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The overwhelming passage of the new Kenyan constitution on August 4, 2010, represents a new dawn for Kenya and the citizens who have painfully and tirelessly fought for constitutional reforms for close to three decades. The 66.9 % majority emphatically underlines the singular desire for change from a 47 year old political system defined by, inter alia, an imperial presidency, incoherent and weak “devolution” structures and gross land and regional inequalities. These and many other concerns, led Kenyans to the polling stations to support the new constitution which promises to significantly curtail immense presidential powers and devolve power and resources to address gross inequality and poverty within and between regions. The decisive vote was a reflection of how badly Kenyans yearned for a rebirth, renewal and reinvigoration of the governance systems and structures to support and guarantee their well being, enjoyment of rights and good leadership. The new constitution has many appealing provisions to foster change and address the bottlenecks which have for a long time hindered effective development and distribution of resources in the country.

  

About the Author

Margaret Wamuyu Muthee

Programs Manager, University of Nairobi Center for Human Rights and Peace, Kenya
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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

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