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Thursday, 7 January 2010


Corporate business entities are the new superpowers. It is no longer a question of which country is exerting its dominant policies or influence across the world.

In Africa especially, that role is increasingly being taken over by multi-billion dollar companies, most of which are based in Western capitals and mega cities.

The turnovers of these huge conglomerates after all, greatly surpass the GDPs of many countries categorized as developing and their profit margins exceed the national budgets of many Third World countries.

So there are no surprises in learning that the economy controlled by Harvard University is greater than that of my country Kenya. Although a story carried by CBS News online, highlighted how it lost billions of dollars in the economic downturn.

American private establishments indeed, are becoming so dominant that one almost feels like their spirit of free enterprise or capitalism ought to be bound by some sort of anti-monopolistic regulations.

Dancing to the iTunes of corporate America

To illustrate this point, imagine a typical day for a journalist working for a media organization in an African city. CNN flashes a breaking news story somewhere in the continent. He quickly springs into action and begins to research on the lead.

What does he do first? He Googles the name of the mentioned place to retrieve some background information as well as the latest information put out by other news outlets. And this is done on an Apple computer, using Microsoft's Word package.

As he assembles and edits the story using Final Cut Pro, he gets distracted by a beep on his iPhone, informing him that somebody has posted a message on his Facebook wall. He logs on and decides to reply to the message using the Twitter application on his cell phone.

And after his story is aired, it gets uploaded on YouTube, where comments and reactions are subsequently posted on the news site.

Isn't it surprising that Kenyans are more concerned by the apparent high rate at which Libyan-based entities are snapping up controlling stakes in the country's prime economic sectors?

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