Kenyans urged to don national colours Friday

August 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – Kenyans are being urged to wear clothes or accessories with colours of the national flag on Friday as a gesture to celebrate their nationhood and honour for the new Constitution.

Brand Kenya Board Chief Executive Officer Mary Kimonye also asked matatu drivers and owners to fly or carry the Kenyan flag on the material day as a symbol of their pride for the nation.

She argued that the country’s historical moment which will be witnessed across the globe, also presents an opportunity for Kenya to get a massive image boost.

“Come out with anything that is Kenyan and wear it; we are not demanding but if you can get yourself a T-Shirt please wear it. If you can get a scarf wear it; if you can get a bandana wear it, a cap wear it, a dress wear it…let us dress in the colours of our flag,” she told a media conference on Wednesday.

The Matatu Drivers and Conductors Association also promised to exclusively play Kenyan music on that particular day. Chairman Samson Wakabu said the association had already communicated with the over 2,000 members asking them to carry the message.

“We have already started preparing ourselves and our people are aware. We also want to reassure Kenyans that within the next one year they will see a lot of changes in our industry and everyone will be alighting from our matatus with a smile on their face,” said Mr Wakabu.

Ms Kimonye added that the board would issue out stickers with short patriotic messages to the matatus drivers: “We will use matatus to help us brand Kenya.”

The CEO also announced that Kenya had been rated third among African countries that give the continent a good image. She explained that the country had also improved in the East West Global Index 200 that measures how a nation is perceived by the outside world.

According to Ms Kimonye, the country’s current ranking is 126 out of 200 up from position 176 during the last quarter of the year 2009.  The ranking is based on quarterly performance.

“The first one was South Africa with 15 percent then Egypt, Morocco and Kenya tied with 12 percent each. So in terms of the brand-nations of Africa Kenya is among the top four and it is therefore important for us as citizens to celebrate that,” she said.

She further explained that the review was based on the positive and negative mentions of a country in prominent international media organizations. She observed that the passing of a new Constitution had restored Kenya’s image.

“People look at a country’s government and ask: “How many policies have the government passed which are perceived to be improving the country’s image?” And I can tell for example that the reform policies that the government of Kenya currently has, has done a lot for us,” she said.

Ms Kimonye added that the positive image that Kenya currently had would go a long way in encouraging investors. It will also boost the tourism sector which would in turn help the country achieve the Millennium Development Goals as well as Vision 2030.



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