Kenya and Africa Must Think Long Term

Published on 23rd October 2012

As Kenya braces for the forthcoming general elections and the suspected masterminds of the 2007-8 post-election violence prepare to face the ICC, the country is witnessing an immense whipping-up of tribal sentiments. Kenya will do well to heed ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s advice that neither the people of Kenya, the Kenya government nor any ethnic community in Kenya is on trial before the ICC, and that it is Kenyans who will make or break the country.

The 21st Century Kenya, and by extension Africa, must urgently move away from using ethnic groups as vehicles of conflict but rather creatively seek to turn them into vehicles of  opportunity. Africa’s post-independence leaders must not imitate colonizers who tapped into the continent’s ethnic differences to divide and dominate it.

The world is undergoing rapid geopolitical change. It is suicidal for Kenya to remain stuck in the old order that embraces immediate tiny gains at the expense of bigger gains tomorrow. Kenya and by extension Africa ought to steer the conversation on elective politics to strategies that can propel the continent to build global brands that add value to individual citizen’s life as well as the future of the country.

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