As the region and the world witness Kenya elect its President, county and legislative representatives, of special interest are the country’s political and economic standing in the region.
Kenya remains an East and Central Africa powerhouse, and stability in the nation is important for its neighbours. Prof. Kagwanja of the API asserts that the country will remain leader in the region and “there is no indicator of it playing a lesser role”. He adds that “Kenya’s economy is interlocked in intricate ways with the neighbouring and international economies. He identifies three issues as being vital for Kenya’s buoyancy in the region:
Assertiveness in a Pan-African orientation, Economic development orientation and a resurgent military and diplomatic role particularly in Somalia and S.Sudan where Kenya continues to exercise soft power in the later’s conflict resolution efforts.
Further afield, Kenya has been able to position itself advantageously by partnering with The East.
Ms Amdany from The CRAWN Trust credits this approach to have worked for Kenya in terms of being able to fast track infrastructural development and broadening access to resources.
It is hoped that the country emerges from the election peacefully and Amdany cites a widespread desire for inclusive economic growth with a trickledown effect that has women more actively engaged in the economy.
More of this interactive conversation is in part 2 of Talk Africa’s coverage of the Kenyan elections 2017.