If you know me well, you know most of my information comes from The Economist. As I’ve started to think past Manna Project, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for job ideas. Found two in the July 5 edition. Speaking on Kofi Annan’s recent efforts to diffuse the political crisis in Kenya:
Originally, Mr Annan had flown into Nairobi with just two people from the [Centre for Humanitarian Development], a Swiss-based organisation of mediators. During his six weeks or so of mediating he drew on the considerable resources of the UN, but he also made constant use of his CHD backup.
They provided him with tactical advice on the mediation process, such as when to take the negotiators on “retreat” and how to involve the media. And they also drafted agreements as the two sides spoke during the negotiations, so that at the end of a day an agreed statement could be issued immediately to the press. This gave the mediation the vital momentum that Mr Annan wanted.
The Kenyan talks provide a good example of the sort of skills that a new kind of international mediator can bring to the age-old work of conflict resolution. For as the nature of the world’s conflicts has changed in the past decade or so, so the demand for a new type of mediator has grown too.(See article)
Interest piqued. But maybe Coca-Cola has an even better bead on Africa than CHD:
‘We see political instability first because we go down as far as we can into the market,’ says Alexander Cummings, head of Coca-Cola’s Africa division. The ups and downs during Kenya’s post-election violence this year could be traced in sales of Coke in Nairobi’s slums and in western Kenya’s villages… Mr Cummings admits that Coca-Cola is “on life support” in Zimbabwe. (See article)