Endless Politics Eroding image for Kenya

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BY MUSYOKI KIVINDYO

The local media is awash with reports of politicians trading barbs, daring opponents and name-calling. This has been occupying the first few pages of most of the newspapers on any given day. The same dominates the highlights of the first six to seven minutes on most TV newscasts.

News time is almost always dedicated to political pronouncements at the expense of other occurrences of human and development interest.

It should be a point of concern what scenes investors or entrepreneurs visiting the country get exposed to. Bickering and grand standing by politicians at funerals, of all places, does not do well for Kenya’s image.

A good number of Kenyans are now no longer watching TV news seriously because it is the same old story. 

Amid all the challenges in Kenya, there are many good things happening. For example can the TV stations dedicate five minutes every Friday to give Kenyans an update of the construction of Thika road and others being done elsewhere? 

Can newspapers dedicate even more space to showcase best performing CDF committees, progress on road construction, the extent of electricity distribution in rural areas, while cutting down on the space provided for political banter and commentary? 

A strong Country Brand is defined by among others, economic achievement, freedom of speech and attractive destinations. But above all, the country has to be seen to be making its citizens lives better.

According to FutureBrand, an international marketing consultancy with expertise in Nation Branding, countries that are geared around their People score highly. The country also has to create a strong emotional connection with other people (foreigners) to make them want to visit, do business and build their lives in Kenya.

FutureBrand says that a strong sense of identity, developed over time, can provide the forgiveness that a country brand needs to weather short-term difficulties that negatively influence public perception of a country.

However, repeating the same mistakes over and over, will definitely not endear us to visitors and investors.

(Musyoki is the Communication Director at Brand Kenya Board)

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