Bank and and our JV with Emerging Africa Capital, but also with international investors and institutions like international PE funds and other.  We are raising USD 100 Million for a PE Fund (The Biashara Fund) investing in startups and SMEs in Africa, and have got commitment on USD 30 Million. We are also raising Euro 10 Million for a pure ICT/Tech Seed Fund with a European VC Fund. Since most of the SMEs in the region is to small to attract funding on it’s own we believe that a fund is appropriate to attract investors, and that a regional fund will be suited to alleviate risks as well as having the potential to be a tool for restructuring and consolidation of business sectors in the region..

We just got a deal with a major insurance company that will enable us to insure foreign investors against the political and other risks involving investing in Africa, and have contacts with investors in Europe, Asia (incl. China), USA and local investors. With the right project we’ve been assured we could raise over USD 1 billion from government sources (debt financing), but focusing on entrepreneurship and SME we are still looking for keen investors. These huge infrastructure projects are scarce, and the big need is in SME funding. We also wants to do social impact and enviromental assessments on our investments using tools like GIIRS to monitor our social and enviromental footprints.

One way to attract investors, and showcase african entrepreneurs is by hosting investorforums like
SEED Forum, and events like Startup Weekend. We are talking to potential partners in Kenya and EAC on these events, and for the SEED Forum which we will host in a JV with the SEED Forum Foundation we already have a deal with DLA Piper Law Firm here in Kenya, and are in contact with other possible partners like the Norwegian Embassy, KenInvest and Safaricom. The SEED Forum seems likely to generate a small revenue, but the biggest asset here is the PR and marketing effect. If successful we will scale up to host SEED Forums in the EAC region and beyond. We hope to be able to host a Startup Weekend in Kisumu later this year together with local partners like Kisumu Poly, some local NGOs and the local business community. We participate in the SW in Nairobi this February. Upon the successful completion of the SEED Forum, and with big enough interest from Nordic industry we hope to be able to found a Nordic business network here in EAC.

Acumen Fund and similar VC Funds are doing a great job here in Africa, but what I could wish for is even more seed capital. A recent survey showed that the access to seed capital is essential, and ranked as the number one factor hindering entrepreneurs in Africa today. Hope we in the future can see even more seed funds and VC-funds operating in Africa. We also need to support african entrepreneurs with business development and capacity building.

We’re seeking to build incubators in Nairobi (near JKIA), Kisumu (at Kisumu Poly) and Mombasa.

To facilitate business development and capacity building for african entrepreneurs, but also to let foreign businesses have access to office facilities we are looking at opening incubators, co-working spaces across the continent. With three incubators in covering big parts of Kenya as a pilot. The incubators will be running as franchises run independently using the same platform. Social franchising is the use of a commercial franchising approach to replicate and share proven organisational models for greater social impact. We seek to partner with foreign incubators/co-working spaces in this process, first seeking an agreement with partners in Norway. At first we are looking at an incubator with round 20 co-working spaces and modern teleconferencing equipment near JKIA in Nairobi, and with a small 4-bedroom guesthouse to facilitate for foreign businesses looking to establish themselves in the region. At the moment we have 4 norwegian social businesses coming to Kenya this spring which we already have set up with offices in Nairobi, and we will help them with business development services.

An incubator/co-working space like this would help us and them in the process, and also bring kenyan and foreign businesses together. We are looking at an incubator focusing on agribusiness, fisheries and renewable energy in Kisumu together with a consortium of local partners, and have local investors ready to co-invest in the first incubator in Mombasa.  

We need to get skills involved in the process.

What I want is more startup and business accelerator programmes, and more knowledge sharing between entrepreneurs in Africa and the developed world. We've been working on an idea of a programme connecting local entrepreneurs here in Kenya with mentors in, for example, Norway using videoconferencing and social media, but also live by starting an exchange programme and volunteering opportunities.. If we succeed I think both parties can benefit from it. Our local entrepreneurs can get knowledge and hopefully access to partners and funding, and our mentors will get access to investment opportunities and knowledge about an up and coming emerging market.

