From Africa, these are the official PRESIDENTIAL speakers at the US-Africa Summit:
â€¢ His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
â€¢ His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal
â€¢ Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa
â€¢ His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania
â€¢ His Excellency Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, President of the Republic of Tunisia.
You will note that President Kagame and President Kikwete are East African Presidents. Kenya is in East Africa.
In East Africa, we currently chair both EAC and IGAD, yet ‘our’ President isn’t listed among leaders who will address this auspicious gathering. Not only is this a diplomatic slap on our faces, it is hard blow.
That tells you something about our diplomacy, or how our neighbours are relating with us and the world. Our diplomacy may not be as ‘powerful’ as DAILY NATION and Capital FM puts it, afterall, thanks to Onyango Oloo’s party of big dreams and small people.
President Kagame will not pitch for Kenya. President Kikwete will not pitch for Kenya. Both Tanzania and Rwanda are enjoying a flourishing tourism industry. They too have Chinese and Russians.
The image of their countries is not one where opposition is Al shabaab and Al Shabaab is opposition. Or where referendum will scare away tourists. Tunisia just had a revolution, a referendum and an election. Yet Tunisia is growing.
According to a Facebook post by our man, he is set to address some gathering organised by Kenya Private Sector Alliance. Ni kama ile ya kawaida ya Safari Park Hotel.
He is also set to meet World Bank President (loans tena?) and IBM and Cocacola. Remember, IBM folks were here accompanied by Jendayi Frazer. You remember Frazer? Coca cola lol!
Diplomatically, we are a lightweight. We are doing bad. We must make demands on this regime. See, we are now being grouped with South Sudan and Somalia!
In jokes, we can even be stretched to Syria!
Kenyan newspapers have tried to box President Obama into meeting our man for showbiz. I hear Linus Kaikai is in DC for ‘live coverage’. Ni sawa pia.
But you first have your diplomacy right before you retain a PR machine and a standby ‘national media’. Even Edward Bernays, father of modern propaganda, will tell you so.
Remember this meeting is coming after a disastrous DC Smithsonian Festival where ‘our’ artists refused to showcase kenya’s tourism offerings because of no pay.
As Rwanda and Tanzania increasingly become the world’s image of East Africa, Kenya’s place in the world is threatened than never before, first by cunning neighbours cheering us into world pariah status, second by a world that has no place for cold war mentality. A world that’s no longer East or West, just North and South.
Had Raila Odinga been the president today, or even Kalonzo Musyoka, I have no doubt in my mind we would be among the listed speakers! We spend our country’s diplomatic capital on personal challenges, then leave national challenges to KEPSA and Daily Nation. This is our main undoing!
Anyway, countries are led by leaders they deserve, those they choose, or are chosen on their behalf.
We dream of a CORD government to avoid vitu kama hizi. Kenya shouldn’t play second fiddle to any country in East Africa. The biggest economy. The biggest democracy. Halafu shida yetu ni viongozi hawatoshi.
Hutoshi na hamtoshi.
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REFERENDUM TENA NA TENA
By Dikembe Disembe via Facebook