Think of the endless opportunities, creativity and imagination espoused by a painter that comes in contact with a large plain canvas! Well, down in East Africa, such a canvas is unfurling. Kenya is implementing sections of its new Constitution, that has great new features, among them, devolved governance. The real power is shifting outwards from the bureaucratic central Government to a cosmos of some 47 counties. For the first time, in more than a half a century, the country will be seeking to reap the full benefits that come from putting power in the hands of the peasants, youth and women.
If the challenges are enormous, the opportunities and rewards are sky-high. There is a need for the international community to bring their paint brushes to edge in a mark in the beauty that will emerge. Western Kenya abounds in resources that remain virtually untapped. But the people here are besieged with climate change challenges, with little recourse. Entire hillsides are now bare, trees cleared away for agriculture and other human use.
I will, in the coming days and months, be looking for interest in the global south on what kind of partnership opportunities exist for the people of Western Kenya. In have in mind, suggestions on how to translate the newly-gained-political power into economic development to reach the widest segments of the society. Other considerations involve sharing of cost effective climate change mitigation and adaptation techniques that could be shared and replicated.