Oduor Ong'wen


With East Africa experiencing a new integration wave, Oduor Ong'wen looks back at the history of regionalisation across the area and at the prospects for the East African Common Market (EACM). In the face of governments' dwindling control over 'the institutional levers of sovereignty', what hope does the EACM offer for the promotion of national and sub-national interests?


African countries suffer the most from the rapid trend towards the privatisation of African plants, writes Oduor Ong’wen. Even though the patented plant materials often originate in Africa, once they are patented by multinational corporations it becomes virtually impossible to access them for the public good.

It is easy – indeed tempting – to dismiss the violence that has engulfed Kenya in the last one month as an unfortunate, though not totally unexpected, resurgence of African atavist ontological disposition. Many analysts, particularly in the West, have argued that even though the breach of peace and mutual existence was triggered off by the stealing of the presidential election by the incumbent, what followed had nothing to do with electoral fraud in particular and politics in general, but an ...read more

This is to inform all that the dates for World Social Forum 2007 are January 20-25,2007. The venues are Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Uhuru Park and Central Park. Negotiations are at an advanced stage to have the Youth Camp at University of Nairobi. Registration process begins in a few weeks.

In solidarity!

The time is fast approaching when water, health care and every other essential service become tradable - with enormous implications for the lives of the poor and vulnerable. Oduor Ongwen, the country director of SEATINI Kenya, describes the international agreement that is going to regulate trade in services, the General Agreement on Trade in services (GATS), noting that it is a “dangerous instrument for the externalisation of resources of underdeveloped countries such as those in Africa”.

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Throughout history, international trade has generated considerable controversy. While conceding that some trade was imperative, Aristotle observed that trade was disruptive of community life. Until the 19th Century, most European powers viewed trade as a form of undeclared warfare. Their objective was - and still remains - the maximization of benefits accruing to themselves and minimization of those accruing to rival nations. The weapons of choice in this warfare were import barriers.

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