Kenya progress good, says Kufuor

November 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Former Ghanaian President John Kufuor has praised Kenya for the progress it has made on the reform agenda.

In an exclusive interview with Capital News, Mr Kufuor acknowledged that remarkable steps had been made and despite the political intrigues, he expected Kenya would manage to reform its institutions.

“Unfortunately, politics is the nature of democracy.  There is always debate and if you are not careful you can interpret that to mean stagnation.  Let people express themselves… they can’t all agree on everything, along way you will see development,” he said.

Mr Kufuor also said he believed the country and its leadership were committed to improve Kenya’s institutions and at one time, they will achieve what they have always aspired to have.

He also warned against despair, and asked people to appreciate progress made on issues such as constitutional reform, following the unveiling of the harmonised draft on Tuesday.

The former president was particularly pleased with the devolution of power which he said was important for delegating resources and power to better manage the country from the smallest to the highest unit.

He also said it would ensure equal representation of all regions throughout the country.

He said he was aware that there were ongoing debates to establish a local mechanism to deal with post election violence perpetrators, as well efforts at an international level, but emphasised the urgency to heal and reconcile Kenyans.

“I will stay on the sidelines watching but of course hoping and praying that the country will come by pragmatic solutions in this very complicated matter; something that will heal wounds and bring the nation back together in unity,” he said.

The former head of state was among the first diplomats to intervene after the 2007 disputed presidential election.

Mr Kufuor who served as Ghana’s president for eight years appealed to Africa’s politicians to be tolerant in their leadership and provide democracy in their governance.

He urged them to give space to their citizens to express their opinions and make decisions through dialogue but follow majority verdicts which should be founded on a democratic Constitution.

He concurred with US President Barrack Obama when he visited Ghana and said: “Mr Obama said what Africa needed was not strong men, but strong institutions, I agree with him. We need a strong judiciary, constitution and others.”

He also urged African leaders to wisely manage their countries and involve the private sector to facilitate steady development in their countries.

Known for quadrupling Ghana’s economy, halving poverty and increasing the number of children in primary schools, Mr Kufuor attributed his success to his leadership skills which were guided by the spirit by the spirit of engaging in politics to better the lives of Ghanaians.


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