Our main focus has been on the Scandinavian market though, and our first customer is Chalmers University in Gothenburg, which will send 22 students in August 2012, to work on a Venture Cup-like local competition in the rural areas of Kenya focusing on use of solar tech, LED-lamps, etc.


Then we have the crowdfunding platforms.

To complement our on site activities in the region we want to have a virtual incubator and crowdfunding platform to showcase african entrepreneurs. When I've been thinking about crowdfunding like Kiva and social entrepreneurship in Africa I've missed one thing.

I look at Kiva and others I can see they fund microentrepreneurs, but they don't give them the tools to really run a business. Would it be possible to implement some kind of a mentor-programme or peer to peer network on a platform so that entrepreneurs can hook up with the crowd to get guidance and the tools to grow their businesses.

Get the crowd involved in the running and development of the businesses and by then also build a platform for capacity building. We will launch a platform in march, and we are in the final stages of choosing between to different platforms. Both platforms will fit our needs perfectly. We have local investors ready to invest in the platform in EAC, and we will also be looking at launching the same platform for norwegian social enterprises and entrepreneurs. We are working on some legal and regulatory issues regarding this now, both in Norway and EAC.


Africa needs access to foreign markets

I have invested in a 25 % stake in a norwegian company developing an e-commerce platorm enabling african producers of goods to sell directly to consumers all over the world on a fair trade basis. Think like Groupon for Fairtrade. We will build a small organisation to handle logistics, etc in Nairobi, and are talking to two possible logistics partners in the region. We are also building a small organisation in Norway to handle the technical issues and sales. We are looking for soft funding from Norad and Innovation Norway to develop the platform further at the moment. Our development partner is Feel Good Invest AS in Norway.

Employing african immigrants to Norway

Where we will have a norwegian presence we are at all levels looking at employing african immigrants to Norway. We envisage that we can create a significant number of jobs for african immigrants to Norway, as well as utilizing the expertise they have of their homelands. This will also help solving the problem of unemployment within the african immigrant community in Norway. We have a scheduled meeting with NAV, The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service,  in February


Our investments and future needs

To be able to meet our vision on making the biggest possible social impact, and doing well while doing good we have a need of building an organisation to run the different project, to establish strong partnerships with both both foreign and local players and to invest in the necessary infrastructure and manpower to run the operations, both here in Kenya and Norway. Apart from the JV with EmAC which is completely a seperate entity running on it’s own, and which will not be covered here, there has been committed USD 800.000,- to the projects, where as USD 500.000 has already been invested in planning and tech infrastructure. We are looking for a total of  USD 2 Million in soft funding from Norad and Innovation Norway to develop the projects, but will also open up for Series A funding from private investors primo 2013. We will then raise  USD  3 Million to scale the projects in Kenya. Later we are looking at raising a Series B funding enabling us to go regional, and so forth. Totally we are looking at raising USD 10 million over the next 5 years, including the franchises.

We have a planned valuation process for the different entities this fall after the soft funding process is completed.
How to exit in Africa

Exits are a challenge in the african market. Traditionally you would look for a trade buyer looking at expansion into the african market, but there has been significant improvements within the securities markets in the region, and listing on local exchanges like Nairobi Stock exchange is also an option for companies. For some of the social enterprises, and the incubators,  the Kenya Social investment Exchange could be an option. We have a model where we believe that we also can exit by that bigger VC funds, like the norwegian funded Norfund, will be a potential buyer of some of the SMEs when they meet the necessary requirements.

As for the PE Fund we are looking at listing it as a ETF on either  London SE or , because of the significant interest for Africa in Asia, the Hong Kong SE.


The conclusion
When I work with entrepreneurs here in Kenya I can see that most africans are in fact entrepreneurs. They run small businesses, but they lack an entrepreneurial mindset. They are entrepreneurs because there are no formal jobs, and are hustling to make a living, while they wait for something else instead of making their business their main focus.

By giving them some tools and a framework for building their business we can make real change by creating sustainable jobs.

I believe our ecosystem for entrepreneurs will do exactly that.

