At parliament building, in the senate house and along our Streets, China colonization of Kenya have been making headlines-it is the main street talk. Discussions around which have had a mix of emotions and logic, both of which are right paying attention to the facts of the arguments.
One particular point is missing in the whole narrative- the development process of an underdeveloped country. Whether you claim Kenya is a third world country or a lower middle income economy, the truth is that majority of our people are poor, our facilities and infrastructures are at their level lowest(not in the capital though) and corruption is at it’s historical peak. What shot do we have as a country in bettering these sectors? I’ll say China.
Half a century ago,Kenya was at par economically with Singapore and Brazil. What path did these two countries take to experience such an enormous progress in just a span of 50 years. Where did Kenya as a country go wrong? These two countries capitalized on investment and leadership,what Kenya is currently doing. Brazilians brought to an end a long regime of dictatorial and corrupt leadership through the might of ordinary citizens rioting in Streets of major cities in the country from Sau Paulo to Rio. Singapore through good governance focused on investment;with a drive to be a global icon in economic development and indeed it is. Kenya on the other hand took the path of tribal politics and a “get-it-all” mentality in our tribal kingpins.
China is making massive investment in Kenya. China is seeing opportunity where all other big states are seeing disease and poverty. The motivation is what is blurred but with good policies from our government, China’s investment is a good opportunity for Kenya to leap-frog to the global stage(fourth industrial revolution). The discussion should shift from fear of what might happen 50 years to come to what benefits are we experiencing now. China is the reason why Kenya is a low middle income country and surely China can also be the reason why many Kenyan net and entrepreneurs can access the global market.
Am not advocating that everything Chinese is good; China’s form of leadership is not good for Kenya. But am afraid,many of our leaders are looking China as a good model of leadership. What am advocating for is Chinese technology, Chinese entrepreneurs and Chinese investors. They too have to benefit,just as in any form of trade, profit must also be the motivation. What the Senate and parliament should do is to make good policies to prevent local exploitation. The parties to negotiation treaties should ensure that the terms are fair to both countries.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.