The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report was submitted last week and is set for discussions from January.
While BBI is not a law in itself, its direction is likely to guide policy and statute in Kenya.
The BBI is not enforceable as a legislated law is but it is important to consider its key provisions when scrutinising the legal environment.
Most of what the BBI report contains are policy statements or statements of intent as opposed to actual law, therefore the proposals are not enforceable unless they are legislated.
However, some of the proposals do not require legislative backing but a restructuring of systems and operations, which can easily be done.
A lot of commentaries have been made on the proposed political structure from the BBI report. The proposals, if taken up, are likely to shape the business and social environment.
A lot of emphases has been placed on culture and tribe such that there is a proposed cultural day, which will also be a national holiday if the proposal passes.
The emphasis on culture is that it can be used as a tool to unite Kenyans and to bring a lot of national healing in the form of ethnic diversity.
There has also been little effort to protect our national cultural heritage from pilferage as the kiondo (traditional bag) cases and the Maasai shuka (Maasai-style wrap) cases show.
Both cases involved aspects of African culture being commercialised by commercial entities without proper compensation for the local communities.
Under the diversity provisions, there is a lack of clarity when calling on Kenyans to be proud of their African skin.
We forget that not all Kenyans are of African origin. We have Caucasians who are Kenyans.
We need to adopt inclusion mechanisms for all and the BBI is a good opportunity to enhance inclusion of the Asian and white communities as part of the Kenyan diversity.
Kenya is one of the few African countries that has all races and this is something to be celebrated and to be proud of.
The BBI report seeks to strengthen ethics by integrating it into the educational system. Furthermore, a strong work ethic is encouraged where youth are urged to take up voluntary jobs.
Kenya will also be equipping Kenyans with parental skills if the proposals are adopted. This is very commendable.
I applaud the idea of a 50-year economic plan. This can assist businesses with their strategic plans and can be a sort of investor guide to avoiding uncertainties that come with regime changes.
Counties are encouraged to create regional economic blocs to achieve economies of scale rather than have unproductive competition.
However, my biggest take-home is the proposal to promote SME lending and secure Kenyan inventions and art.
Kenyans are also to be protected from harmful foods and other substances. These proposals could spur economic growth if adopted.
SME lending would create more job opportunities among the youth because it will become easier to delve into self-employment.
It is important to not only protect home-grown inventions but also to commercialise them.
Some of the Kenyan innovations are receiving a lot of global spotlights but the government agencies are doing little to commercialise them.
The BBI proposals seem promising. We hope that the good proposals will be adopted and implemented for the good of all.