Kenya ‘a beacon of democracy’ in East Africa, says expert [Report]
Kenya’s election on Sunday is the start of a new chapter in the country’s history, says Dr Paul Ndung’u, a professor of politics at the University of Nairobi.
“In Africa, every other election is an election against the past,” Ndung’u told reporters after speaking at the annual Kenya Human Development Awards at the University of Pretoria.
The former vice president also said Kenya has “a great opportunity to be the new Africa,” a country that’s ready to take advantage of its strengths and overcome its shortcomings. (Kenya’s first female President, Uhuru Kenyatta, won in 2011).
Ndung’u says Kenya can be a beacon of democracy in East Africa like it is in South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Ndung’u was in South Africa when the country’s democratic transition began. He was there to help with training for political parties and the media.
The elections of the people of Kenya are an opportunity for us to learn from the great transition that took place in South Africa, he says.
“Kenya has seen an election that has been a beacon of democracy for the African world. We can learn from the South African example as to how we build a strong democracy.”
Since 2011, when Uhuru Kenyatta won the presidential election, the constitution has been changed.
The nation is now governed by a new Cabinet headed by Vice President William Ruto. The country’s first vice – president, William Ruto, who was a minister under the old government, has been appointed as an interim President.
The NIS 200 billion ($45.4 billion) economic recovery package was also handed to the president and his cabinet after Kenyatta lost by a narrow margin in the election.
This has been a period of tension between Kenyatta and Ruto, as the former has accused the Ruto government of stealing the election from him.
On Friday, Ndung’u told the National Development Trust (NDT) donors conference in Durban that the election “will be a turning point for the country.”