A chilly Friday afternoon, cloud cover, temperature around 16 degrees centigrade and a calm atmosphere around the neighbourhood, today's assignment it to pick the subject from the Airport at 16:30 hours. As simple an assignment as there can be. Due to my prudence, I arrange for a cab to pick me at 15:00 hours, well in advance due to the nature of Nairobi Traffic. I expect to get to the airport latest 15:45 hours. Mind you, the distance from the house to the airport is around 22.5 Kms. Fast forward 10 minutes later, I find myself past Westlands round about and just outside some buildings that are being constructed, if I am not wrong, it is the new headquarters for Standard Chartered Bank. The car comes to a standstill, drivers get out of their cars and start having animated conversations amongst each other as we wait for the gridlock to unlock and for cars to move freely again. As it always happens, we in the middle part of the jam hear that it is the president who is keeping us here, yep, we are waiting for his motorcade to pass. It will be a good 25 minutes before traffic starts moving freely again. 25 minutes is a lifetime to remain in one spot, no movement just stuck in one spot. Finally the cars move again and surely we arrive at the airport late around 16:05 hours. Luckily the flight has been delayed and will arrive at 16:30 hours, it is coincidentally delayed due to a V.I.P's flight having to take off.

Surely at around 16:40, the subject gets out into the departure lounge, I am surprised that the subject managed to negotiate Kenyan immigration in such a short time. We get into the cab with the next stop being the subject's destination and home. However, the subject makes a change to the plan, the subjects wants to pass through Westgate Mall to do some banking as the banks there close late. Sure enough, the change of plans should not worry us much, it will just be a short detour. Flash forward 3 hours and we finally make it to Westgate Mall, yep it took us 3 hours to travel from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to our intermediate destination Westgate Mall. Luckily we manage to convince the guard that we were delayed by traffic and they let the subject do his/her banking. Forward 35 minutes later and we reach the subjects final destination. A good 5 hours and 35 minutes covering a record distance of 45-48 kilometers in total.

It would be good to understand why I went on talking about my journey to and from the airport. The thing is, it is so sad that the taxi driver had to cancel so many clients and lose out on so much money due to his business environment. When you hear this term "business environment" on T.V as a layman, I want you to remember my story. The story of spending 5 hours in traffic to cover a distance that anywhere else in the world would be covered in 20 minutes. This is what should be thought of as Kenya's business environment. When a trucker can only make 3 rounds a week rather than say 6 rounds, it is because of our business environment, when a local flower delivery shop can only make 2 deliveries per day rather than 7 or 8 it is because of this business environment. When tourists leave Kenya with nightmarish memories and dwindling tourist numbers do not seem to correspond with the vast sums that the Tourist Board are spending on their marketing campaigns, the business environment is to blame. It is criminal that a government whose ministers are currently concerned with raising their salaries, can get away with letting their businessmen and civilians suffer due to a mismanaged transport infrastructure.

I am sometimes a bigger picture thinker, or at least I would like to think of myself as one. Yesterday clearly highlighted the bigger picture in terms of the steps that need to be taken to make Kenya work. The unfortunate cab guy lost at least 4 hours of factor productivity. How many does the average Kenyan lose in a day?