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Opinion & Analysis

LETTERS: Africa must speak in one voice in order to develop

Africa has younger states although it is an old continent. Possibly no other continent has suffered greater trauma than Africa during the last 500 years. The legacy of Arab, European and American brutality on the peoples of the continent stands out.

African countries face challenges related to the creation of capable states, strengthening of establishments, as well as the institutionalisation and progressed governance of the improvement manner.

Again, regional integration is vital to conquer the restrictions of Africa’s small and fragmented economies and additionally to provide the continent more voice within the management of international affairs.

Observe the slave trade that was closely accompanied by the scramble for Africa wherein African societies, establishments, and norms have been wrecked through Europe’s imperial powers.

Independence from colonial rule starting within the 1950s brought little remedy because of conflict and a scandalous worldwide financial order.

Africa is often spoken approximately as if it’s a unified bloc, even though it really contains 54 separate sovereign states. Any pan African integration is premised on if states voluntarily give up sovereign powers and governments and regulators fully co-operate to optimise the cross-border motion of products and people.

Africa’s financial growth and development require vibrant and developed financial and other infrastructure. In 2008, the entire assets of Africa’s pinnacle 200 banks amounted to about $935 billion. South African banks account for approximately 30 per cent of Africa’s banking assets.

Technological improvements can unlock new opportunities, reduce transaction costs and render geographical distances inappropriate. Regulations have to, however, maintain but not stifle innovation whilst avoiding systemic dangers and shielding customers.

Instability in Somalia and other African countries have resulted in negative perceptions of Africa and reinforced Afro-pessimist myths. For Africa to grow, we have to be united and talk in one voice.

Kibet Benard, via email

Failure to meet two-thirds gender rule has proved costly

We all saw the efforts that those seeking political seats put in during the August 8 General Election.

Though women voters are said to be more than men, they did not deem women vying for member of county assembly seats as being worthy to be voted for. As a result and just like in 2013, we will have another bunch of nominated MCAs totalling about 700, many of them women, due to failure to meet the two-thirds gender rule in the Constitution.

This will come at a cost of Sh2 billion per year in salaries for the nominated MCAs. Now, there is the other role of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that is rarely discussed; boundaries setting. I think they are required by law to increase the constituencies and the wards every ten years, after the national census has been carried out.

If I am right, the next national census will be done in 2019 after which the IEBC will increase the constituencies and the wards. It is a given fact that Kenyan women are not in a hurry to start voting for the womenfolk in large numbers, for many years to come.

So we will continue to witness increasing numbers of nominated MCAs, the bulk of them women.

Githuku Mungai, via email

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