Al Kags

All is well. I’m back on this blog


It really has been a long time since I last blogged. So as I start again, lets get you caught up on whats been up

  • Nowadays, I ride a bicycle to work and back – when it isn’t raining. I was inspired to do so during a recent trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. Everyone rides there (or walks). It seems the country has just aligned itself to promote the riding of bicycles – they have lanes for bikes, they have traffic lights on those lanes, there are parking slots everywhere for bikes. I learnt that more than 36% of Copenhagen residents commute by Bicycle. Riding around Copenhagen, it occurred to me that there is no reason for me to drive to work – considering that I work less than 30 minutes walk away from my house. The advantages of riding are many – my health and weight will get better, it will certainly get cheaper to commute to work… All in all, it is worth the sweat and breathlessness (it has not been easy getting used to this). I am thinking that it is time that Nairobi was prepared for a bicycle ride to work everyday – put bike lanes in place and make them inviolable, put in place bike parks everywhere and ensure their safety. Start with the neighborhoods I think – South B, South C, Westlands, Kileleshwa, Doonholm, Buruburu, Upperhill, Ngong’ Road… In all of these, there are people who live and work in the neighborhood. Surely our culture should change?
  • [amazon asin=B005X9U512&text=Living Memories by Al Kags&chan=default] Over the last few years, I have been going around Kenya speaking to older ordinary Kenyans who lived in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.   In doing so, I produced a book (thanks to Muthoni Garland at Storymoja) with 13 of those stories. To date, I have 196 stories. I need to release another book. But meanwhile, this book, Living Memories: Kenya’s untold stories is on amazon Kindle Books ready for your Kindle. Please buy it…
  • In the Denmark trip, I represented Kenya in a Danida conference that was to contribute ideas of how DANIDA should participate better in the East African region – especially in the areas of Governance and Open Data. The report of that conference and other studies done by John Siceloff and his colleagues at Jumpstart can be found here: http:// ONLY CORRECTION IN THE REPORT. It says I am contracted by the Kenya ICT Board to work on Open Data. To be clear, my involvement with the Kenya Open Data Initiative is voluntary and there is no payments – not even sitting allowances. We are looking forward to seeing a lot more partnership being done with DANIDA.
  • After the Kenya Open Data Initiative success, I produced a series of videos, with the help of my company Goode Africa and our videography arm, Thellesi Media in conduction with The Open Institute. The videos feature members of the Kenya Open Data initiative talking about the things we did and what we learnt, implementing KODI. See the videos
Most important news. At around the time of my last post, where I mourned the demise of the categorically eccentric John Michuki, on Feb 20, this year, the amazingly beautiful Liz Lenjo and I, had a son – Harry Kags (@harrykags on twitter). This defining time of my life is the most precious to me. 
Right, you are fully caught up. Onwards upwards!

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