Friday, February 25, 2011

My Country....My Responsibility

I am in Nakuru facilitating a training on Public Policy Process in Kenya for the sixth class of the Political Leadership Development Programme. This is a programme meant to nurture the next generation of political leaders who will pioneer change in every field of the country.

But it is the last discussion of the day that has left me in deep thought. I asked the class "Can Kenya develop without help from the foreign capital and technical support?". This is not to suggest that their partnership is not important, but rather without them playing a role as significant as shaping our public policy direction through conditionalities as has been the case.

A sizeable portion of the class was convinced that no progress is possible without donor support. Their reasons ranged from notion that Kenyans lack the capacity to provide high quality service, Kenyans are poor and the economy cannot support such. They could not substantiate this claims and upon further discussions it emerged that its we the Kenyans that have refused to play our rightful role in making our country sovereign.

It was noted that no country has ever been built by foreigners. The Germans have built Germany; Koreans, Korea; Americans, America; and Kenyans must arise and build Kenya. Our country is our responsibility. This is a responsibility we can neither abdicate nor delegate without facing dire consequences. We have all we need, technical capacity, natural resources, brains, hard working people and every admirable resource a country would need. Only we need is a resolve to make it happen. The will to improve services, to have ethical leadership, to honour and respect the rule of law. To treat our sick. To educate our people. To support them to Discover, Develop and Deliver their full potential. It can be done, we must do it. Others have done it why not us.

Friends, I have for long held the view that I am fully responsible for the opportunity I have in making Kenya a better place. Today I affirm that building Kenya is my responsibility and I will not sit back as others toil. Development partners should only join in what we are doing and engage to the extent we allow them. We must fund our own development and only seek assistance when it is a must and necessary to do so. Will you join me in making this resolve?

Lets join hands and build ours that others can live to enjoy the fruits of our labour. If it is to be, then it is up to us.

In Service to God and My Country.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't Vent, Invent.

I heard of the words "Don't vent, invent" that are title to a series taking place at a nairobi church. This words got me thinking that indeed there are only two kinds of people. Those who just complain about the problems around them and those who take a step to seek a solution. The later may noty always succeed but at least they tried. Where they fail, they come out with a lesson of what cannot work or at least how not to do it.

Our country kenya is in dire need of wo/men who will provide practical solutions and ensure that they are followed through. I hold the view that only Kenyans can build Kenya for prosperity. Partners can only support but not do it for us. We cannot continue to be a nation that begs for help in all ways - health, food security, constitition implementation, roads construction, conflict resolution, disaster management- and much more.

Sovereignty is responsibility and not just benefiting. It is working to produce revenue and not just sharing the revenue produced by others. It is paying the price and not just carrying the prize. It is being being the change, facilitating the change and supporting the change in all spheres of the country. It is rising up every morning with a firm agenda to make our part of Kenya better than we found it. It is taking personal responsibility.

What is currently in need of your invention today. Get up and fix it for only you can do it as well. My friend Alice Oyaro reminds us that Our Best is Good Enough. Remember the words of Thomas Edison "Invention is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration (work)". Lament and complain no more, rise and fix it up. If it is to be then it is up to you/me.

In Service to God and My Country.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Does it Matter?

From time to time we find ourselves in situations that scream, beckon or silently seek our attention. You meet a person whose life is on the streets begging for ten bob, a hurting neighbour seeking an ear to listen, a battered child seeking for shelter and the list goes on. Sometimes its a dirt thrown on the road, a neighbours dog stuck in the fence or some clothes blown by the wind and your timely action may just save the situation. What about a blind person asking for help to cross the road, a old person seeking help in accessing the ATM machine and the list is endless.

However, In a fast paced world we find ourselves caring only about three people namely: ME, MYSELF and I. Some have called it the UNHOLY Trinity. We are so consumed in ourselves that we even never notice that others need our help. But does it ever cross our minds that the world is as good as we each make it. I have a responsibility of making the people around me to be happier, so do you. I once read that people do no care how much you know until they know how much you care. Lets all make it our responsibility to make our part of the world better than we found it.

Today close your eyes to the ME, MYSELF and I, and open to see what your neighbour needs help with.
Let what matters to others, matter to you for that is all that matters in this world.

In Service to God and My Country.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wajibu Wangu

I have been reflecting on what should be my rallying call for engaging in building my country and am convinced that it has to be Wajibu Wangu (my responsibility). This is informed by the fact that in our society there is a tendancy to expect someone else to fix things on our behalf, to labour as we enjoy the fruits and to pay the price while we enjoy the prize. Why not make it your responsibility to make things work.
I make a resolve and urge you to join me in making national building our personal responsibility (wajibu wetu). This is pretty easy as it means I do my part and you do you part. I bring my peace and you bring yours. Each of us is significant and a valuable asset in this country. I resolve to treat everyone as the most important person in this country.
Our national anthem reminds us through the words "Natujenge Taifa letu, ee ndio wajibu wetu". Indeed it is our responsibility to build our country. Others have destroyed it, but I must make it better.
Will You?
In Service to God and My Country.

Some thoughts on future of Universities and Scholarship

It was my pleasure to give input on this topic at the just concluded DAAD Young Scholars in Africa Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya. As one...