Kind regards

Svein Mork Dahl
Managing Partner East-Africa
Building an ecosystem for african entrepreneurs. A Lean Green Business Machine.

Inventure Management Ltd.
Po. Box 778 - 00521 Embakasi Village, Nairobi, Kenya, East-Africa
Skype: svein.mork.dahl   International phone (UK): +44 20 88 168 333
Norwegian phone: +47 4141 0171    Kenyan phone: +254 701 359 259
E-mail: smd@inventure.no


søndag 5. februar 2012

Homepage | Social by Social

New technologies are changing the way we engage communities, run companies, deliver public services, participate in government and campaign for change.

These new technologies are available to all of us.
And they offer us an amazing opportunity to change our world.
Homepage | Social by Social:

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Coworkers Unite: You have to say that you want coworking for free! | CoWorking News

Coworkers Unite: You have to say that you want coworking for free! | CoWorking News:

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Learning from Kenya: Mobile Money Transfer and Coworking

We are working with three co-working spaces here in Kenya, incl. iHub. And are looking at setting up three more. We want to build a ecosystem for entrepreneurship that includes:

- incubators/co-working spaces
- a virtual incubator and crowdfunding/crowdsourcing platform
- a seed fund (and a VC Fund)
- volunteer mentors, offline/online
- an e-commerce platform for local produced goods (Fair Trade)

The incubators/co-working spaces will be run on a social franchise platform. We're working with some incubators/co-workingspaces in Europe at the moment.

By providing an ecosystem for sustainable economic development for the East African and international markets, and facilitate sustainable economic development in Africa and thus helping entrepreneurs and companies in Africa with growth capital and capacity building, we can create sustainable growth that is also economically sustainable. A Lean Green Business Machine.

Learning from Kenya: Mobile Money Transfer and Coworking:

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The 100 Best (And Free) Online Learning Tools | Edudemic

The 100 Best (And Free) Online Learning Tools | Edudemic:

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onsdag 4. januar 2012

Who’s Killing African Entrepreneurship?


There was an interesting discussion over at Megan McArdle’s blog about whether or not NGOs retard entrepreneurship in developing countries. Her post was in response to this from Matt Rognlie…

“Africans don’t see a reward system in place for being entrepreneurial. In fact, they view it as a matter of survival, not an opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty. Rather, what they learn at a very early age, is that in order to make good money, they should learn to speak English incredibly well and then maybe, just maybe, they can get a job driving for an NGO. In a few years, if they play their cards right, they might be able to land an NGO job as a project manager and even advance further.”

Sammy’s point was simply this. As a struggling businessman creating new start-ups, he could not compete with what NGO’s were paying for some of the best and brightest. And even worse, he said, “by the time the NGO’s are done with them, there isn’t an ounce of entrepreneur left.”

I can definitely echo this fro firsthand experience. As a small private sector company in Uganda, the danger isn’t so much having your staff poached by big multinationals like MTN or Google, but rather the equally large NGOs who, in their mandate to hire local want to ensure they find the best and brightest. Thus skewing the market because it suits their short term needs.

Megan writes…

On the one hand, it’s terrible to think that aid is keeping economies from developing–and this isn’t the only such critique; there are also fears that aid acts like a “resource curse”, insulating political leaders from the need to win public support for their spending, and breeding corruption. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’m quite willing to walk up to a woman dying from malnutrition to tell her that I’m sorry, we’d like to help, only unfortunately it would distort the local economy and so I’m afraid you’ll need to lean into the strike zone and take one for the team.

On the third hand, I’m conscious that in this scenario, I am biased towards the seen harm, rather than the unseen…

Everyone in the sector tends to be biased towards the ‘seen harm’ and good because most donors don’t fund longterm, indirect or implicit results. The adverse effects, as long as they aren’t obvious get ignored. This includes inflation of salaries in the private sector.

© 2008 - 2009 Appfrica International. Looking for more African tech? Try our podcast Appfricast which you can also find on iTunes.

