[Your thoughts on local Media coverage of Safaricom’s massive downtime?] Concentration risks

Good morning Ali, allow me to be a bit assertive because that is not a fair, nor warranted accusation.
In these types of “high stakes debates”, one common tactic is for one side to sabotage the discussion by baiting participants in order to set the stage for ad-hominem attacks or some kind of punitive retaliation that muzzles the debate. 
Most people do it unintentionally simply because they lack debating skills, but there are those who do it intentionally (i.e. the politically savvy) because they have hidden motives. It’s very difficult to tell them apart.
I have scrolled down my comments and I think the most offensive thing I have done here is to raise/discuss/debate pertinent issues in an intellectually honest and straightforward way. 
Anyway, let me take a break from the topic because I can sense where it is heading.
Enjoy your week!Patrick.
On Monday, November 12, 2018, 5:15:11 AM GMT+3, Ali Hussein <[email protected]> wrote:

I didn’t peg you as one to insult another for their opinions. I will not gown down that rabbit hole with you.
Have a great week ahead.

Ali HusseinPrincipalAHK & Associates+254 0713 601113 

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: http://ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”  ~ Aristotle

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On 11 Nov 2018, at 11:38 PM, Patrick A. M. Maina via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

Ali, hehehe, that looks like a “political” answer to an intellectual question.
Still, political arguments can be very persuasive – hence powerful – but they also are a key reason why defective / harmful / obsolete policies get passed or persist for longer than they should.
When debaters rely on diversionary, defective and/or booby-trapped arguments (e.g. ad hominems & strawmen), its difficult not to question their true motives or stake in the discussion.
For public policy discussions to be meaningful and truly fruitful, the overarching goal should be learning and discovery, to gain real insights on a problem across multiple dimensions. Otherwise you end up with a status quo / deep pocket dominated charade imo. 
Good night.Patrick.

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, 9:51:42 PM GMT+3, Admin CampusCiti <[email protected]> wrote:

Let me attempt to address your points blow by blow below. 

Ali Hussein
+254 0713 601113 

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: http://ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim

Blog: www.alyhussein.com

“Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought”.  ~ Albert Szent-Györgyi
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On 11 Nov 2018, at 5:37 PM, Patrick A. M. Maina via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

I’m really trying to understand your viewpoint. Can you give an example that illustrates how you demarcate between “Utopian Idealism”, “Pragmatic Idealism”, “Pragmatism” and “Realism” in the context of this discussion?

What would you have? I’m simply saying those:-The world is not perfect. No system is perfect. Pure capitalism has proven to be a major disaster. So has communism and socialism. Let’s be practical. Instead of just bashing let’s give solutions. What you will find is that a mix would probably be best with good governance splashed around both in government and private sector.

So you are saying that once a company (or any entity) has won people’s “hearts and minds” it becomes permanently irreproachable and should never be criticized? That’s a scary, (and somewhat Utopian?), way of looking at things.

That’s not what I’m saying. Read again what I wrote. Let’s not be emotional boss. Mine is an argument well trodden. Let markets take precedence to unfettered regulation. We can agree to disagree here. In fact I’m on record criticizing Safaricom more than once. 

This discussion can yield great insights if the disagreeing sides present compelling and focused counter arguments that address the specific issues raised. Otherwise we might just as well switch to discussing politics and ideologies where emotion rules reason…

Are you saying I’m not offering solutions? I’d say that is more you than me. Of course we can again agree to disagree on this.

At the very least, lets all come out more enlightened (in a balanced way) about what the real issues are.

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, 4:18:19 PM GMT+3, Ali Hussein via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

Ohaga/Patrick and all you Utopian Idealists out there:-
1. I refuse to continue disparaging a company that has won the hearts and minds of a big part of it’s consumers despite it’s inadequacies. I have argued many times here that ‘dominance’ is not a crime and that the failure of regulation is not something to hold Safaricom accountable for. Hold it against the regulator for f*@$s sake!  There are remedies that can take care of that based on the law. 
2. On Facebook and Google. You are correct and we agree here. Someone has to pay the piper. There’s nothing like a free lunch. 
3. Safaricom is not perfect. It has many vulnerabilities. If only one pays attention to it. For one, their UX, even as they claim leadership here is crap. And I have written many times about this. Instead of spending so much time #GreenBashing here’s an idea – Go build a business model to challenge it. It’s not as hard as you guys make it sound. Here’s a snippet on my thoughts regarding Safaricom’s perceived leadership. 
There are organizations doing something about it. I fear that this fetish on Safaricom’s perceived dominance is detracting us from building lasting organizations.



