We all know about China – and its robust economy. I bet you have several toys, electronics, kitchen appliances and utensils in your house with a ‘Made in China’ inscribed on them somewhere.
In recent years, we have seen the influence of the Chinese in the Kenyan economy grow. Many contracts have been won by them, more roads have been built by them, newer buildings have been erected by them, more vehicles from China have taken up space on Kenyan roads. In other words, a lot of money has been flowing from Kenya to China and vice versa in recent years.
Most of these investments are beneficial to both countries. However, it should be noted that a person can sometimes mislead their friends, knowingly or unknowingly. We are not sure whether the current Kenyan government has enough discipline to tell off any country that attempts to take advantage of her beauty.
Kenya usually has tough choices to make when it comes to negotiations with its allies and most of the times the allies have their way, not because Kenya’s weak. Sometimes its conscience tells it to walk away but the flesh has a cunning way of pushing temptation to overwhelm a country’s voice of reason.
It is therefore necessary to look at the root causes of such temptations and how foreign countries achieve their mission of influencing Kenya in a major way.
How this is achieved
-Looking for Kenyan officials who are friendly
You know how this works: pump in money, shake hands, smile for the camera, drink fine wine, stash some money in different bank accounts and realize when it is too late that you let someone hurt your fellow countrymen.
When the contracts have been signed and deals closed, that’s when some of our officials realize that they have made a big mistake. Shame prevents them from talking about it. The truth may only come out several years later when a lot of damage has been done.
And why does this strategy work like a charm? Because, some foreign countries have realized that greed is the only way to Africa’s resources. So they do their assignment very well, whet the appetites of some Kenyan officials and have their way.
Being friendly isn’t a bad thing in itself. It only becomes a problem when you think you are clever while in real sense someone (your friend of course) thinks of you as one really short sighted fool.
And so many Kenyans officials will continue willing away Kenya’s mighty powers because when they sit to negotiate with agents of top economies like China and the United States of America they never ever consult the people who get affected by the introduction of foreign influences in the country.
The government should involve the people and take their views into consideration when it comes to investments made by foreign countries. Why? Most government officials always think about doing what they can (and getting as much as they can) while still in office. That’s where the problem of short-sightedness comes in; and that is why we see previous and current Kenyan governments working so hard to create problems for the next government to solve. In other words, we are creating more opportunities for foreign countries to milk us dry.
Things to note:
- China can only hurt us to the extent that we allow it to do so. Before we blame China, Britain or USA for our woes, we should ask ourselves whether we smile and flirt too much with foreign countries. We should ask ourselves whether our politicians really know how to handle negotiations when other international players sit on the other side of the table.
Let’s get our house in order and deal accordingly with guests who in anyway undertakes actions that can cause harm to the citizens, now and in the future.
- China is just like every other country looking for opportunities and making something out of it. China has helped Kenya in many ways and I do believe that Kenya has also helped them in so many ways. We should be cautious about accepting too many gifts (sometimes free things aren’t really free) and giving so much just to please somebody. Some gifts are simply baits. Others are real gifts – and very rare in the current international scene. So let’s give China (and every other country) what duly belongs to them.
Emptying your granaries, while leaving your children starving to death, in order to satisfy the needs of guests (who have something to push down their small intestines) isn’t in itself giving. It is something else – something really bad.
We don’t want a Kenyan government that screams, ‘Made in China’. All we want is a healthy relationship with China and other countries – a relationship free from self-centredness.
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