Posts Tagged Kenya

Kenya: Private Security Grows In Response To Pirates

This is a great little clip of some hard charging Kenyan security professionals. Although it is obvious that the guys in the background are doing drills like that to perform as background for the interview– or dog and pony shows to promote the company. lol

If you are interested in further investigations into the Kenyan security market, here is a link to the KSIA mentioned in the beginning. –Matt


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Technology: Urgent Tweet In Kenya Village–Help, Sheep Missing

This is another great use of technology and leveraging the established networks and their personal technologies to increase the security and commerce in a rural place. Notice the tools being used?  Basic cell towers, cellphones with SMS capability, basic low cost cell services, and an administrative chief building a snowmobile out of all of those pieces. The end result is that a government can communicate with it’s people, and the people can communicate back. A people scattered and remote, yet still brought closer together because of technology like this. That network has now increased it’s security and commerce, because it can plan and react based on better information coming in.

Some other things with this is that the local populations are using this technology and getting educated on all the various ways of connectivity with the tools they have. They have learned how to post a tweet using their text messaging feature and basic services on their phone. Wow, that is awesome. Just imagine each village with a smart phone or computer?  It will happen, they will learn how to use it and exploit it, and governments need to pay attention. It empowers the citizenry, and it empowers the government to react to the needs of that citizenry. Doom on that government that does not pay attention to this interconnected and knowledge empowered citizenry. Especially if a government has depended upon it’s people not knowing what it is doing, or what it has done in one city/region versus the other. The light is definitely threatening the darkness…..

I also like the addition of this technology to what is already popular and available. That would be radio. A broadcast on a radio can now be met by a population that can answer back with their cellphones. That is quite the capability if used correctly. You could create offense industries with that set up, and possibly use RIM and these networks to find guys like Joseph Kony and his army. –Matt


Urgent tweet in Kenya village: Help, sheep missing
Feb 15, 2012
When the administrative chief of this western Kenyan village received an urgent 4 a.m. call that thieves were invading a school teacher’s home, he sent a message on Twitter. Within minutes residents in this village of stone houses gathered outside the home, and the thugs fled.
“My wife and I were terrified,” said teacher Michael Kimotho. “But the alarm raised by the chief helped.”
The tweet from Francis Kariuki was only his latest attempt to improve village life by using the micro-blogging site Twitter. Kariuki regularly sends out tweets about missing children and farm animals, showing that the power of social media has reached even into a dusty African village. Lanet Umoja is 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of the capital, Nairobi.
“There is a brown and white sheep which has gone missing with a nylon rope around its neck and it belongs to Mwangi’s father,” he tweeted recently in the Swahili language. The sheep was soon recovered.
Kariuki said that even the thieves in his village follow him on Twitter. Earlier this year, he tweeted about the theft of a cow, and later the cow was found abandoned, tied to a pole.

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Kenya: The Government Teams Up With PSC’s For Counter-Terrorism Efforts

Kenya’s private security industry is undergoing radical changes triggered by numerous threats arising from terrorism activities in the country. The firms are struggling to meet new demands that seek to align their operations with those of government security agencies. Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the idea is to ensure that security guards complement police and other agencies like the National Security Intelligence Service and the military in the war against terrorism.
Kenya has been on high security alert since October last year when the military entered Somalia in Operation Linda Nchi, to fight Al-Shabaab. “We need these people (private guards) because some of them are very well-trained and professional. But in the end we need an Act to inculcate professionalism across the board,” said Mr Kiraithe.

Below I have posted two articles that discuss the latest efforts that the Kenyan government is taking in order to work with and regulate their PSC industry in order to better prepare them for counter-terror efforts. The reason why this is important to Kenya is that terrorism has increased in their country and it is a threat to their tourism industry. It is also a threat to the population itself, and thanks to their neighbor called Somalia, they have plenty of pirates and jihadists to deal with.

The company mentioned in this first article is called XFOR Security Solutions. It is a UK company and they are teaming up with police officers from Kenya to train other PSC’s in the country.

He said the Security firms can play a big role in bringing security services closer to members of the public.
“We have carried out training in Nairobi where we meet various security heads from different sectors to educate them on various ways to identify and counter terrorism and we hope to extend the training to North Eastern,” said Mr Lincon-Hope.
The training comes a few months after a French woman and a British Couple were kidnapped while on holiday in Kiwayu, a few kilometres north of Lamu.