20 Ideas for Social Entrepreneurs [Part 1] « Appfrica

20 Ideas for Social Entrepreneurs [Part 1] « Appfrica:

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The Lucrative Skills African Talent Should Acquire in 2012 « Appfrica

The Lucrative Skills African Talent Should Acquire in 2012 « Appfrica:

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torsdag 22. desember 2011

Inventure Management Ltd.: SEED Forum in Nairobi, Kenya

Inventure Management Ltd.: SEED Forum in Nairobi, Kenya: Then it's official! We are planning the first SEED Forum in East Africa on the 21. June 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. We are SEED Forums pa...

lørdag 10. desember 2011

SocEntLab East Africa: Nobel Peace Price to Africans

SocEntLab East Africa: Nobel Peace Price to Africans: Nobel Peace Price to Africans, Africas first female president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee and yemenite T...

torsdag 8. desember 2011

onsdag 7. desember 2011

Africans want to be entrepreneurs and don’t want to rely on handouts – Dambisa Moyo



Erin Burnett interviewed Dr. Dambisa Moyo, the author “Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa.”
Moyo argues that Africa needs innovative ways to finance development, which includes trading and accessing capital markets. In a nutshell, Dr. Moyo’s argument follows the old Chinese Proverb about how giving a man a fish feeds him for merely a day, but teaching a man to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Dambisa Moyo completed her Ph.D in Economics at Oxford University and has a Masters from Harvard University.
In May 2009 Dr. Moyo was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine. The clip is from June 10, 2009. Is this conversation and the points she makes in this interview still relevant going into 2012?

søndag 4. desember 2011

SocEntLab + *iHub_ Nairobi


Our new innovation playground in Nairobi. Come visit!


*iHub_ – Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community is an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.



*iHub_ Nairobi:

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torsdag 1. desember 2011

Can Venture Capital Save The World? - Forbes


Acumen Fund and similar VC Funds are doing a great job here in Africa, but what I could wish for is even more seed capital. A recent survey showed that the access to seed capital is essential, and ranked as the number one factor hindering entrepreneurs today. Hope we in the future can see even more seed funds and VC funds operating in Africa.

What I want is more startup and business accelerator programmes, and more knowledge sharing between entrepreneurs in Africa and the developed world. We've been working on an idea of an online "virtual" startup programme connecting local entrepreneurs here in Kenya with mentors in Norway using videoconferencing and social media. If we succeed I think both parties can benefit from it. Our local entrepreneurs can get knowledge and hopefully access to seed funding, and our mentors will get access to investment opportunities and knowledge about an up and coming emerging market.

Acumen fund opened the eyes of many for a new kind of philantrophy, but at least many European donors are still old school, and wants to build health clinics and childrens homes. Something tangible to take pictures of and show off at home.


Can Venture Capital Save The World? - Forbes:

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søndag 20. november 2011

onsdag 12. oktober 2011

Inventure Management Ltd.: KENYA Investment Guide

Inventure Management Ltd.: KENYA Investment Guide: KENYA Investment Guide Openness to Foreign Investment The Government of Kenya encourages foreign direct investment. Multinational ...

fredag 7. oktober 2011

Nobel Peace Price to Africans


Nobel Peace Price to Africans, Africas first female president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee and yemenite Tawakkul Karman.There have been several female head of states in Africa, but not elected.

Carmen Pereira (1937-)
Acting president of Guinea Bissau from 14 May 1984 to 16 May 1984, in the capacity of chairman of the National People's Assembly.

Sylvie Kinigi (1952-)
Acting President (de facto) of Burundi from 27 Oct 1993 to 5 Feb 1994.

Ruth Perry (1939-)
Chairman of the Council of State (a six-member collective presidency) of the National Transitional Government of Liberia from 3 Sep 1996 to 2 Aug 1997. Perry has been, excepting Burundian premier Sylvie Kinigi, who acted as president briefly de facto in early 90s, Africa's first female head of State under a republican system.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (1939-)
President of Liberia since 16 Jan 2006. She is Africa's first elected woman head of State.

Rose Francine Rogombé (1942-)
Interim president of Gabon from 10 Jun to 16 Oct 2009.

tirsdag 4. oktober 2011

A different kind of safari

Some memories from last year. And yes. We got the financing.


