Media Talk: Kenya one year on – have the wounds healed?

Talk Tuesday 3rd March, 2009

Kenya’s abrupt descent into mayhem after President Mwai Kibaki’s disputed re-election tarnished one of Africa’s most promising economies and badly damaged its tourism industry. And a year on since the UN brokered peace agreements were signed it seems apparent to all that Kenya’s underlying issues are still unresolved. There is continuing ethnic unrest and tens of thousands of displaced persons still living in camps. So have the peace agreements achieved anything or have the country’s wounds simply been papered over? And with a series of corruption scandals over the last few months and the economy in a downward spiral, what does the future hold for this country once renowned for its stable economy and democracy?

Michela Wrong is author of It’s our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower – which tells the story of her Kenyan friend John Githongo – Kenya’s anti-corruption tsar. Michela is also a distinguished international journalist, and has worked as a foreign correspondent covering events across the African continent for Reuters, the BBC and the Financial Times. She is also the author of In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz and I Didnt Do It for You – both based on her experiences in Africa.

Professor John Lonsdale is emeritus professor of modern African history and fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. Among his books are (as co-author) Unhappy Valley: conflict in Kenya and Africa (James Currey, 1992) and (as co-editor) of Mau Mau and Nationhood (James Currey, 2003); he is also the author of seventy articles or book chapters on Kenyan and African history

Joseph Warungu is editor of the BBC’s two flagship daily news and current affairs radio programmes for Africa as well as a quarterly magazine, Focus on Africa.

Martin Kimani is a writer, newspaper columnist and security consultant.

Lindsey Hilsum is International Editor for C4 news.