The fastest way to bring down a tourist ( Annualised tourist figures in excess of $1.3 billion ) based Economy - such as exists in the sovereign state of Kenya on the East Coast of Africa; with of its border adjoining Somalia - is to target 'High Nett Worth individials and the well- heeled professional or the chattering classes. And to ensure that the results are on world wide television and radio channels and by keeping the matter going for several days. Says Julian Bray who spent several years in Kampala Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania following Independence,
How effective this is can be judged by the relentless coverage given by BBC and Sky News and the other rolling news channels, at the expense of the British Labour Party conference in Brighton.
David Cameron meanwhile has seized the opportunity and cannily calling several Cobra security committee meetings to discuss the situation as it affects the UK. pretty good by all accounts as we train the officers and generals and supply most of the military kit.
This is the latest theory behind the terrorist attack on the Nairobi Westgate Shopping Mall. With increasing inroads into the shambles which once was Somalia, The Africa Union troops (including a high proportion of Kenya assets and the use of Kenya airfields to supply the AU troops) armed with a United Nations mandate are slowly winning the Somalia battle of hearts and minds and sending the pirates and war lords to the margins of the territory.
COBRA has already sent out advisers to Nairobi, and other governments / states have already opened their strategic military facilities to Uhuru (Uhuru is swahili for FREEDOM) Kenyattas government. It should be remembered that Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyas first President, father of Uhuru, was also a terrorist with the fearsome Mau Mau murder squads, and many UK soliders died on Kenyan soil at the hands of the Mau Mau in the years before Independence.
The East African event however tragic clearly doesn't rate repeated COBRA meetiongs unless of course the Foreign Office has thrown in the sponge, but we've not heard William Hague suggest, he is stepping aside anytime soon.
Taking a safari or beach holiday in Kenya is a long haul option and financially beyond the reach of most Budget and family tourists, and although most beach resort hotels are gated communities, and have a higher level of local security. But however graded, security is still fairly basic, a man (an Askari) armed with a rifle, club or just a 'panga' (a fearsome long bladed knife).
Expatriate Europeans setting up Kenya based companies, are nearly all on short interim contracts, and many already have their return open air tickets. Any slightest breakdown in security will see the local operation mothballed and the career ex-pats moving onto another country.
JULIAN BRAY, broadcaster & Journalist, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist EQUITY Member NUJ Life Mbr. UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)