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Submitted by Anonymous on
Wolfgang, I think you did a good job in summarizing some cautionary guidelines on decentralization and, observing that the devolved funds are so little, emphasized the need to nurture other non-monetary resources in our possession. This could be done through the rural development supply chain based on a core project such as a university campuses, national school clusters, military barracks, HIV orphans villages and so on. Such core projects, from a sh 47 billion “futures insurance” would be designed to be self sufficient with large surpluses gong into a national fund for replication and up scaling In this way, the main security risk in Africa currently, unemployment, especially among the youth, which escapes global polity and the powers that be due to lack of holistic thinking at policy-making levels, could be easily tackled. Failure to do this will invariably result in, among other things, poor governance inter-communal hostility and simmering warfare which in turn trickle down to low living standards. That is why Maina Kiai’s Kalenjin youth walk away from peace meetings because they under threat of redundancy and no alternative métier is in the offing. With sustainable employment – here including meaningful self-employment – food production, education, health and other needs are more likely to be met and the “national cake” , now with so many more bakers is likely to be large enough for sharing….provided the entitlement that comes with dependency syndrome not have, with employment, abated . Conversely, warlords and sugar-daddies will encounter shortages as the erstwhile canon fodder opts for safer occupations such as eco-construction, solar panel manufacture and so on in place of militia membership and street-walking. As people grow wealthier, they tend to be more psychologically secure, whereby they can then troop to the ballot box with issue-based choices on how their tax money, now that they have something to be taxed, is used. These things are not so difficult to achieve and all the talk about foreign investors, natural resources, foreign debt relief, corruption and so on, though important, diminishes to the second tier and is no longer an end in itself. Establishment of social, environmental and economic equity within reason is a paradigm in which everyone has a deep stake. The ironic fragility of the situation is exemplified by a relationship between two neighboring Nairobi residential areas: Lavington is a high-class area, ostensibly secure behind high-level razor and electric wire topped walls accessible through steel electric gates, next to Kawangware, a slum that provides Lavington with domestic servants. The average Lavington denizen may be remotely aware that those who installed these safety measures, operate the gates, tend the gardens and look after the children and feed the mastiffs are the same people against whom these barriers were erected in the first place. Scaling up, a similar Afro-European relationship is growing, where the latter requires the former’s youthful labor, raw materials and growing markets to care for an increasingly elderly population. As Africa’s population rises from the current 930 million to 2 billion while Europe’s falls from 720 to 690 million in the next 30 years, something is likely to give, the hints of which are betrayed by upsurges in right-wing European voting patterns. Kariuki Kiragu.