Tribute to Kibaki, the father of Kenya's modern economy

Former President Mwai Kibaki. [File, Standard]

We join the family, fellow Kenyans, the East African Community, the African continent and the world in celebrating the legacy of the Third president of our beloved nation, and the father of Kenya’s modern economy.

Former President Mwai Kibaki will go down in the history of our nation as an iconic and visionary leader, who selflessly gave his life and expertise to the service of his motherland. As a distinguished economist, an eloquent orator and diplomat, he chose to commit his expertise and leadership in making Kenya and her people a proud nation.

He focused wholeheartedly on fortifying the economy, the livelihoods and our future as a people. He gave us hope on our ability to shape a bright future for ourselves. He became the role model and source of inspiration and hope for Kenya and Africa as a whole. He demonstrated that Africa can redeem itself and gain respect and honour in the international community of nations, by generating its own wealth and catalysing its own socio-economic prosperity.

His leadership style of selflessness, and focus on politics of sustainable development, a holistic approach to national development was demonstrated by the governance structures he put in place. Kibaki bequeathed Kenya a leadership model that acknowledges the role of a strong economy in driving a progressive political dispensation.

His strong belief in education, agriculture, health, infrastructure, social protection and political freedom is eternally embedded in Kenya’s Vision 2030 blueprint which he spearheaded and became the platform that elevated Kenya to an emerging economy.

He has earned his respectful place in our hearts as a nation, and in the world community as a selfless leader and father of Kenya’s modern economy. A statesman of few wise words and more action he was. He believed and demonstrated that actions spoke louder than words. His actions formed the foundation of our today’s infrastructure of railways, roads, airports and waterways that have interconnected Kenya internally and with her neighbours and interconnected our skies and waters with the rest of the world.

His actions are embedded in our free primary education that has given our children the opportunity to shape a better destiny for themselves, their families, and communities and for Kenya. His actions are seen in our affordable healthcare, and the social safety net programs for the old, the vulnerable and the marginalised in our community.

He demonstrated his belief in a sustainable society by championing the implementation of a constitutional dispensation which gave Kenya more equitable opportunities and political freedom of participation and choice.

The writer is Group Managing Director and CEO of Equity