AHK & Associates


Tel: +254 713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim

13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,

Chiromo Road, Westlands,

Nairobi, Kenya.

Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the organizations that I work with.

On Sun, Nov 11, 2018 at 2:36 PM Ohaga JB via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Hussein,
On this one, I totally agree with Patrick, this is a quintessential example of what may go wrong when you have a very powerful and definitely dominant player, that single handedly ‘runs’ about 60% of all media operations in the country through its advertising spends. Considering the political economy of the media, Safaricom is certainly not just dominating the mobile service market, it is also highy influencing (whether actively or passively) what the mainstream media prints or broadcasts.
On the ‘freeness of Google and Facebook, I think that you’ve also adopted an idealistic view. How are those two platforms free exactly? Users are essentially consumers to be sold to companies looking to advertise. This is the reason why their algorithms prioritize some content over others (hence ‘freeness’ is reduced to their business interests). And even though we are gradually increasing our digital footprint in Kenya, there are loads of places in this country where the mainstream media (radio especially) is the main source of information. Amongst most digital savvy users, news is gotten from social media yes, but then a lot of these guys wait for verification of the same infro they’ve gotten from social, from the mainstream media. In fact, even on social media, some of the most credible sources of information are posts from verified accounts of mainstream media orgs. This has indeed become even more pressing in view of proliferation of fake news.
My view is that Safaricom needs to be held much more accountable given the kind of power that it holds across our communications and financial sector. It needs to prove that despite it’s dominance, it’s put mechanisms in place to ensure that as mininal disruption as possible, is experienced to the services that it provides, should a negative eventuality that affects its operations occurs, as it most certainly will.
In my opinion, the market does not always have a solution for everything especially because it’s main focus is profit generation. At times, a combination of market forces and interventions in public interest work best for both the businesses and the public.
On Sun, Nov 11, 2018 at 11:34 AM Admin CampusCiti via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

I completely agree with you on this. However, I have a different solution to this. Local media stopped being the only source of major news today. Many a time news breaks out through bloggers and influencers on social media. The mainstream media is quickly becoming irrelevant as they continue depending on big ad spenders. They should have gone down market long time ago. 
The issue of big media houses pandering to their advertisers is neither new or is it confined to Kenya. To focus on one entity is disingenuous to say the least… 
And by the way there’s nothing like ‘free’ in media. Free is Facebook and Google. And see where that’s getting us.. someone must pay the piper brother. If not now then eventually. The bill eventually comes due. No two ways about it.

Ali Hussein
+254 0713 601113 

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: http://ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim

Blog: www.alyhussein.com

“Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought”.  ~ Albert Szent-Györgyi
Sent from my iPad
On 10 Nov 2018, at 10:09 PM, Patrick A. M. Maina via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

Is our media truly independent, objective and fearless as they claim – especially when it comes to reporting on their most lucrative customers? Compare to the prominence and coverage of reports on Government website downtime, as well as Huduma downtimes for example… 

My take is, when you have an entity (or group of entities) that the media appears to “fear” or “favor” more than the Government, the potential for impunity and abuse that comes with such power should be of great concern to any regulator. At the very least, it can allow public interest problems (or their impact) to stay under the radar for a long time with a heavy cost to the wider economy.
A healthy (and free) media should have well diversified revenue streams such that there is minimum conflict of interest that is potentially attributable to the concentration of market power. Yet another solid reason (imo) for modernization of our anti-trust regulations.
====I wonder if the CCTVs are affected.. hopefully there is a proper continuity plan in place. 
====As stated in my earlier email just a few days ago, dominant players should be mandated by law to demonstrate adequate provision for continuity and resiliency across all economic sectors where they are active – with independent audits, certification and testing of their BCP, DRP etc – the frequency of which should be aligned with potential severity of downtimes.
Have a great weekend!Patrick.

On Saturday, November 10, 2018, 5:39:15 PM GMT+3, Twahir Hussein Kassim via kictanet <[email protected]> wrote:

Hannington, kindly brief us on the Dadaab example.

On Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 12:50 Hannington Oduor via kictanet <[email protected] wrote:

Dadaab refugee camp has a classic example of such a network and bearing it’s location and the regulation, it’s a potential data resource area. 
On Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 16:39 Twahir Hussein Kassim via kictanet <[email protected] wrote:

Am looking at rolling out a community network in Kilifi. What are the government regulations on this? CA website is silent on this.
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