The campaigns are over, Kenyans have a new government; cabinet secretaries have been nominated, only waiting to validate their appointment through the Parliamentary Committee which is set to vet them, next Monday. That, we all know (at least most of us do). It’s therefore not the reason why I put my pen to paper today. The issue is rather different.
As Kenyans enthusiastically set their eyes glued to their screens, waiting to see what Uhuru and his deputy Ruto will appear wearing in their next public appearance, others are probably scratching their heads off by now. Drawing boards are being re-visited, strategies re-drawn, new faces being fronted and new modalities of engagement are being proposed.
I am referring to the West; the US, Britain, and the larger European nations. Foreign policies and means of engagement must be revisited. Former envoys are poised to be replaced. Why? They touched the wrong nerve during the recently held elections. I would be bowled if I continued seeing the likes of Christian Turner around few months from now. This guy particularly, had grown so popular during the elections, that most Kenyans had almost forgotten that Britain actually has David Cameroon as their Prime Minister!
Previously, the western foreign policy has been perceived as a nuisance. The kind that seeks to plant preferred leaders in various capacities. This hasn’t augured well over time, with most countries seeking to distance themselves from the perceived manipulation. The west has constantly denied this. They claim to have the best of intentions regarding their counterparts.
They say an ambassador is an honest man who is sent to lie abroad for the good of the country (Henry, 1580). So, the buck doesn’t stop at the envoys. They are innocent in their proclamations. What we look at is their mother countries charged with the shots.
Over the years, Africa has managed to make huge strides in terms of its infrastructural and economical growth, spurring a huge interest from the west. This is why countries relating with Africa will need to re-define their course of engagement, in order to build, sustain, develop or renew their international relations. Kenya has been regarded by many as the newest attraction site and with perceived wooing from the east, US and the larger west will need to change their mode of relations; not just with Kenya, but with the continent at large. How Uhuru and his government play their cards in this diplomacy game will either break us, or build us.