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Dr Obuonye: Kenya is not a “silver bullet” for Africa’s development

Dr Obuonye: Kenya is not a “silver bullet” for Africa’s development

Kenya ‘a beacon of democracy’ in East Africa, says expert

by Njoki Mukendi

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2014

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This article appeared in the January 2014 edition of The Journal.

Nairobi: Kenya is “a beacon of democracy” in East Africa, says an eminent international expert on East Africa who is also a former Kenyan finance minister.

But it is not a “silver bullet for Africa’s development”, Dr. Patrick Obuonye, who is now president of Nairobi-based Development Alternatives, told The Journal at a recent meeting in Kenya of donors and African governments, with support from the US State Department.

He says Kenya, like other developed countries in Africa, has been “too slow and too bureaucratic” in implementing some of its development plans, especially on key areas like education and health.

But he also warned that Kenya, because of its size and the high incidence of poverty, could be “a drag” on the continent if it fails to make the right developmental decisions in the longer term.

Dr Obuonye was also critical of the government’s performance and its approach to issues such as the economy, and how it had been perceived to be weak by development partners.

He also said that the government should provide more resources for the development of the private sector, which in his opinion was the best way to ensure that the poor and the marginalized could benefit from development.

He also said that the country lacked an effective monitoring mechanism to ensure that its development plans met the needs of the people.

He said that Kenya was a “disposable” state, and urged the country’s development partners to make greater efforts to improve the credibility of the country’s development outcomes.

“There are only two sustainable development models,

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