Kenya's Devolution needs both Reliable Politics and Good Ent...| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 06:25 GMT

Kenya's Devolution needs both Reliable Politics and Good Entrepreneurship


(MENAFN- Somali Land Sun) Kenyas Devolution needs both Reliable Politics and Good Entrepreneurship

Somalilandsun- Dr. Omanga of Moi University wrote in the recentSaturdayStandardthat politics in Kenya is not enticing andinspiringbecauseacademicianshaveshunned competingfor electiveoffices.Hisargument was that politics inKenyacan be very good if scholars canchooseto compete full gallop with politicians over electivepositions. Thiswas somewhatphilosophical to the point of straggling from the focus onthekeydrivers that can propelKenya'ssystem of devolved governance to the nextlevel. Kenya's politics is based on the constitutional philosophy of devolution and hence going by technical evidence from historical repertoire; devolution can onlysucceedif eked on good politics and aggressiveentrepreneurship. Hence scholars are more productive in research and intellectual entrepreneurship other than jostling for a position of senator or member ofparliament. Itis true there can be poverty of intellect among the members of the political society but this cannot justify politics poaching manpower from educationindustry. Politicians have to work hard to improve the quality of their intellect so that there is timefor academicianstodobusiness in line with their professions, do research, inventandregisterpatents withtheir local Counties, it will be more productive and useful tothe entireKenyan society.

Reading Josef AlloisSchumpeter, a European Development Economist, shows that development and distribution of economic welfare around the world is a testimony of distribution of entrepreneurial talents, efforts and passions not only politics and political frumperies.Thisisalso what Peter Drucker in his collections of essays under the titleFrontiers to Economic Developmentconfirms by saying thatprofessionalsthat go beyond traditional mentality of occupying ivory towers to venture into new business based onself-employmentare a secret behind success of Western capitalism.

Benchmarking on American Federalism can give Kenya lessonsabout devolution and importance of entrepreneurship in success of devolution;federal states in America like New York that have many business adventurists like SteveJobs, Mark Zuckerberg and so on are more developed than those states like Maine that don't have locals spirited with passion for entrepreneurial adventure.Similarly, Kenya'sforty-sevenCounties don't need onlygovernors, womenreps, senators and members of assemblies; they strongly need enlightened, gifted and passionate entrepreneurs.Present evidence in Kenya confirms this premise. Looking at Counties like Kiambu,Nairobi, Eldoretand Mombasayou easily spot some evidence ofdevelopment. Thisis not due to good political leadership but due to equanimity in businessventure. Theconstruction of the Two Rivers Mall in Kiambu county is not an out-come of good politics but a testimony of spiritedentrepreneurialfocus. The case of the Two Rivers Mall is like the story of Lee Iacocca inthe Chrysler, where Iacocca ensured entrepreneurial success in motoring industry by taking advantage of reliable political system.

American school of thought argues that entrepreneurs are born but not entirely made. Thisistrue, however Aristotelian thoughtaversthat excellence in anything is an outcome of culturalhabit. This pins us to the reality that Kenyans must straggle from the thinking that there is quick money in politics. Thisisnot a health thought for our devolved economy. But instead, our system of education and institutional leadership must reward habits ofself-employment. Thisis the only basis of supporting devolution from thebottom. WhatImeanis that a County with very many small businessorganizations willhave higher revenues, due to combination of devolved fund and the tax incomes collectedthrough issuanceof businesspermits andlicenses,it will comfortably forgeforward better than that County that substantially relies on the devolved fund for basic survival.

Just as any other African country Kenyaenjoys hugeentrepreneurshipenergyfrom its youthful, educated and digital enthusiastpopulation,the only problem is how to harness this energy into a productiveprocess.Looking atKenyayou can easily glean at some fact in whatYemi Lalude wrote in the editorial pages oftheEast Africanon 8thmay 2017 thatAfricais blessed with youthful populations that are enthusiastic with doing business, using computers and being self-employed. Healso noted that it is good that some Africangovernmentshavebegunrecognizing this andalso International institutions such as AfricanDevelopmentBank aswellas WorldBank aswell andmostof the NGOshaveinitiatives in place.

Kenyas presidential candidates 2017Borrowing from such institutional awareness, has to make Kenyans to be conscious to the fact that it is their time to own this century by being active in small andmedium businessventures in their own respectivecounties. This is possible given the situation that every county offers special entrepreneurial opportunities. Thisvariesfrom supply of education services in Bungoma County, to Supply of transport services in Turkana County or supply of small scale hotel services at Malaba Border in Busia County.

Political connections in enabling one to get tenders to supply goods and services to the county and centralgovernment atan exaggerated priceor buying bluechip shares atNairobi securities marketor betting at Sportspesa-side isnot entrepreneurship.Just as Lomborg puts it in his seminal work ofSkepticalEnvironmentalistentrepreneurship is identifying the problems of the community and responding tothis problemby basing on facts of statistics to comeupwith anorganizationalmechanismforsolving the problems at afee. ThewayBillGates andSteve Jobsrespondedto communication problems of the world society,or thewayJames Mwangi responded to the banking problems of Kenya's poorthrough the social Banking revolution at Equity Bankand thewayS.K.Macharia and Michael Josephrespondedto theKenya'sproblem of mass media service and mobile money servicesrespectively. Thusyoung entrepreneurs andprofessionals inKenya canborrow an example from suchsuccessfulheroes of entrepreneurship to fight poverty and welfare challenges in their counties of birth or choice.

It does not mean that we don't have good entrepreneurs inothercounties outside Nairobi. Noit is not.Briefsurvey will show that therearevery many admirable young businessmenandwomen aroundKenyadoing well in smalltowns. LikeNdupawa Hotel in Eldoret, Ceamo Hotel in Lodwar,Billionairerestaurant inBamburi, MarlelAcademy in Bungoma, and the likes of MamawaToto shopin Kakamega.They appreciatedusing entrepreneurial approach as way of solving communityproblems. Theyare such efforts that will truly helpKenya'sdevolvedgovernance tosucceed in fightingpoverty. Theyare the efforts weare conscientiouslycompelled to copy.

Alexander Opicho

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