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Monday, March 11, 2013



The new constitution has miraculously provided a framework in which negative ethnicity can be permanently resolved through economic incentives. Counties that guarantee cultural diversity will see the sure and complete death of negative ethnicity as Kenya takes the next important step on the road to liberal democracy.

Whereas the recently concluded 2013 general election shows that voting patterns were largely along tribal lines, what is not immediately apparent is that they also reflect economic progress. It is obvious that economically advanced counties are more culturally diverse. You do not have to be an economist to guess that Nairobi tops the economic and cultural diversity list. I leave it to you to confirm that counties with a stagnant economic progress record are also the least culturally diverse.

Everyone comes to Nairobi because there are more jobs, more enterprises and more opportunities for wealth creation. Nairobi naturally attracts investors because it provides diversity in human resources, personal and property security with minimal ethnic bias. This cannot be said of towns in "ethnic stronghold" counties. Though these towns may possess vast wealth, they are unable to match Nairobi's growth record.

Strong, advancing and high performing economies all over the world rely on cultural diversity to drive economic performance. It is no secret that America was, and still is, built by immigrant communities. Israel's success is guaranteed by it. Dubai depends on diverse human resources to be a leading business hub. Even the British premier football league is powered by cultural diversity. Countries with stronghold ethnic, religious or political cultures retard economic growth because they cannot accommodate diversity and counter argument.

The strength of the counter argument is not that it is counter; rather it is in the fact that it makes sense. Ethnic diehards see no other sense apart from their own and are therefore unable to innovate, initiate or create anything new. Counter arguments do not have to change ones position, but they do open one's eyes to possibility. Stronghold societies are closed to new ideas. In stronghold environments, everyone thinks the same. If it is fish, everyone is limited to fishing. If it is tea, everyone is limited by growing tea. However, cultural diversity opens eyes to oranges, cows, industry and technology, quite apart from fish and tea.

Governors who want to transform their county have their work cut out for them, but if they maintain an ethnic stronghold, business as usual approach to leadership, they will fail their constituents, lock out development and retard economic progress.  The best strategy to ensure economic growth is to attract, encourage and guarantee cultural diversity that inspires resident creativity. Any county that persists on branding itself as an ethnic, religious or political stronghold will be committing economic suicide. Counties that retain an ethnic, religious or political stronghold image will tend towards poverty and depopulation as people move to counties that provide them with secure opportunities to engage in enterprise, create wealth and pursue personal development.

Allan Bukusi, 10th March 2013

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