Tourism is also a big component of Kenya’s economy, and with so many other threats to their economy, it would make sense that they would try to shore up their security services there. From high oil prices to droughts, Kenya is having to take measures to better their economic prospects. So enter the private security market and the current requirements for protecting the resorts and game reserves.

The second article below talks about the government’s regulatory efforts. Notice how there is more of an emphasis on how to create a system of rules and laws that will make PSC’s more of an asset in Kenya’s efforts to counter terror and crime. That is great, and this is how a government should view their PSC’s–as strategic national security assets, and not as a liabilities.

National Private Security Workers Union secretary-general Thomas Alloyce said:
“Once the law is passed, requirements for one to offer private security will be expanded. Guards will undergo training in bomb detection and disposal, VIP protection and counter- terrorism strategies.”
In the draft stage, the Bill faced hurdles over some proposed sections.
For instance, the issuance of firearms to security guards.
“We are safer when we have as many people out there each with qualifications in certain security areas.”

I wish Kenya well with their efforts and we will see how things go. If any readers have anything to add, feel free to comment below. –Matt


Coast police officer Aggrey Adoli with security staff from various hotels along the coastline after they attended an anti-terrorism training organised by XFOR security Solutions-Kenya on February 13, 2012. Photo/LABAN WALLOGA

Police train private security firms’ staff on explosives in war against terrorism
February 13  2012
The fight against terrorism continued to gather momentum after the government teamed up with private security firms to seek a joint solution to the crime.
It is seen as a decisive step by the government to restore confidence to tourists following last year’s two abduction cases in Lamu by Somali bandits.
On Monday, the police department promised to work closely with private security firms in Coast Province, particularly along the 600 kilometre coastline to prevent any further terrorists attacks.
A joint training is being conducted in Mombasa, organised by a British based security private firm, XFOR Security Solution and top police officers.
They are gathered at the Nyali Reef Hotel to coach more than 100 participants from different security firms.
Detecting explosives
The trainees will learn various ways of detecting explosives and how to collect intelligence in their respective work places, especially in hotels and other business premises, such as supermarkets.
The merger comes days after a security firm, Brinks Security based in Mombasa aided in the arrest of a British who was taking pictures near the Central Bank, Mombasa branch and various sensitive premises in Mombasa town.
Speaking while opening the training, Coast Provincial Police boss Aggrey Adoli and provincial Anti-Terrorism department head Elijah Rop said the knowledge will ensure private security firms’ employees are conversant with various explosives which might be a threat to the business they offer security services to.

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Industry Talk: Security Firms Hustle To Get Noticed In Kenya

Companies that specialise in one or select number of services have come up, intensifying competition with those that dominated before. KKLogit for example specialises in provision of cash-in-transit services, challenging industry leaders like G4S, Wells Fargo and BM Security Services.

I am always interested in PSC or PMC news in other parts of the world, so here is a story about the market in Kenya of all places. What is really neat about this particular story is the idea of the small companies competing and taking market share from the big companies. That these smaller companies are focusing on a particular niche, and marketing themselves as the best at that particular niche–like cash transits.  The larger companies might provide the same service, but maybe not at the same level of quality or cost as a small company can. The larger companies also might not have the support of the local populations, because they might seem like one of those evil ‘foreigner mega-corporations’ coming to take business from the little guy.

This also reminds me of classic Sun Tzu or military strategy where you attack weakness with strength. Another way to look at it is guerrilla warfare for business, and these smaller companies in Nairobi are figuring this out. That they may not be able to compete against a G4S type company directly, but they certainly can compete against G4S in a very specific market.  But that smaller company has to be able to prove that they are the better company for these specific deals.

And to be able to prove that they are the better company requires an excellent strategic communications plan, and quality control for services rendered. So with smaller companies that can more easily monitor all aspects of their business, and can be more personal online in places like Facebook, might have an advantage here.

A smaller business might also be more appealing to a client if they are opposed to supporting large foreign corporations.  So Walmart might sell watches, but if you can buy the same watch at the same price at a small mom and pop watch shop, that might have even more of a selection of watches than Walmart–then why support that foreign mega-corporation with your business? Or, if that mom and pop watch store is better able to connect with the local population than the mega-corporation, then that will help too. These are the kinds of ‘small guy versus the big guy’ communications and strategies a small company can do in a market like this.

