Nairobi has in recent times had a vibrant nightlife. Perhaps this is the reason there are nightclubs in almost every street within the central business district. Action begins on Friday evening. It gains momentum again on Saturday afternoon. Nearly every balcony available has turned into a club. Walk along Tom Mboya Street, Moi Avenue or Kimathi Street and you will notice just how many nightclubs there are.

The global nature of nightlife

Nightlife is an aspect found in the main cities across the globe. Therefore, Nairobi is not an exception. With revelers flocking to their favorite bars and lounges, another group of traders emerge. These are the people who sell coffee, tea, snacks, boiled maize and mushkaki. You will find them near the entrances of night clubs. Apart from foodstuff, night traders also peddle sweets, chewing gum and condoms for a good measure.

24-hour economy

Nairobi’s nightlife and the booming trade that comes with it are an indication of transformation into a 24-hour economy. The government has time and again reaffirmed its commitment towards ensuring that the country moves to a 24-hour economy.

In such an economy, commercial activities take place round-the-clock. It means that you can go shopping at midnight, find a place to eat at 1 am or even get transport home at 3 am. What transpires within the city at night is an indication that citizens are ahead of the government in implementing a day and night economy.

CCTV camera installation

If you thought the government has been lagging behind, you are wrong. As a matter of fact, the government has been busy installing CCTV cameras within the city. No one can state that they have not noticed these grey poles with sets of cameras hanging from the top. Safaricom Limited, the telecommunications giant, won the tender to undertaken the project in collaboration with the national government. The video cameras interlink in a network with the central command and surveillance center located at Vigilance House.

How the system works

These cameras have the capability to record every activity taking place within the city. Whenever matatus block city traffic, the cameras will capture it. If a mugging incident occurs, it will be caught on camera. On their part, video surveillance personnel will review footage on a round-the-clock basis. They will coordinate with security officers on foot and vehicle patrols. This coordination will involve, among other things, notifying personnel about possible crimes, traffic chaos and alerting them when emergency situations arise. Everything that happens in the city will be on camera.

Installation of CCTV cameras will go a long way towards improving night-time surveillance. Moving Nairobi to a 24-hour economy will require the collaborative effort of the National Government, the National Police Service, Nairobi County Government and the business community. Besides installation of cameras, the county government of Nairobi must ensure that the city is adequately lit. The police need to intensify patrols and put more men and women on the ground.

Parting shot

The move towards making Nairobi a city that never sleeps is gaining momentum. Nonetheless, a lot still needs to be done. Employers must also be willing to allow people to work at night. Once Nairobi achieves the 24-hour status, it will have joined the ranks of cities such as London, Paris and New York. Kenya’s economy will improve following increased trade opportunities.


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