Friday, June 10, 2005

A few questions on Policy

Thank you for all the comments. This week i received a question that i thought i might put out to all you out there: i have included my thoughts below the questions and i look foward to engaging with you all on this...

1. Which of the following aspects of sustainable development (SD) do you consider a priority for Africa?

a) Economic – (e.g. poverty, distribution of wealth)
b) Ecological – (e.g. environmental conservation, disaster preparedness/warning)
c) Social – (e.g. political participation, youth issue, gender equity)
d) Cultural – (e.g. our language, traditional practices or indigenous communities)

My thoughts:
While i think all are important here is my ranking:

I believe political participation in all areas of society would lead to economic, ecological and cultural discourses on how we can improve our nation.

Currently, African economies unfortunately suffer from a 'few elite' at the top who use ignorance and an inactive populace to continue fleecing the countries in all areas.

Political awareness is either relegated to the media (who unfortunately take on preferences of the prevailing political masters in most cases) or the few remnants of activists who i must say are hard to find... they exist but in most cases are keen to protect their private lives/pockets/jobs etc at the cost of having bad leadership etc....

My number two is distribution of wealth

Distribution of wealth for Kenya is critical as the concept of wealth is really a historical one for us and stems from the concept of 'land'. I note that many of those termed as 'wealthy' were in most cases given/alloted land.. at no cost immediately after independence and therefore after -to date. Where such has been the case, wealth was grown out of this and while persons have benefited individually it has not been for the good of the nation. This is a subject that is too long to discuss over my lunch break (which is what am doing now..happy to do so another time)

The second aspect of this is the divisible aspect of land. Arable land has now been subdivided to the exent that small units are unable to consistently over the long term provide enough for the nation.. (while i hate saying lets look to the west, the model of giving farmers large tracks of land to farm and putting the rest in cities that grew out of the 18th century revolution in Britain and France seems to make sense since concenssions can be given to farmers etc who sole job is to farm larnd...

This would inturn lead to finding other sources of income such as industrial products-the Jua kali industry was a novel thought that was not given any attention to or any funding.. sadly our workers work hard but do not have tools, training to be able to improve their products etc.... The growth of the Asian economies.. more so China and India is simply based on steady but sure support of local industry over the long whole.... We have cheap labour ...? what makes us so different?

Cheers and happy thinking..
Chanuka