In June, travelled a gaudy crowd norwegians to Kenya. It was desired to try to realize a vision of a school in rural Kenya for solar power, water purification, clean energy. The vision that had emerged through collaboration between Kvadraturen Education Centre / Vest-Agder County Council and Kisumu Polytechnic. 

Norwegians who had strayed to Kenya was the County Council Mayor Thore Wester Moen, Head of the Comiteef or culture and education Olav Haavorstad, Regional Manager Kjell Abildsnes, Erling Andresen (Senior, Kvadraturen School) from the VAF and the ARC-Aid CEO Spinnangr and the undersigned, Svein Mork Dahl.


Our goal for the trip was to create a common understanding between the Norwegian and Kenyan partners on the framework for the project, and through meetings with the Kenyan authorities to create local ownership of the project. The desire to meet local authorities to take us on a different safari through Kenya's political landscape.


Happiness is a quiet hour on the terrace before you find the bed. The sound of Africa. Thunder rolling in the distance, and lightning that lit up the sky in a constant strobe lights as on nature's own nightclub. Tomorrow is the party for invited guests and kids program at ARO DC. I hope the storm comes this way, but from what I've heard it's way to the Rift Valley, so tomorrow's festivities should be secured.


We have already met our Kenyan partners from Kisumu Poly, and visited DCen in Bondo, and PC in Nyanza. These state representatives serve as a form of county men, so our courtesy visits here are important for the rest of the trip. Important to go official channels. African courtesy visits are a fascinating spectacle for us Northerners. More form than content. You use like 10-15 minutes to introduce himself and thank the other party to have the opportunity to meet before you use the last quarter of the allotted half hour on the facts. 


We are gathered for a "nightcap" on the terrace to get the whole mind. The program for the trip are not yet nailed down and ready, so we do not know yet who we will meet next week. This is Africa, so we go to bed knowing that uncertainty is our only sure clue.


It's Saturday and party at the center of many invited guests, singing and dancing and hired musicians. Let me particularly impressed by the children the program appearance. The center has also been honored with visits by the Secretary in the Ministry of Education, which bodes well for the rest of our mission. The rest of the weekend precursor quiet with a visit to Bondo, and Godfrey newly opened restaurant. Tighten to NOK, although the food is not kept winning standard. Personally I suspect that the meat that was served was a goat, but the joke that I saw a stray dogs here in the place that now is gone ..


We hope to have met Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Nyanza, when he and President Kibaki are here because of the funeral of a member of parliament, but it can not do, we decide to follow them back to Nairobi. All flights are booked by the funeral guests, so we decide to drive to Nai. We stops at Tea Hotel, an old British colonial hotel in the Rift Valley, and the feel of a bygone era. One can feel the history in the walls where wallpaper is loosened, and the hotel fading along with the remnants of the British Empire.

After a week in Majiwe it is a shock to come to Nairobi. A vibrant international city with well over 3 million people, buildings, a vibrant nightlife, and otherwise is known for having some of the world's worst traffic jams, and a few years ago was known as Nairobbery colloquially. We still do not know if we get a meeting with the Prime Minister's office, but we live in hope.


While we wait for clarity we will visit the Nairobi National Museum, and will be so short notice innkallt to PMs Office.Vi have managed to get to a meeting, and are excited about how we and our vision will be taken in mot.Vi throws us in the taxi who spend 40 minutes on the few kilometers to the Treasury Building.



Hurry is lastverk said, and when we arrive waiting room to the PMs Office is we sit and wait. One hour, two hours. After three hours we are summoned to a meeting where we will be greeted by a delegation led by Caroli Omondi, the 35-year-old chief of staff to Raila. For once, I'm not the youngest in the room.


For us the meeting is a journey. They have put themselves into the matter, know what we are talking about and have input and reviews. Best of all is that we get assurances that this is something that Kenya wants, and it assures us that Kenya is willing to assume the obligations that will accompany the establishment of Solskolen. Now it's just up to us mzungus to obtain financing.


The journey is over, and we can go home with memories of a safari like no other.