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Kibaki offers new hope to Kenya's poor


The advice to visitors to Nairobi is comprehensive. "Don't wind down the windows in your vehicle, don't carry any valuables, don't stop to talk to street children when you're walking around. Don't stay in the River Road area and don't go anywhere in the centre on foot at night."

The list is pretty impressive and by no means unjustified. Beset by rising violent crime, the city has long been nicknamed "Nairobbery" by locals and visitors, and makes Johannesburg feel safe by comparison. Armed robberies and hijackings of cars are common and the best thing to do if you are involved in one is to comply with the assailant's demands. If you do what they say then they probably won't shoot you, goes the advice. Driving here is hazardous at the best of times when having to squeeze between the next crater-sized pothole and the matatu drivers, careering all over the road in their decrepit Nissan minivans packed with brave passengers.

But crime does not top the city's problems. Drive away from the high-rise business district and beyond plush suburbs such as Westlands and the city quickly descends into rubbish-strewn slums.

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