the tusker index

Update: CrossTalk guy (see below) has pointed out that inflation and what not has since raised these prices. The top-end joints – Intercontinental Hotel and the likes – will charge you around Kshs. 300 for a bottle of Tusker. Most Yuppie joints sell the same at Kshs. 200. The recommended retail price is Kshs. 85-90.

Comparatively, out here in Palo Alto, CA a bottle of Tusker at Rose & Crown will set you back by US $5, roughly Kshs. 400.

This past summer while sipping a cold Tusker at the historic Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi (disclaimer: the only reason I was there was because my best friend from primary school is a manager there. I usually prefer cheaper places on Kimathi street) I couldn’t help but wonder if the East African Breweries or Kenyan consumers for that matter kept a tab of how much the various watering holes charge for the machozi ya simba.

Well, thanks to Bankelele, I came across this blog with the Tusker Index.

Pub Location Tusker Price
Swallow One Kahawa West 75/-
Sabina Joy Moi Avenue 80/-
Jam Rescue Outering Road 80/-
Enzogu Bar South B/C 90/-
Capri 7 Jabavu Road, Hurlingham 90/-
Monique Moi Avenue (Next to Sabina Joy) 100/-
The Nairobi Serena Valley Road 220/-
Safari Bar The Intercontinental, CBD 230/-
The Grand Regency Hotel Central Business District 242/-
The Jockey Pub (Hilton Hotel) Central Business District 250/-
The Exchange Bar (Stanely hotel) Kimathi Street. CBD 250/-

The index, although only covering middle class residential areas and big hotels within the CBD, shows a Kshs. 175 variation in the price of a bottle of Tusker. I’ll make sure to take this into account the next time I want one baada ya kazi.

And here is CrossTalk, a new blog I am reading which, in the words of the author, will “fight stupidity in Kenya and Kenyans”

the mdgs

Since everyone is currently talking about the MDGs and how they may or may not be achieved on time here is a nice piece from Bill Easterly.

According to an Oxfam study, eliminating US cotton subsidies would “improve the welfare of over one million West African households – 10 million people – by increasing their incomes from cotton by 8 to 20 per cent”.

I may not always agree with Bill but I think his basic approach to development is spot on. Just like in most human endeavors (politics, economics, sports) systems based on human goodwill are bound to fail while those based on self-interestedness thrive. There is no magic bullet in development, but there is definitely a better approach than is currently being employed. Lets not forget that aid is supposed to eventually lead to self-reliance.

It is already clear that the goals will not be met by their target date of 2015. One can already predict that the ruckus accompanying this failure will be loud about aid, but mostly silent about trade. It will also be loud about the failure of state actions to promote development, but mostly silent about the lost opportunities to allow poor countries’ efficient private business people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Bono has a slightly less realistic more hopeful take on the progress towards achieving the MDGs.