Regional and International Relations: Our mirror for national development
Foreign events at the regional and international levels affect Kenya’s development more than ever especially in this era of globalization. The anarchy in Somalia, the fragile peace in Southern Sudan, the discomfort in the great lakes region, the Middle East-United States of America conflicts, the regional market blocks in the COMESA, SADC strategies, increased consumer demands in Europe, liberalization of education service in the USA, technological innovations in Japan, United Nations Conventions and international agreements greatly affect Kenya’s development. FORD-Asili believes that although the country needs to work with other nations and international organizations in a cordial manner, the state and government must strive to guard against abuse of sovereignty and as country, strive to gain maximum benefits from every regional and international relationship for the good of the people. Ford Asili will strive to position Kenya as a proactive member of the global family of nations. The party wishes to attain this by prioritizing the following areas:
The neighbour policy
As they say, ‘You do not choose your neighbours but you can choose how you want to relate with them’. FORD Asili will uphold Kenya’s traditional policy of good neighbourliness and non-interference in the neighbours’ internal affairs. We shall strive to promote peace and democratic governance with our neighbours by being role models and active participants in regional joint activities that exists and those to be born in future. Where there exists conflict, FORD-Asili will be at the forefront for mediation and other conflict resolution roles. We shall work to fast track realization of the East African Cooperation and the reconstruction of Southern Sudan and the peace building efforts for Somalia.
Multilateral, Bilateral and Unilateral Relationships
Kenya is signatory to many multi and bilateral agreements. As the people are the centre of these agreements, it therefore behoves the state and government to make sure that the citizen on whose behalf the agreements are signed understand fully their implications. This is demanded more where the country is committed to loans that are never interrogated or are simply personal discussion in nature but loaded on the country. FORD Asili will maintain these relationships but wishes to inform the public that we shall not hesitate to enter into unilateral relationships or even to visit history to try and understand the billions the country has been paying in loans that were never interrogated; for we believe this to be the best way to serve Kenya’s interests.
A FORD Asili government will ensure that Kenya enjoys the full benefits of any relationship it signs into. We have seen agreements that Kenyan governments have signed and watched them lapse without drawing any benefits for her people. The African Growth and Opportunity Agreement (AGOA) of the USA is a case in point where Kenya continues to benefit minimally because of government failure to sensitize the public on the agreement as well as revitalize local cotton production.
Trade and Other Exchange Agreements
We value the benefits of trade and exchange agreements with other nations. We believe that the future of trade relations is in organized trading blocks that standardize their terms of engagement and negotiate variations of their agreements for maximum mutual benefits. Ford Asili believes it is possible to conduct fairly balanced trade between Kenya and other nations because each nation has got its inherent competitive advantages. Kenya for instance is well endowed with good land, climate, water and biodiversity. We have a strong human resource base. Utilized properly these resources would give Kenya a competitive advantage in agriculture and service-based industries such as tourism, hospitality, education and ICT. A FORD Asili government will seek and establish trade and other exchange agreements that foster profitable trade relations. We will continue to honour existing trade agreements that are beneficial to Kenya and seek to renegotiate unfavourable ones.
Security and Technological Relationship
Millitarism has ruined young nations that got into the trap and the web of international arms trade. Nations were driven into lavish spending for fear of attack from neighbours normally reacting to well calculated campaigns by enemies of peace in Africa and manufacturers of arms and munitions. This craze created deep feelings of insecurity that drove every country to serious patrols of their borders and unnecessary reconnaissance. This happened with Kenya when threatened by Somalia and Uganda at different points in our short history. These events are good lessons for us as a country in order for us to value and to promote good relationship with all the neighbours but aware that hostilities and aggression are always potential. This is why it is important to make sure that the country and its institutions are technologically updated and not to import technology for the sake of it but appropriate for needs in development and general growth. Many countries are in arms trade hence the reason why Kenya has to be extremely careful that we do not lag behind nor should we be unnecessary extravagant.
Technology is the fastest growing sector globally, as it is state-of-mind. FORD-Asili will be vigilant that only the appropriate technology shall be admitted for national use.
Kenya is strolling slowly from the grips of oppression and dictatorship. FORD-Asili, born of the struggle against dictatorship, wishes to recommit itself to the values of freedom and liberty. On these two, shall the party cling to make sure that never again shall we as a country, veer into such despotic governance as we did for 24 years from 1978 to 2002. Every citizen must be awake to the fact that dictators are made and not born.