AKOL KUOL: Looking at Kenya from a non-Kenyan Perspective

Also while I was away, some old malls disappeared and new ones emerged.

In Summary

•Also while I was away, some old malls disappeared and new ones emerged despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya did not and is not allowing itself to be bogged down by this costly pandemic – in lives and material. This is really amazing.

•This development that has taken and still taking place in different parts of the country, and especially in Nairobi, is a collective work by the Government of Kenya, Kenyan business people and the common people – the wananchi.

I stayed away from Kenya for nine months last year and then nine months again this year for the first time since I first came to Kenya in 1999 and made it my base. However, to my surprise, I observed a great change, a major progress in various areas including the construction of new roads, buildings and so many things.

Also while I was away, some old malls disappeared and new ones emerged despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya did not and is not allowing itself to be bogged down by this costly pandemic – in lives and material. This is really amazing.

This development that has taken and still taking place in different parts of the country, and especially in Nairobi, is a collective work by the Government of Kenya, Kenyan business people and the common people – the wananchi.

This is something to be proud of, and this determined spirit needs to be maintained.This great progress and development in different fields at the time of Covid-19 pandemic shows how far the Kenyan people have developed the sense of love for their country – the spirit of patriotism is growing and gaining ground in the hearts of the Kenyan people regardless of their tribes, counties, religion, political parties, gender and educational background.

As somebody who has continuously lived in Kenya for two decades, I know where Kenya was in 1999 and where it has reached now. And with this patriotism, hard-work and determination, one would predict where it could be in the next 10 years.Given the great achievements that were made in the last two decades (during Kibaki I and Kibaki II, and Uhuru I & Uhuru II) following the transition from one-party system to multiparty-system despite the challenges the Kenyan politicians and people have encountered during that period, one would expect Kenya to be at the level of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia in the next 10 or 20 years should Kenyans move forward with the same spirit of a “unity of purpose”.

Now Kenya, especially Nairobi, has all it takes to attract foreign investors to invest in the country as the basic requirements – starting with the security, investment laws and regulations, efficient banking, transport and communication (including the fast and reliable internet) system and a good housing.I am confident that sooner or later, Kenya will become a 24-hour economic country, as it has the infrastructure to be one of the leading economic countries not only in the region, but also in the world at large.

This is because it has an ambitious, vibrant, hardworking and self-driven young people who are equipped with knowledge and technology and would want their country to be the best. One other important reason behind Kenya’s progress apart from the spirit of a “unity of purpose” that I mentioned earlier, is this stable democratic system and freedom of media.

These two tools are very fundamental for progress of any visionary nation, for they consolidate peace, stability and give way to the emergence of new and better ideas in a free and peaceful atmosphere. So in conclusion, I know there is no country that does not have some shortcomings here and there and Kenya is not exception.

However, because Kenya has passed through some difficult and painful experiences including the Post-Election Violence of 2007/2008, hence it learned important lessons that would not give room for the recurrence of such one. And that is where the terminology, ‘Handshake’ of March 2018 comes in. So best wishes, Kenya.

Akol Miyen Kuol, is a South Sudanese political analyst, journalist, author & poet based in Nairobi, Kenya.