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Kenya In A Unique Position To Create New Image

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 00:00 -- BY MARY KIMONYE

On
27th August 2010, Kenyans of all walks of life congregated at Uhuru
Park to witness Kenya’s rebirth. Presiding
over the occasion our President, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki said this “We are
on the match towards a new Kenya, where there will be more opportunities for
business and employment.  Why is
this possible and believable?  The
President went further to state that, it is possible because Kenya is blessed
with a talented hardworking population.

 Yes,
Kenyans we have all it takes to make Kenya a great nation and indeed a choice
destination for investment, tourism, residence and corporate headquarters.

 Research
conducted by Brand Kenya resulted into a brand proposition that “Kenya is
bursting with generosity and rewarding beyond imagination.  This
was hot in the heels of a World Bank report that had concluded that Kenya was
at the verge of a turning point!

 What
does all this mean?  Kenyans we now
have a unique opportunity to create a new Kenya.  The Holy Bible in the book of Isaiah refers to such a time
as a time to turn spears into pruning hooks.  Yes, it is time for us to convert all the negative energy we
have used to fight each other, to doubt, criticize and discourage each other
into hooks for pruning and cultivating Kenya into a fertile and progress live nation.

 At
Brand Kenya, we are advocating for a Kenya where every Kenyan is single minded
about nation building. A
Kenya marked by comprehensive acceptance. 
When translated, means a country with a broad based unity where
individual identities are embraced and celebrated, as hooks for greater good.

 We
are talking about a Kenya where there are very high levels of intolerance to
the vices plaguing our nation: rape, incest, greed, complain, injustice,
disgrace, disrespect and disregard for the rule of law, bad manners etc.  These are the vices that gave a nation
its bad name.

 We
want a Kenya where even if there is poverty; there is poverty with
dignity!  This is a Kenya where
tribalists, racists, ethnic chauvinists would be utterly miserable and
uncomfortable!

 Is
this kind of Kenya achievable?  We
say yes, although we may not completely eliminated these vices, because there
will always be the bad incorrigible elements in society, we can build a
critical mass of citizenry who are committed to be forces for Good in our
society.

 Branding
Kenya is a responsibility of every single Kenyan.  Kenya’s image is the collective perception others hold as a
result of the various touch points on Kenya.  We create these touch points daily in what we do or say.

 The
politicians, the media, the citizens, the public servants, the state of our
economy, infrastructure, basic services, the hospitals, schools etc., all
provide moments of truth that contribute either positively or negatively to
“Brand Kenya” Changing Kenya’s image should start with each one of us at
individual level, then at institutional level and finally at national level. The
New Constitution with the comprehensive Bill of Rights and new power
distribution models is our opportunity. 
We must note waste it.

 The
Government, for all its weaknesses real and imagined, has shown the way towards
building “One Kenya.”  Taking
cognizance of our diversity, it has provided us with one dream/vision – the
Vision 2030.

 It
has given institutions like Brand Kenya, the National Cohesion and
Reconciliation Committee, the CIC, the Ombudsman,
KACC and now the Judiciary, and others the latitude to work towards embedding the
other key ingredients of one nation ie. nationhood, social justice, acceptance
and tolerance.  It behooves every
Kenyan to take the cue “Look Forward” and move Kenya closer to her dreams as
aspirations.

 

Natukae na Amani: - God
Bless Kenya

The writer is the chief executive officer, Brand
Kenya Board