The 's And The 1970 ' S

1220 WordsMar 4, 20155 Pages
Throughout the 1960’s and the 1970’s, the world viewed Kenya with optimism. Portrayed as one of the few democracies in Africa, with government elections and nonviolent transitions between leaders, the country beaconed democratic prosperity. At the time, neighboring countries–Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania¬–were involved in military coups. In a contrast to these states, Kenya was “the best Africa could hope for” (wa Maina, 1992). Even in 1992, the first multi-party elections since independence from British colonial powers mobilized Kenyan nationals. The country headed in the right direction with regards to liberalization of economic policy and a democratization of politics. However, an unintended consequence of colonial rule created…show more content…
Furthermore, I will discuss the dichotomy of languages throughout the country, and how public media exacerbates this particular cleavage. Finally, I will argue that there has been significant political reform. However, the situation in Kenya will always create a fear of ethno-political mobilization. II. Tribal Allegiance and Conflict Creation The ethnicization of politics began when European colonial powers transformed race and tribe into a static entity for the colonial legal project (Mamdani, 2002). Much like the Bantustans completely ethnicized society in apartheid-era South Africa (Handley, 2015), ethnicity became important for the colonial “divide and conquer” strategy throughout the continent. Administrating a large African populace could only be completed through a differentiation of ethnic identities. Unfortunately, most African states maintained this systematic segregation of peoples through decolonization and the post-colonial era. The patrimonial elites that inherited power in the post-colonial government could use this strategy to ensure a longer political rule (Hagg & Kagwanja, 2008). The result of segregation in Kenya recently transformed into political turmoil. Where Kenya is an example of an emerging democracy in the African context, ethnicity is viewed with trepidation (Jung, 2000). The proclaimed “2007-2008 Kenya Crisis” exemplifies the notion of ethnic tension. In this paragraph, I
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