A final note for this article, is that it is filled with the names of some interesting PSC players in Kenya. G4S, KKLogit, Wells Fargo, BM Security Services, Salama Fikira, and Senaca to name a few. Check it out. –Matt


Training at Senaca Security Services in Nairobi. Intense competition in the private security market is pushing service providers to turn to marketing and public relations to boost their visibility in the marketplace. File

Security firms hustle to get noticed
August 8  2011
Intense competition in the private security market is pushing service providers to turn to marketing and public relations to boost their visibility in the marketplace.
Previously, firms such as G4S Security, KK Security and Wells Fargo seldom bothered about publicity and often relied on walk-in clients and recommendation from their clients to net in new clients, especially corporate customers.
But competition from the top players and new entrants such as Senaca and more visible Brinks Security has forced a change in strategy and the market leaders are racing to grow and defend their marketshare.
As a result, the firms have set up or an in the process of setting up fully fledged communication departments as arsenal for market growth.

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Cool Stuff: Damien’s War And The International Anti Poaching Foundation

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Maritime Security: US Firm ESPADA Services Provides Armed Escorts To Curb Pirate Attacks, Somalia

Abdinoor, chief executive officer of African Shipping Line, Espada’s local agentEspada has 14 vessels with armed personnel who will offer security from the East African ports to Yemen.

Most of the firm’s security team have military training and experience in defending ships, Mr Abdinoor said.

Espada has 50 personnel, and expects to increase this to 150 when physical escort along the Somali waters takes ships in the coming months.

Interesting little bit of news there and below I have provided their career section page with an email to send a resume too. Although I am sure they have tons of guys already on the books but still, it doesn’t hurt to get your resume out there.  Hopefully they will pop up in the comments section like they have done in the past, and fill in any blanks or add any new information about this potential increase in jobs and size of contract. Good news to them and bravo for getting the job done! –Matt

ESPADA Logistics and Security Group website here.

African Shipping Lines website here.

Edit: 10/28/2010 – Jim was kind enough to come up in the comments section and correct the record of this article. It seems the numbers offered in the article are a little off. Check it out.


While Espada has greatly expanded its security operations in the area….we do NOT have 14 vessels operating in the Indian Ocean. We have 3 vessels we use on charter when needed for special security projects (cable-layers, barges, heavy lift, etc). Also, we are NOT investing $50M in the region….only a fraction of that amount. We have partnered with African Shipping Lines for regional support…but need to have better coordination on any press releases so that facts are accurately communicated. Reputation is everything and I would rather under report what we are doing than exaggerate our position. We have worked very hard to get where we are by delivering to customers what we say we can…not by puffing smoke.

You are correct that we have a large pool of talent waiting for open positions. However, I would still encourage QUALIFIED MARSEC personnel to apply through our website as we are expanding rapidly to meet new contract demands.

As always, I am available for further clarification and discussion.

– Jim Jorrie CEO, Espada Marine Services

Edit: 06/09/2011- At this time, Feral Jundi does not endorse this company.  I have received multiple negative reports from contractors that have worked for this company, and I am not at all impressed with the way they are operating. Buyer beware….Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Also please check out this thread on SOCNET about Espada.

US security firm provides armed escort to curb pirate attacks


Wednesday, October 27 2010

A private US security firm is working with a Mombasa-based shipping line to provide armed escort to ships using the East Coast of Africa in a bid to order to reduce piracy along Somalia’s coast.

Espada Logistics and Security Group, based in San Antonio, Texas, plans to invest up to $50 million to boost its vessels, which will be deployed in East Africa to escort vessels from the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to Yemen.

Ships are currently avoiding the Somalia waters and are taking a longer route, said Mr Ibrahim Ahmed Abdinoor, chief executive officer of African Shipping Line, Espada’s local agentEspada has 14 vessels with armed personnel who will offer security from the East African ports to Yemen.

Most of the firm’s security team have military training and experience in defending ships, Mr Abdinoor said.

Espada has 50 personnel, and expects to increase this to 150 when physical escort along the Somali waters takes ships in the coming months.

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