East Africa Today: An interview with Charles Onyango Obbo
In Episode 15, East Africa Today has a special Kenya election session with Mr. Charles Onyango Obbo, columnist for The East African and Executive Editor for the Africa and Digital Media Division at the Nation Media Group (NMG), based in Nairobi. Mr. Obbo speaks to us about the differences between the lead up to the Kenya's 2007 election and this year’s election. He explains how this election is an unusual one, especially in an African context, because an international issue, the International Criminal Court (ICC), has become very prominent in the political discourse, which is rare. Mr. Obbo tells us what is at stake from a regional perspective specifically for Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia. With so much at stake we ask Mr. Obbo if East Africa has a preferred candidate and ask him to predict who will win the election. Mr. Obbo also tells us how the media's coverage of politics and campaigns has evolved, especially in what in all intents and purposes is the first social media election in East Africa.
Prior to joining NMG, Mr. Obbo was Managing Editor of The Monitor (now the Daily Monitor) in Uganda, which he helped found, until December 2002 when he moved to Nairobi to work with NMG following its acquisition of the leading independent Ugandan newspaper in 2000.
Mr. Obbo is a columnist for The Daily Nation, The East African, The Citizen and The Daily Monitor, writing mostly on African political and democratic transition issues, the political economy of new technologies and social trends. In his spare time Mr. Obbo manages his own blog, Naked Chiefs, which he describes as "irreverent take on all things African."
Mr. Obbo has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
You can follow Mr. Obbo on Twitter: @cobbo3
Photo: Charles Obbo (Growth in East Africa)