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Race on to unseat Kenya from region’s leadership

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Prodigal Son, May 2, 2010.

  1. Prodigal Son

    Prodigal Son JF-Expert Member

    May 2, 2010
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    Race on to unseat Kenya from region’s leadership

    The Chinese seem to have dug up every road in and around Nairobi to expand them, build overhead bypasses, and all manner of ring roads.

    The effort currently under way in Kenya to redo the city roads is rivalled only by what the Ethiopians did around Addis Ababa a few years ago.

    That is Kenya. Uganda couldn’t be more different. The roads in Kampala are a shambles.

    The big thing in Uganda these days, though, is the discovery of what seem like remarkably rich oil deposits in the west and north of the country.

    In that respect, Uganda is like mineral-rich Tanzania.

    Tanzania has struck large deposits of uranium. It seems to be so much, recently a minister got carried away enough to claim that Tanzania would soon be a “nuclear power.”

    With Rwanda, on the other hand, there is no report on digital media, on BBC or CNN and the international news magazines, that doesn’t spotlight its ambitions to be East Africa’s “digital Mecca.” Burundi is yet to speak up, but it seems to want to play a tourist card.

    You might think that these stories are unconnected. You would be wrong.

    After years of confusion, there is a real race for economic leadership in the East African Community.

    This race is partly driven by the realisation that the Common Market is here, and the borders that used to allow governments to protect their inefficient industries and businesses will soon be history.

    Kenya seems to have realised that it will not strike oil soon, and an oil-rich Uganda could shift the economic balance of power in the region away from Nairobi.

    Rwanda has been working on being an IT leader longer, but it has also quietly been moving into the infrastructure area with a plan for a new airport and the building of the region’s most sophisticated radar system.

    Because it has East Africa’s best project execution rate, a highly wired Rwanda with the region’s newest airport and best radar would put Nairobi’s position as a regional hub in jeopardy.

    Tanzania has been mining gold for a while now, but that has not dramatically lifted it.

    So it has thrown more effort into oil and other mineral exploration, and has landed on uranium

    Apart from being also the regional financial metropolis and diplomatic capital, Nairobi had not exploited its potential for a long time.

    Because it is not hemmed in on one side by the ocean like Dar es Salaam, and is also not surrounded by the entrenched smallholdings that make orderly expansion nearly impossible in Kampala, Nairobi is the one capital that has the possibility to grow into a New York-style city.

    The battle has been joined. Uganda and Tanzania are fighting to be big natural resources exporters; Rwanda is playing to be king of technology; and Kenya is looking to offer modernity and infrastructure.

    Which of these countries will win this economic race is difficult to say now.

    Two things look likely, though. First, barring some post-election conflict in Uganda next year or Kenya in 2012, the middle class in East Africa is going to be richer and to have a better time.

    Second, the economic race between the EAC partners will put the region indisputably ahead of, especially, the West African economic bloc.

    To paraphrase Thabo Mbeki, in the years to come it could feel very good to be East African.

    Source: The east African
  2. U

    Ubungoubungo JF-Expert Member

    May 4, 2010
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    changa la macho.
  3. m

    moyo JF-Expert Member

    May 6, 2010
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    We should encourage competition especially economically,in Kenya we do not see any threat because we have realized our weakness and we are on our way to heights never reached before.The first step is to have a new constitution which will pave way for good and accountable governance,and establish the bottom up economic model which will empower individual Kenyans economically and move out to exploit opportunities in the region and the world.