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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
G8 summit diary: Thursday 07 July
Kenyan journalist John Kamau is in Scotland for the G8 summit and is writing about his experiences for the BBC News website. In Kenya he works as a senior reporter on the Sunday Standard newspaper.


The focus of news has shifted to the south. Not to Africa as we expected, but to London.

Most people here are now so concerned with the blasts in London this morning that we know that all this talk about Africa and climate change may have to play second fiddle in the media today and tomorrow.

I witnessed it myself a few hours ago when, as we prepared to board the shuttle bus from Edinburgh to Gleneagles, a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald was called by his editor and told to head back to London.

But for those of us from Africa - despite the tragic events in London - tomorrow is still D-Day, and it seems the meeting goes on.

Nairobi bombing

My wife has just called from Nairobi to ask whether I am OK and that concern will go as far as my home village where they will, by this afternoon, learn about the tragedies in London.

Journalists in Scotland
Events in London have dominated everyone's thoughts

Kenya has been targeted twice by terrorists and I lost my best village mate, Naftali Mwangi, when terrorists attacked the US embassy in Nairobi. Terror attacks touch me in a different way.

My condolences to those who lost their beloved ones in these dreadful attacks, in the shadow of which we now sit in Gleneagles to watch as the G8 look at the wider world crisis sparked by inequity and poverty.


We do not know how the terror attacks will affect the Africa agenda - but we are keeping tabs on it.

The only product of the Scotland meeting will be media stories, which sadly, due to the London attack, may not make any headlines. Arise Africa!
Chege Osodo, Nairobi

The air is now extremely gloomy up here and I am not finding the excitement and energy that I usually see with journalists.

Those from London will be worried about friends, family and colleagues, and those from abroad will perhaps be feeling cut off from the real theatre of action, even as they are appalled at the loss of lives and threats of further terror.

Security is tighter than ever, with occasional police sirens and sounds of a helicopter, and we have had to go through a thorough security check before we got to the centre.

Although all is OK here in Scotland, I have this feeling of vulnerability and unease following the multiple blasts.

It puts the fears of people into perspective. Yesterday we had a chance to visit the outskirts of Gleneagles, a village known as Auchterarder, and I spoke with the locals. I asked one woman about yesterday's march by Alternative G8. She told me she was frightened "by all these policemen and people".

"Do you know these people marching to "Make Poverty History?" "No," she told me, "it's not the local people doing that. They think that's not the civilised way to do it".

When stories like this break, what amazes me is the level of technology that the Western colleagues have.

They can send pictures and sound instantly while I have come here armed only with the basic tools of my trade - a pen and paper. For today I had to phone through my copy.

Some have camped here with broadcasting vans the like of which I have never seen in my career. What if we had access to this kind of kit in Africa? Wouldn't it help information get out faster?

In any case, the events in London have really disturbed me and the whole team. I wish I could help.

Previous diary entries:

John Kamau attended the G8 summit in Edinburgh with assistance from the Panos institute, a non-profit media organisation that works with journalists in the developing world.

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