Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93

By B. A. Ogot; W. R. Ochieng | Go to book overview

constituted, the Kenya National Council of Arts and Culture was to enhance national pride and sponsor cultural activities. It was placed under the Ministry of Co-operatives and Social Services, however, and that unit, understandably, gave far greater attention to those aspects of its charge rather than to culture. The establishment of a ministry of culture would have to await the first Nyayo decade. (For a more detailed discussion of culture, see Chapter Eight.)


Conclusion

The less than complete success in creating a new national culture should not obscure the fact that the Kenyatta era was marked by some significant successes of social policy. Educational and health-care facilities were dramatically expanded. By 1978, Kenya had taken giant steps towards achieving universal primary education. Places in secondary schools and universities were greatly increased as the nation went a long way towards meeting its needs for highly trained manpower. Large inroads were made in reducing illiteracy rates as a result of the educational expansion. Improvements in health care were equally impressive. As a result, Kenya had, by 1978, attained a more lengthy life expectancy than most other states in sub-Saharan Africa. In both health and education, independent Kenya achieved more in a decade and a half than the colonial state had accomplished in the preceding six decades.

One of Kenya's most significant successes was the peaceful ending of racial segregation. Schools, public facilities and social clubs were rapidly integrated with a minimum of tension and disruption. President Kenyatta's call to all races to forget the past and heed the call of harambee to pull together played a positive role in the process. When compared with the desegregation process in other parts of the world (e.g. the United States), Kenya's experience stands as a truly noteworthy achievement of the first years of independence. Some of the less successful social initiatives, on the other hand, were the failure of family-planning programmes to bring about a decline in the rate of population increase and the lack of progress in bringing about an equalization in educational and health-care facilities in all provinces of the nation.

Yet, for all the social changes that marked the Kenyatta era, their most striking feature was their non-revolutionary nature, the continuity that linked them firmly to the preceding colonial era. Despite changes in the composition of the population after uhuru, Kenya remained a plural society. Though stratification by wealth and class replaced that of race after 1963, this was not a new departure. The process of peasantization and proletarianization during the colonial period had led to the emergence of differentiation within African societies and to regional differentiation as well. The processes continued to exercise a similar influence

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Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors viii
  • Prologue on Decolonization xi
  • Notes xvii
  • Introduction the Invention of Kenya 1
  • Note 3
  • Part One the Decolonization of Kenya 1945-63 5
  • One Decolonization: A Theoretical Perspective 7
  • Conclusion 21
  • Notes 22
  • Two the Formative Years 1945-55 25
  • Conclusion: Towards an Alternative Future 43
  • Bibliography 44
  • Three: The Decisive Years 1956-63 48
  • Part Two the Kenyatta Era 1963-78 81
  • Four Structural & Political Changes 83
  • Conclusion 106
  • Appendix: Constitutional Amendments Under Kenyatta 107
  • Notes 108
  • Five - Social & Cultural Changes 110
  • Conclusion 143
  • Notes 144
  • Part Three the First Nyayo Decade 1978-88 149
  • Six the Economics of Structural Adjustment 151
  • Conclusion 182
  • Notes 183
  • Seven the Politics of Populism 187
  • Notes 213
  • Eight the Construction of a National Culture 214
  • Part Four Epilogue 1989-93 237
  • Nine Transition from Single-Party to Multiparty Political System 1989-93 239
  • Conclusion 259
  • Notes 260
  • Index 262
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