Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Friday, 8 July 2005 16:36 UK

G8 summit diary: Tuesday 05 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.


I woke very early today because I had a breakfast interview with an Irish radio station, Newstalk 106FM, together with George Monbiot who is an environmentalist and Guardian columnist. I met him yesterday in the grounds of a church near the Museum of Scotland and we had a brief talk on globalisation and what all this G8 fanfare is about.

I am not sure why we chose to meet at what seemed to be a graveyard, but we almost missed Monbiot because the police had ring-fenced Princes Street as they battled the "anarchists".

Police and anti-capitalist demonstrators in central Edinburgh
Protests turned nasty on Monday

At some point yesterday morning I thought it might be fun to watch the police battle demonstrators. Although I took off when I saw the chaos escalate - I had been warned not to get too close - it somehow elated me for reasons right or wrong. And I am trying to be sincere.

When such things happen back home - and I am not a politician - they are quickly interpreted as an attempt to crack down on freedom of expression, which is used as one of the conditions of donor aid.

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

Now it's happening on the doorstep of the G8 summit where its leaders lecture us on freedom of expression and its place in democratisation and governance. But this doesn't mean I support lawlessness.

Today I will pick up my press pass to Gleneagles. I hope I have one - for how can they discuss Africa without African journalists present?

At the moment I think that the G8 should have held this high-profile meeting in Africa.

It would have been a better public relations exercise if they came and survived on less than a dollar a day - like some of us do - during the summit.

Actors with masks of the French and US presidents read an article about Africa
Africa: A fitting venue?

What a wasted opportunity to feel, breathe and see what poverty is - and I don't mean poverty as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary.

But like the Berlin Conference, that partitioned Africa over 100 years ago, the G8 will be holed up in Europe. Only this time around there will be shoving and pushing all around that might eclipse the real story. And that is my first fear.

My second fear is that this is a long-running story which might very soon bore the western media - and they will drop it, as they did with the tsunami story, like a hot brick!

Nevertheless, so far so good and I feel excitement as an African journalist reporting from within, and very close to the drama. After all it is about us.

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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