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The World Social Forum in Kenya

Not having the chance to attend this event, I thought it would be beneficial for others who are in the same shoes to see some of what I’ve been reading about it. Here are some pretty interesting blog articles about the dramatics and ironies around the event:

Kikuyumoja talks about the ironies and has a few good pictures. I found the pricing scheme the most disturbing – maybe it’s because of growing up in Kenya that I came to dislike how I was charged extra for my nationality, even as a resident.

And then there is this chart showing the registration fees:

Individual participants      Kes       Euro       USD
Africa                                                       50          5                7
Rest of the South                         2.000          20             28
Northern Nationals                     7.900          80             110

Mental Acrobatics has been attending the event and has a series of posts, with pictures of the event.
Drama about food #1
Drama about food #2

A couple other blog posts:
Music and Youth
On Youth’s Protesting

The official site and the WSF Blog.

World Social Forum - 2007

photo courtesy of Kikuyumoja

4 Comments

  1. Hash, yes that’s kind of disturbing, but overpricing especially for “foreigners” is a part of Kenyan psyche. Its appalling that Windsor, which is ‘infamously’ world-renowned, is charging such exhorbitant prices for food just because this is a world event, which equates to foreigners which equals more profit.
    But I can’t castigate a hawker at Maasai market for selling a curio to an unsuspecting tourist for Ksh 2000 and to savvy buyer for Ksh 200. The man/woman has got to eat.

  2. Cssp. On one hand I agree, but on the other I get offended. If this type of pricing happened in the West, there would be all types of lawsuits. Can you imagine walking into a store, amusement park, or restaurant in the US or Europe and having a price 10x higher because you aren’t a national?

    Of course, I’m talking about regulated markets. I have no problem with open-stall markets like the curio dukas and markets where there is no set price and bargaining is part of the game. Caveat Emptor there.

  3. Thanks for highlighting my WSF posts.

    The original price suggested for Kenyan nationals was KSH 1000.00 which according the Prof Oyugi the WSF2007 organising committee managed to negotiate down to KSH 450.00. This suggests to me that the prices are decided by the WSF secretariat away from the Kenyan organising committee. Perhaps they should have included Kenyan residents in there with Kenyan nationals.

    There seemed to be a feeling amongst a large number of the participants from both inside and outside Africa that many of those travelling from the west are “trustafarians” who can, should and are willing to pay the extra prices. It would be interesting to check the prices in Kenya against those of previous social forums.

  4. Hey Mental. So, I understand the reasoning, but I don’t agree with it. I don’t think it’s right to charge exorbitant fees to expats just because they’re expats.

    Again, this applies to official businesses, not your open markets – those should continue to run unmolested by state control on both goods and prices (as far as I’m concerned).

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