"Fni+"'I111 ...

~m

TH]I~AUTHORS
#4
I!II"III'Ilh_h ~ ...... -_ .., ... ~.M ...........I101_. __ _

Gus Edgr'en was form@l'ly in the Resea.rch section of the LabOur Collcgej Kampala, Uganda. Mr. Edgren has put in print well dug out i.nformation for other researchers, and of course labour ministries in Central and Eastern Africa. His suggestions for solutions to the problems of unemployment and underemployment arc worthy of note.

Gabriell I-n, lVI, Nyambu is a teature writer in UH! Kenya lMIinis.h·y iOJ~ Information, Broadcasting and Tourism. His piece introduces a different flavour to the readership of the J ournal, He has tackled a field that is always around lJS which few have cared to plough.

Hi!~nf O.i,namM is a eonsultlng physicRa[rlJto the Ken~'8tt8L NaHollU!.1, and the Princess Elizabeth Hospitals in Nairobi. He is also honorary consulting physician to the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. Dr. Ojiambo has cautiously attempted to answer the recent sensational question (If whether or not witchcraft has a. place in modern medicine, especially in Africa.

B8,rak IHI.Obama rl!8d his econnmles at Hal'\far'd Ult'livl[lrstl:y, He 1,5 cur-rcntlv iJ)'N airobi working for his doctorate. His dissertation is on "An econometric model {]f the staple theory of development." His I:" one o:f the critiques pid::ed among the many received in the Jnurnal office of the Kenya's SessionalPaper No. lO, on African Socialtsrn.

.JlJLY, J965

EAST AFRICA

JOURNAL

Another Critique of Sessional Paper No. 10
__""h¥¥ __ I+F ;-

Facing
Our Socialism
BY BARAK H. OBAMA
Sp.nc.~ many of the African countries achh~v(~rJ their independence ·there has been much talk about Aftkarl Sociallsm. MQr(!over .. there bas bee-n no individual or country which has at any time defined this socialism nor has there been any common ground among the leaders as to what they meant when they talked 0:( A:(rican Socialism. Where, then. could we }oo]" ror the definition of this "ism"? I:r. it is accepted that it Is the leaders '0:[ a country who usually formulate and define ider)]ogies, then the only source tor this definttion would be to get it {tom them eithsr through their speeches, press reports or papers or tl~rOllgh their actions. So far the statemerits made by such leaders as President Nkrumah, Nyerere, Toure etc., have not had much in common. Llkewise, the actions of these leaders While diverting a little from the capitalistic system have not by any means been diractsd towards any particularly defined26 ideology, be It setentinc socialism - 1nt:er alia ~ communism. As a :first step, the Kenya Government must be congratulated :1'0'1' it has tried to clarify the situatlon in So far as it is possible to do so in the Jig-hl: of its planning' needs. It not only specifies the objectives by which this country should be guided, but states the policies through which it hopes to fulfill these 'Objectives. It also sets out targets, tak1llg into account the priorities and shows ways by which to achieve these targets. The paper goas further to deal with matters of wide policy. The statement sbout non-alignment is Ior the fIrst time explicitly expounded and one cannot help but be happy that those who wrote this paper realized the importance and the great urgency of this policy statement. The paper realizes that,' as is true of any country, we must encourage international tra<1e, :(,o·relgn investments etc., since it j$

"

BAS,]' AFRICA

.JOURNAL,

JULY, 1965 avoid jumping the gun, however I wish to step by step what has !;leen'included .in the paper and analyze each point sequentially. The first part of the p9.pelC deals with wida topics such as the objectives of societies, The paper states that there are universal desires o:r. societies and these Include political WIU<lJity, social justice, human dignity and -rr(,~wJom of conscience, freedom from want, disease and exploitation, equal opportunities ~)I~(],lustly, a high and growing per capita income and equitable distribution. While one mas qusstion the univerallty and precedence 'of the.'50 Ideals in all societies, Jet us assume that. we take thase as our idcnls and oblectives in Kenya and assume that as is said in the paper we want to satisfy these lobjee· tives within the context o:E Afdcan Socialism. We have noted that African Socialism is undefined. We note 1'1.160 Its independence from :foreign .tdeologies, but this is not a post1:1ve dcscrtption of a.n idea. It says that it abhors foreign ideology, but what f-oreign ideology Is meant hf:!1.'0.? Does what occur in Ghana, Tanzania, Great Britain or the U.S.A. considered f.oreign? When looked at In this angle one Immediately notices the first mistake viz., not detintng African Socialism So as to embody a cross-section of AfrIca. as the paper by its very 1:11:]eurports. It would p have been more clear and logJstic to define African Socialism and then state its independence. After u11, how can one talk or tho independence of something people do not know? We then havs a sh.ol.'t description of A.f.ri· can traditions and what these traditions Imply within contemporary society; yet the interrolatlons which this bears to what follows is lost. This does 110t Iead to any bll.sic factors. As an axample, the African tradition is fundam(mta.1JY based on communal ownership IOf major means of production and aha-ring of the fruits oJ the labours, so expended in' production, to the benefit oJ: all: and yet the paper advocates land tjtle deeds and private ownership of land .... a major means of production. ~ I-Iow do these two conflicting ractors reconcile. Paragraphs 13 and 14 attempt to define African Socialism. Yet. even these paragraphs are incomplete as the vcrydetinitton is lacking. In fact, one wonders how the statements
h1UOW

