25-05-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
In the government's economic programme to tackle the post-pandemic period, which means "who knows when but hopefully soon", President Uhuru Kenyatta has put a synergy between social services and infrastructure at the forefront which, if truly implemented, could be the beginning of a new era for Kenya. In recent years, the country has made great strides and those who remember well where most of today's ruling class comes from and how the extabilishment that sustains the nation's destiny was formed, cannot deny it.
The ancestral battle against tribalism, "an obstacle to Kenya's future" as defined by the great poet Mijikenda Kazungu Wa Hawerisa and the hardest and most difficult one to win against corruption, now await an intelligent welfare that focuses on the sustainable growth of the country, starting from the disadvantaged classes, providing them with tools, not assistance (which has always been a problem) or impromptu dreams (especially in the pre-election period).
Here is Kenyatta's disposition: to give work to half a million unemployed young people, employing them to repair the country's roads after the rainy season.
And don't think it's ordinary maintenance: all over the country in July you have to deal with collapsed bridges, chasms in asphalt roads, landslides in murram roads. With blown manholes, deep potholes, torn sidewalks, crumbled retaining walls.
For many young Kenyans not having a paid job is one of the endemic evils of their nation, but for many of them it also becomes an alibi to invent life to the day and refuse to grow up, ignoring those who, like them, started out from absolute poverty but with willpower and with the innate talent to learn the trades that this people possess, have turned their lives around. Because in Kenya still today, where the Western world gives you almost no more hope, you can still grow. So I welcome this decision of the Government, in the hope that it is not just a proclamation to keep the citizens and the lobbies that are beginning to paw and demand the reopening of the Kenyan system.
In the tourist resorts, for example, to talk about what most Italians who have to do with this country are interested in, there would be a need, like bread and butter, for a restyling of the roads, both those that fall within the immediate competence of the State, i.e. Mombasa and Lamu Road, and those that are bound by regional authorities (Kenya Urban Rural Authority) such as Casuarina Road, and those whose maintenance is the responsibility of Kilifi County.
All this while waiting for the county borders to reopen, for the rain to stop, for the World Bank's money for the waterfront to be still there and for people to think that after Covid-19 they will have to sweat a little more to convince tourists to return to these parts, so they have to make an effort. And the Kenyatta model must not become a palliative of the emergency, but it could be the rule of a future in which administrations manage to catch two crows with a little piece of nozzle, as we would say here.
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