- Democratic nations hold elections to provide opportunities to change or abandon what has gone wrong and to introduce realistic plans to realize emerging national ambitions.
- Incidents of disruptive election violence have in the past dented our national esteem and sown doubt and hesitation among our economic partners.
- This time around, our political leaders will hopefully hold back and hold a normal election that will leave the country ready to go through immediately and consistently.
With the arrival of a new government in August, Kenya will have the opportunity to set new milestones in socio-economic development and possibly redefine and improve its quite strong brand.
Democratic nations hold elections to provide opportunities to change or abandon what has gone wrong and to introduce realistic plans to realize emerging national ambitions and aspirations, always building on past successes and learning from the pitfalls of the past.
I have lived so many decades since pre-independence and this allows me to label Kenya as a country which has always had immense potential and diversity of natural resources and a truly enterprising population, quite educated and generally with attitudes progressives to advance to the next level of human achievement.
And it is these attributes that have made Kenya a preferred destination for foreign investment for decades.
And Kenya knows how to wake up quickly and turn around when it falls, for indeed it has fallen unnecessarily many times, often forcing the country to play catch-up games with contemporary nations that have avoided frequent falls.
Incidents of disruptive election violence have in the past dented our national esteem and sown doubt and hesitation among our economic partners.
This time around, our political leaders will hopefully hold back and hold a normal election that will leave the country ready to move forward immediately and consistently without any socio-economic disruption.
Peace and calm will allow whichever political team wins to start its development program.
No matter how elaborate the economic development models advanced by the winning team were in their manifestos, meaningful progress will not be made unless basic morals and standards are restored in the governance of public resources.
Corruption and political patronage in Kenya have, over the decades, drastically undermined our public service delivery systems, as patriotism and professionalism have gradually been replaced by the self-interest of civil servants and political actors.
It is therefore difficult to offer full fiscal value to the economy and to citizens.
In front behind
Unfortunately, debates on the governance of public resources have been absent from the current election campaign, raising doubts that meaningful improvements in governance will be made.
Unless future leaders recognize and make visible efforts to strengthen the management of public resources, Kenya will take several steps forward and equivalent steps back, with the efforts and resources expended not sufficiently reflected in the results. improvements in GDP and household incomes.
Kenya has remained large mainly thanks to private production, distribution and service companies, and very enterprising Kenyans who produce and connect supply with demand.
The new government should see private enterprise as essential instruments to advance its socio-economic agenda, especially in providing jobs and essential technologies.
Tax policies and other sectoral regulations should favor, not hinder or slow down, private enterprises. This is why consultations and dialogues with the various actors in the private sector must become routine.
Kenya’s economic and diplomatic greatness has often been defined by the country’s prominence as a preferred hub for global and regional activities supported primarily by its excellent communication and hospitality.
Improvements in infrastructure and services should aim to give Kenya and its cities an added advantage.
Insecurity in any part of the country should remain a priority for the new leadership and indeed for all Kenyans. Insecurity repels investment and reduces effort and human dignity. Incoming leadership should therefore aim at the elimination of local and territorial insecurity, using effective initiatives.
Guaranteed security will unlock socio-economic development in many sleepy areas of Kenya.
When it comes to global diplomacy and geopolitics, the new leaders will have to be as wise as possible in choosing paths that are mostly unaligned and that offer Kenya various economic opportunities, while allowing us to associate with most of the world.
The world is unfortunately slowly drifting into a new era of divisive geopolitical and economic groupings.
Winning an election is one thing, creating an agenda and code of governance that builds greatness and provides improved income and dignity for its citizens is a greater challenge.
Kenya and its people should expand to their fullest potential and greatness. It shouldn’t be business as usual.