An Afrocentric foreign policy
Aside from just embracing China, Kenyatta’s inauguration speech, as well the Foreign Secretary’s statements have all alluded to an Afro-centric foreign policy. This is a radical departure from Kenya’s previous foreign policy outlook. And it is not a bad idea, except unless it fails to transcend rhetoric. The case for Afrocentric foreign policy has never been more significant than now; According to The Economist magazine, “Secondary-school enrolment grew by 48% between 2000 and 2008 after many states expanded their education programmes and scrapped school fees. Over the past decade malaria deaths in some of the worst-affected countries have declined by 30% and HIV infections by up to 74%. Life expectancy across Africa has increased by about 10% and child mortality rates in most countries have been declining” further, “Over the past ten years real income per person has increased by more than 30%, whereas in the previous 20 years it shrank by nearly 10%. Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent just now. Over the next decade its GDP is expected to rise by an average of 6% a year, not least thanks to foreign direct investment. FDI has gone from $15 billion in 2002 to $37 billion in 2006 and $46 billion in 2012” and six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa. These pretty staggering statistics for a continent that fed decades ago was seen as a humanitarian theme park because of the incessant disaster.
Kenyatta can position Kenya as a key player in this milieu by unveiling a master plan on how Kenya leverages its position in reaping maximum benefit from this. This involves setting up a well-staffed- with the right kind of people, not another patronage park, well-resourced unit that can establish Kenya as the ultimate trade diplomat’s hub.
Kenya can turn the ICC travails, by capitalizing on the anti-ICC wave that Kenya has deftly created during the AU’s 50TH anniversary as a platform, thus turning adversity into an opportunity. Additionally, with a progressive constitution, an expanding middle class, and the newly minted technology hub, all the key ingredients are in place, they just need to be harnessed.