Saturday, 24 December 2011

Konza Technology City: Keynesian Economics or a Grandiose Vanity Project?

There is absolutely no doubt that Kenya is determined to become a prosperous, newly industrializing country that is globally competitive by the year 2030 and the futuristic Konza Technology City, is concrete proof of this great ambition. The Technology City is designed to feature world class civic and commercial architecture including Business Process Outsourcing, Technology Park, Science Park, international finance centre, shopping malls, hotels and accommodation facilities. Konza City is billed to become one of the most successful cities in Africa, competing economically and culturally with the best cities in the world.

Naturally, governments play catch-up with the private sector on matters of development but Konza is a rare exception. When the government officially unveiled the plan to build a specialized city from a scratch, complete with 3-D models, the private sector and indeed the entire country was taken by surprise.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

2012 Electoral Manifestos and Vision 2030

Somebody asked me an interesting and valid question the other day. Will there be any need for manifestos and should we expect them from those who will be vying the presidency in 2012 given that we’re implementing Vision 2030 -our nation’s long-term development plan that transcends every government for the next 18 years? In answer to that question, we need to have a proper perspective on precisely what Vision 2030 is and what an electoral manifesto is and its purpose.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Kenya Vision 2030: Dreams and Destiny

Every so often I come across young people who have unflattering opinions about Vision 2030 and quite frankly a sizeable population of the youth just couldn’t be bothered about it. One very striking characteristic of development observable in all periods is the inability of people to envision their destiny. Understandably, when we look forward we naturally see insurmountable obstacles to future progress which can be powerfully disillusioning. Those obstacles create debilitating perceptual walls which are some of the most persistent obstacles to social progress. History however bears out that time and again there are no insurmountable obstacles only people who failed to perceive insurmountable obstacles as opportunities.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Popular Participation in Political Economy

Believe it or not, the most persistent obstacle to attaining Vision 2030 is not the seemingly insurmountable physical barriers besetting our nation or the plethora of unfavourable global dynamics but rather it is fear. This actually is not a far-fetched opinion given that the failure to achieve sustained economic growth and development is as much a political and social phenomenon as it is economic. President Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed office in November 1932 at the depth of the Great Depression in which 13, 000, 000 Americans were unemployed and almost every bank folded. Borrowing from Charles Dickens literature -it was a season of darkness, it was the winter of despair, it was the worst of times in America but FDR as he is fondly referred, helped the American people regain faith in themselves asserting in his first Inaugural Address that, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." And sure enough, he helped lift the U.S. out of economic despair and revolutionized the American way of life.