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Why you need to make time and append the signature

By Myles Leo | November 20th 2020

A new era is here with us. This is the beginning of a process that will, in the fullness of time, give us the proverbial silver bullet that will kill our most hazardous enemy.

As the country begins the process of submitting signatures to ratify the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to a United Kenya Taskforce force, Kenyans have every reason to smile as this marks the beginning of the end of a journey to the Promised Land.

As President Uhuru Kenyatta noted during his State of the Nation Address a few days ago, the future is indeed bright.

Like it happened in August 2010, the feeling of high optimism for a more equal and peaceful Kenya is here with us and the least we can do for our motherland is to append our signatures as a requirement for the process of self-emancipation to begin.

The BBI gives this country another chance to re-evaluate and push further our national goals.

In addition, this kind of conscientiousness should accompany an acknowledgement of the issues we face. Without recognising the problems, it would be impossible to overcome them. 

What began with a simple handshake on the March 9, 2018, or slightly earlier in the backrooms, and progressed to listening to the voices of the nation, has finally been turned into a tangible document on whose back the fate the country lies.

Kenyan politics will no longer be a game ruled by a privileged elite. It is not them against us, it is everyone for everyone else. The people we elected are listening, or at least figuring out how best to listen. The politicians who have used their wealth and connections to rise to popularity but have committed acts of graft in the process are no longer welcome in this political landscape.

This is not only a time for reflection and setting new goals, but also to actualise the best that we can hope for.

For a lot of Kenyan young people who keep wondering what opportunities there are and if their employment situation will improve, this is this the time to get out and put your thumb on the trigger of the BBI gun.

The youth have been asking themselves what kind of job security the government is going to be able to offer them in the long term and if the economy is growing. They keep wondering if they are going to be able to create and sustain a family, to have children of their own, and to retire in peace.

The BBI offers many answers these questions. At no other moment in our nation’s history has the government invested so greatly in determining what the people want, rather than making decisions without thorough consultation processes.

The youth today face mass unemployment and an uncertain future. But the problems of today will not be the problems of the future if the BBI is implemented.

For one, the document rightly identifies corruption as one of the biggest issues facing our society. It essentially makes only the most powerful and well-connected even stronger, while simultaneously blocking any opportunity for those born without privilege to make any progress.

As a community we have acknowledged this egregious issue and the anti-corruption campaign is slowly changing it. On this, the report that we are about to make law, offers serious solutions that will make the vice very unattractive.

Another item that will improve the opportunities available to the youth is eliminating obstacles for budding entrepreneurs. In the present situation, a young Kenyan wishing to initiate a start-up -- whether that be in hot industries such as agritech, fintech or the environment, or more traditional ones such as commerce and shipping -- face innumerable barriers at the beginning of their journey due to a combination of current official government policy as well as unofficial practice - corruption, favouritism, and elitism.

The report that we are being presented to right now has a myriad of practical solutions to these issues and, for now, all that we need to do to get closer to a better destiny is place a signature.

The opportunity to right old and current wrongs has already been presented to us. It would be foolish to let it pass us by.

-Mr Leo is a public policy analyst  [email protected]

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