Economy, National Cohesion

Here Are Five Reasons That Demonstrate The Power Of Reconciliation As The Key to Fuel Kenya’s Growth

Kenya’s recent events have remind­ed me of a Kam­ba say­ing that states, “Kim­bu kien­daa kavola nikwaa muin­gi” which trans­lates to “a chameleon which is known to be the slow­est rep­tile, moves slow­ly because it doesn’t have any­one or any­thing to chase it. The moment you touch its tail you will be sur­prised at the speed it would apply as it seeks safe­ty. I believe that just like the chameleon we have been mov­ing with jerky, back and forth move­ments towards our nation­al quest for def­i­nite peace and pros­per­i­ty. The recent recur­ring demon­stra­tions have touched our tail and there­fore our haste towards rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is mandatory. 

Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion restores uni­ty, entrench­es a joint path­way, and fuels the jour­ney towards the same direc­tion yet again.  In so doing, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion heals, fills and frees. It heals con­flict, fills rela­tion­ships with pos­i­tive ener­gy and frees the pop­u­lace to pur­sue joint goals. 

In 1995, South Africa’s then Pres­i­dent Nel­son Mandela’s Gov­ern­ment estab­lished the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion. Pres­i­dent Man­dela appoint­ed Arch­bish­op Desmond Tutu as the Commis­sion’s Chair. This com­mis­sion went on to advance rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and nation build­ing in South Africa. 

Indeed, recon­cil­i­a­tion is a pow­er­ful process that can bring about pos­i­tive change at the fam­i­ly lev­el, com­mu­ni­ty and nation­al lev­els. Here are five fac­tors that illus­trate the trans­forma­tive pow­er of reconciliation.

First­ly, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion heals con­flict. Peo­ple often make the mis­take of fight­ing con­flict through inflam­ma­to­ry remarks which is akin to fight­ing fire by pour­ing oil onto it. That will fur­ther inflame the fire. On the con­trary, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion puts out the fire of conflict. 

The glob­al com­mu­ni­ty expe­ri­enced the pow­er of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in dra­mat­ic fash­ion in Sep­tem­ber 1978. That year, the Camp David Accords, signed by Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter, Egypt­ian Pres­i­dent Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Men­achem Begin estab­lished a frame­work for a his­toric peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in March 1979.

Here in Kenya, Kofi Annan led the 2008 Kenya Nation­al Dia­logue and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion that result­ed in the Peace Accord. Con­se­quent­ly, a coali­tion gov­ern­ment was found­ed on reconciliation. 

Sec­ond­ly, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion heals divi­sions. Con­flicts exac­er­bate divi­sion. In a con­flict sce­nario, divi­sions keep mul­ti­ply­ing. That’s what has hap­pened in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go. The first Con­go War was fought in the mid-nineties. Because rec­on­cil­i­a­tion nev­er ensued, divi­sions mul­ti­plied, lead­ing to the sec­ond Con­go War that was fought from the late-nineties to the ear­ly 2000s. These two Wars led to approx­i­mate­ly six mil­lion deaths. How tragic!

Because DRC is yet to real­ize rec­on­cil­i­a­tion years lat­er, peo­ple con­tin­ue to die from armed con­flict. That’s why the East African Com­mu­ni­ty must walk lock in step with the African Union and the Unit­ed Nations to achieve rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in this great African country. 

Third­ly, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion fos­ters social cohe­sion. As such, Kenya’s Nation­al Cohe­sion and Inte­gra­tion Com­mis­sion (NCIC) is a statu­to­ry body that amongst oth­er things, seeks to pro­mote nation­al rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and healing.

Kenya is cur­rent­ly under­go­ing unend­ing ten­sion due to a vari­ety of fac­tors that include eco­nom­ic strug­gles and polit­i­cal rup­ture of the rul­ing class. Against this back­drop, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is crit­i­cal as it will fos­ter social cohe­sion which will in turn dri­ve down the ten­sion. Fur­ther­more, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion will rebuild trust amongst com­mu­ni­ties and polit­i­cal factions. 

Fourth­ly, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion helps in tack­ling the root caus­es of con­flicts, rather than mere­ly sup­press­ing them. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion does this by pro­mot­ing hon­est dia­logue and under­stand­ing. That’s why it’s impor­tant for our polit­i­cal lead­ers to start talk­ing to each oth­er, not at each oth­er. That’s the essence of engage­ment. Even in mar­riage, con­flicts are nev­er resolved until cou­ples talk to each oth­er hon­est­ly and respectfully. 

Fifth­ly, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion fuels econom­ic growth and devel­op­ment. Tanzania’s Pres­i­dent Her Excel­len­cy Mama Suluhu Has­san was recent­ly cap­tured in a viral video talk­ing about the influx of investors into Tan­za­nia owing to Kenya’s preva­lent con­flict. That’s unsur­pris­ing because investors abhor con­flict and flee from it.  We must there­fore deploy rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to boost our econ­o­my, unite our com­mu­ni­ties and strength­en our fam­i­lies. Think green, act green!

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

Why The Recent Londiani Accident Should Be A Turning Point For Kenya’s Road Safety
Let Us Recapture the Family Values and Rebuild Our Family Units To Heal Our Nation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed