When in 2013, young men started taking over mosques in coastal Kenya, it produced two sets of narratives; one, the youth were extremists, and two, the youths were reformists. The extremism narrative framing has created a set of policy responses that have exacerbated the problem. The Elephant in conversation with Dr Hawa Noor M., a scholar, and peace and security commentator based in East Africa and Germany.
Make Isiolo the capital city. Besides being geographically central, the town has space for expansion and that would open up the north to commerce and settlement. It is the best chance to reduce the pressure on land along the Northern Transport Corridor, opening the region up to rapid investment and helping to fully utilise the new Lapsset corridor. The Elephant in conversation with Darius Okolla, an economist, writer and curator at The Elephant.
The mushrooming of community radio stations and citizen journalism in Northern Kenya provides a far more nuanced and complex view of the lives in Northern Kenya, thus, providing an alternative framing. Since they use the indigenous language, community radios have emerged as the most reliable sources of information about the region. The Elephant in conversation with Yusuf Ibrahim, a strategic communications consultant.
Place, Identity and National Imagination in Post-Katiba Kenya explores the ever-present issue of Kenyan identity from a spatial perspective and focuses on the implications of Northern Kenya as a site of negotiating and re-imagining new possibilities for project Kenya. The Elephant in conversation with Abdullahi Boru, Senior Analyst and Northern Kenya curator for The Elephant.
The fuel shortage has returned to haunt motorists as uncertainties over the State-backed subsidy ahead of the monthly review of pump prices persist. Beyond the rhetoric, Kwame Owino, explains what is ailing Kenya's petroleum sector. The Elephant in conversation with Kwame Owino, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya), a Nairobi-based think tank.
Garret Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ thesis published in 1968, became a ‘'masterpiece" upon which environmental and development policies were formulated in the 1970s and 1980s. Pastoralist groups were on the receiving end of some of the policies, including discarding indigenous environmental methods. The Ekwar System in Turkana is seen as optimal for taking care of the trees in Turkana. The Elephant in conversation with Joseph Kalapata, a manager at the Forum for Protection of Pastoralist Development.
On the 24 of March, Ethiopia’s government announced an immediate humanitarian truce with forces it had been fighting for 17 months in the northern Tigray region. Can the truce open a window into unlocking the conflict, or is it another lull before the war breaks out again? The Elephant in conversation with Adisalem Desta, an expert in international law.
There are multiple causes and forms of conflict in Northern Kenya. In most conflicts, women are disproportionately affected. The national and county governments should work with non-state actors, to leverage the formal and nonformal indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms. In this conversation, Abdia Mahmud provides nuances and insights into conflicts in Northern Kenya. Abdia Mohamud is the Executive Director at Isiolo Peace Link, a community-based network that brings together youth, women, faith-based and other civil society organisations and works closely with the county authorities and law enforcement agencies on security issues.
The casting of the Pokots as a belligerent community in the media is one of the enduring stereotypes. But this framing is banal as it is pervasive. It is taken as a given that few if ever, step back and examine the cost of labeling an entire community as bellicose. The Elephant in conversation with Yobo Rutin,
Freelance journalist Ms Adhiambo Edith Magak talks to founders of key initiatives that target those who are differently-abled, interrogating the problems they face that led to the creation of those solutions. Their responses so far, and shared data/evidence show that the solution has an impact on many lives. She journeys with them as they analyse the limitations and challenges faced and gives insight on how the solution can be replicated by other interested parties.
Northern Kenya is a Muslim majority region in Kenya. Because of its proximity to Somalia has been classified as a hotbed of violent extremism and thus subject to an overtop security response. Instead of addressing the root causes, security agencies' response exacerbates the already fraught relations between the community and security agencies and, by extension, the state. But there is a change in response and a realization that a security-only focused approach will do more damage. The Elephant in conversation with Dr Halkano Abdi Wario, Assistant Director at the HORN International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Northern Kenya already lags behind the rest of Kenya in most educational data. But the pervasive insecurity, including Al Shabaab, has seen a mass exodus of nonlocal teachers and educators, exacerbating the already difficult situation. However, simple technology that uses the local language can bridge the education divide if deployed at scale. The Elephant in conversation with Abdinoor Alimahdi, an educational technologist and founder of M-Lugha - a multilingual education app for rural communities.