Somalilandsun- Dr. Omanga of Moi University wrote in the recent Saturday Standard that politics in Kenya is not enticing and inspiring becauseacademicians haveshunned competingfor electiveoffices.His argument was that politics in Kenya can be very good if scholars can choose to compete full gallop with politicians over elective positions. Thiswas somewhat philosophical to the point of straggling from the focus on the key drivers that can propel Kenya’s system of devolved governance to the next level. Kenya’s politics is based on the constitutional philosophy of devolution and hence going by technical evidence from historical repertoire; devolution can only succeed if eked on good politics and aggressive entrepreneurship. Hence scholars are more productive in research and intellectual entrepreneurship other than jostling for a position of senator or member of parliament. It is true there can be poverty of intellect among the members of the political society but this cannot justify politics poaching manpower from education industry. Politicians have to work hard to improve the quality of their intellect so that there is time for academiciansto do business in line with their professions, do research, invent and registerpatents with their local Counties, it will be more productive and useful to the entireKenyan society.
Reading Josef Allois Schumpeter, a European Development Economist, shows that development and distribution of economic welfare around the world is a testimony of distribution of entrepreneurial talents, efforts and passions not only politics and political frumperies. This is also what Peter Drucker in his collections of essays under the title Frontiers to Economic Development confirms by saying that professionals that go beyond traditional mentality of occupying ivory towers to venture into new business based on self-employmentare a secret behind success of Western capitalism.
Benchmarking on American Federalism can give Kenya lessons about devolution and importance of entrepreneurship in success of devolution; federal states in America like New York that have many business adventurists like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and so on are more developed than those states like Maine that don’t have locals spirited with passion for entrepreneurial adventure. Similarly, Kenya’s forty-seven Counties don’t need only governors, women reps, senators and members of assemblies; they strongly need enlightened, gifted and passionate entrepreneurs.Present evidence in Kenya confirms this premise. Looking at Counties like Kiambu, Nairobi, Eldoret and Mombasa you easily spot some evidence of development. This is not due to good political leadership but due to equanimity in business venture. Theconstruction of the Two Rivers Mall in Kiambu county is not an out-come of good politics but a testimony of spirited entrepreneurial focus. The case of the Two Rivers Mall is like the story of Lee Iacocca in the Chrysler, where Iacocca ensured entrepreneurial success in motoring industry by taking advantage of reliable political system.
American school of thought argues that entrepreneurs are born but not entirely made. This istrue, however Aristotelian thought avers that excellence in anything is an outcome of cultural habit. This pins us to the reality that Kenyans must straggle from the thinking that there is quick money in politics. This is not a health thought for our devolved economy. But instead, our system of education and institutional leadership must reward habits of self-employment. This is the only basis of supporting devolution from the bottom. What I mean is that a County with very many small business organizations will have higher revenues, due to combination of devolved fund and the tax incomes collected through issuance of business permits and licenses, it will comfortably forge forward better than that County that substantially relies on the devolved fund for basic survival.
Just as any other African country Kenya enjoys huge entrepreneurship energy from its youthful, educated and digital enthusiast population, the only problem is how to harness this energy into a productive process. Looking at Kenya you can easily glean at some fact in what Yemi Lalude wrote in the editorial pages of theEast African on 8th may 2017 that Africa is blessed with youthful populations that are enthusiastic with doing business, using computers and being self-employed. He also noted that it is good that some African governments have begun recognizing this and also International institutions such as African DevelopmentBank as well as World Bank as well and most of the NGOs have initiatives in place.
Borrowing from such institutional awareness, has to make Kenyans to be conscious to the fact that it is their time to own this century by being active in small and medium business ventures in their own respective counties. This is possible given the situation that every county offers special entrepreneurial opportunities. This varies from supply of education services in Bungoma County, to Supply of transport services in Turkana County or supply of small scale hotel services at Malaba Border in Busia County.
Political connections in enabling one to get tenders to supply goods and services to the county and central government at an exaggerated price or buying blue chip shares at Nairobi securities market or betting at Sportspesa-side is not entrepreneurship.Just as Lomborg puts it in his seminal work of Skeptical Environmentalist entrepreneurship is identifying the problems of the community and responding to this problem by basing on facts of statistics to come up with anorganizational mechanism for solving the problems at a fee. Theway Bill Gates and Steve Jobs responded to communication problems of the world society, or the way James Mwangi responded to the banking problems of Kenya’s poor through the social Banking revolution at Equity Bank and the way S. K. Macharia and Michael Joseph responded to the Kenya’s problem of mass media service and mobile money services respectively. Thus young entrepreneurs and professionals inKenya can borrow an example from such successful heroes of entrepreneurship to fight poverty and welfare challenges in their counties of birth or choice.
It does not mean that we don’t have good entrepreneurs in other counties outside Nairobi. No it is not. Brief survey will show that there are very many admirable young business men and women aroundKenya doing well in small towns.
Like Ndupawa Hotel in Eldoret, Ceamo Hotel in Lodwar, Billionaire restaurant in Bamburi, Marlel Academy in Bungoma, and the likes of Mama waToto shop in Kakamega.They appreciated using entrepreneurial approach as way of solving community problems. They are such efforts that will truly help Kenya’s devolved governance to succeed in fighting poverty. They are the efforts weare conscientiously compelled to copy.
The views here in are solely those of the author thence none reflective those held by www.somalilandsun.com which is aligned with the defunct UDUB party In Somaliland and KANU in Kenya