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The New Scramble for Kenya is Suspicious But Real

In 1884/5, there was a massive historical scramble for Africa by European imperialists. In 2014-16 there is a massive scramble for Kenya and this blog is interested to investigate the reasons behind state visits. In the so called new regionalism we are expected to see more transitions. States will be shifting alliances while others will be hopping from one partnership to the other or creating new ones. UK has just voted to ditch EU, something that has created some suspicion. But what is now real is that Kenya is receiving many more such applications than other African states in the Sub Sahara region.
Last year President Obama surprised Kenya with a gregarious and eventful state visit. Prior to his visit the Italian PM RT. Renzi had anticipated his visit to Kenya. The Holy See, the Vatican City State, His Holiness Pope Francis visited Kenya in his first visit to the African Continent since his appointment as the Head of the Catholic Church in the World. WTO Ministerial conference was held in Nairobi last year, a true colour of scramble for Kenya.
In 2016, already the visit of the Israeli PM, RT. HON. Benjamin Netanyahu visited Kenya in early July, almost a year after President Obama. The same month the Indian PM Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to visit Kenya following the historical visit of the President of China in 2015.
Had it not been the un-fateful referendum of UK on 23rd of June 2016, PM of the the UK RT. HON. David Cameron had planned to visit Kenya after the visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel of German in the past.
Kenya has been a hot spot for visits by heads of states and governments in the last few years. It happens one after the other. Such rapidity and frequency of high ranking state visits are also seen in the government of Kenya. Visits and strong participation in the international trade negotiations have increased.
There is a say, fuata nyuki ule asali “follow the bees and eat honey. There must be something sweet in Kenya that other states are attracted to. There is no smoke without fire! There must be something powerful states are realizing in Kenya and what is it?
Kenya does not have a lot of minerals as compared to DRC and other regions. It has tourist industry that is flying away. It has natural capital that is threatened by climate change impacts. It has modern democracy that keeps it very stable and peaceful in the region. But not only this…Kenya has discovered that her future economic potential lies with good partnerships and cooperation with other states. Kenya has also adopted open door policy that attracts investors and corporate world. This is strategic way to plan and think of the future. However, powerful and industrial states need Kenya for the market and investments. Such foreign directed investments come with interests and the investors are not ready to make losses but profit. For instance, the techno-city projects (Conza and Tatu) are meant to make Kenya another Dubai or Doha in creating more economic options besides oil and energy within her borders. Vision 2030 was designed by strategic learned planners and development experts to fit what is now happening in Kenya.
Even if there are many questions than answers the scramble for Kenya is real and fits within the new regionalism trends.
On 15th July 2016 the United Nations Trade And Development UNCTAD shall hold its global meeting on commodities and development in Nairobi following such global conferences held in Nairobi in the previous years. Such plenipotentiary meetings included also WTO that was held in Nairobi late last year. Such events and occasions should not be taken for granted as they mean so much to the African development aspirations. However, it is for Africa to learn the rule of the game in order to make much out of the new scramble for Africa.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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