(. I

recognizes tile detriments and Itdverse repercussions which nationallzatton can nave on growth in this country. The poltcy of the goYeml1"rHmt in this paper is to try 1:0 raise per Cfl.p\ta II1COI).je~s. This, It ret'o[\'l"llzp.s it can only de) by getting high rates of growth S11ri to achieve this high rate 01 growth there l11usl be a high rate ot capital accumulation. 'rhe ge)Vcr:nm.ent then tries to spell out means hy which it intends to encourage accumulation And this Is most important for developmen!:. II: should be hoped that the government shall :find the means by which it Intends to achieve lhe~:;:8 objectivesThe tlth~ of the paper is given as "Afrlcan 8(wLtlism and ItS ApplioabilHY to Planning In KfmYll". One would wonder whether the title if: not misl~il'ld.jng. Is H Kenya Socialism that we are talking about or African So.cialIsm? On0. WOI.11d have been plea~ed to see Afri· can SocinJi!ilm de:f.ined and how Kel1ya fits lnto this definition, and an indtcation of those ullaracLer;lstiCs in which Kenya Is unique be.f.orc one can think of the appllcabtlity of this definition to Kenya. The part which deals with tile appltcabtltty can be excused. in so Iar as the ~plannlng is taldng place in Kenya, hence it has to be done within KenYa'~ peculiar and unique conditions. But this would maan that we have rlefined the larger context i.c. AfrkFlH Soclalism and that 'Our plans, while having points .·0£ varlunee, do not diverge so much from the defined context. Not only would we question the Ideology as undefined, but we may f;lnd reason to question the pattern oC the plans as to' whether they follow the condition prevailing within the country and their praoticabrlity, The f1.p,plicabillty of planning within the embryo of African Socialism, whlle essential1y an eeoTiomic matter, cannot be divorced from the politico-socio-cultural context in which WE: ll.nd ourselves and as such we should not Ign@e th~se factors as seem to have OCCUrrccl In the Sessional Paper No. 10_ To

'nlC-~ paper

through these~t,ha.t we can hope to gel: the foreign cxchsnge which we so desperately need Xl)!' I;he purchases both O.t capital goods and consumer goods which. w,e. cannot produce locally, thereby enhancing development. 01~ population growth, tile paper notes our 11igh rate of growth and recognizes that thiS :faci:Ol: C~m be very detrimental to growth.

27

.JULY, 1965
made here dIffer from !,cienUflc socialism unless one takes the statement "society in turn will reward these dfortf;" to be di.fl'erent from "reward to each according to his needs."

EAST AFRICA

.TOURN AL

Certninly, the principle is the same. It Is only in the manner the prlnctple is ;r.1,.11fiIled that may differ, but thi.~' Is true in every case that appltcabtlity of jdeologiea have to be In accordance with prevailing clroumstances, If one says that the AfrIcan society was classless as the paper /;HYS, what Is there to stop it from bel,ng a clamJ society as time goes on? Is what has been said in the paper, if implemented, enough to eschew this danger? It may be true that African tradlttons had no parallels in European F'eilidal society so that the problems arislng there: may not arise here, but can one be as blind as not to see that all through the colonial period this same class

It is interesting 1;0 note that the pap~r recognizes failures of both Marxian socialism and laissez-:faJrc in solving \:J1f.]Se problems, yet recognition only leads to trying 110W means or doing things and It Is a far cry to SfJ.y that the blueprint put in the paper will enable l_1.I' 1.0 solve them. It is basically passive rather than actlve as I shall come to show later. The paper thus goes Into toretgn relations. It is a tautology to say that we want to be

,.

independent

of

other

oountries

since

evm'Y

country 113.S always wished this- It would have been more Impor-tant to talk of how WI'.! intend to break our 'dependelW(:! on other COU11tries politically and econornlcally, since 1:11.1:;; is tLllt accompli. Itma.y be true that this j~
still 1.1-1(.: case

sources
choose

because of 'OU!' lacl;: of basic resldlled manpower, yet one can to develop by tl1e bootstraps rather

and

dtstinotion was transplanted here? Can one deny that the A:(rlcan, while not pleased with the system, (lid not covet the high place given to tha E::uropean and Asian? Can one deny the .fact that we Africans have ltkewlso started the s;gme thing. and that W(~ have the haves and have-nets, which are poles apart, both in the living surroundlngs, SOCial contacts, and language" How then can we talk of dif.ferent causes M the samo problems when we should be talldlig of how to correct them? Certainly it is solutions that w€ are intsresterl in and one cannot say that solutions cannot be the same where C:;l"Ltg,~:s are .(Uf:f:er.ent.Tile question is how a.r~ we goIng is how arc wc going 1:0 remove the disparities in our country such as the concentration of economic power in Asian and European hands while not destroying what has alJ:e~,dYbeen achieved and at the same time asstmilatlng these groups
to build one country?
']1;1

i

than become a. pawn to sorne fOl:eign powf!r8 such as Sel..ou Toure did. While the sbl.tr.· mont of the policy 'oJ non-alignment is Mood and encouraging, one would wish to sec it put into practice. Let us examine the operatlng characteX'.istics 'O:r. African SocIalism 8.$ put down In the paper. Here the paper goes into use and control of resources. The f.it'sl: statement con~erns conflict of opinion on. attitude toward, landownership. It is true that in most A:rrIC(lii

OCietif:!f1 the individual had sole rlE\'ht as to he 1.)S0 of land and proceeds from it. He did, iowever, own it only as a tJ:l.lp.tee to the dan, trtbc or society. He could giv(~ it 011 Joan to

someone outside the tribe to use, but be h;J.d no right to sell it outside the tribe. In :fact, most 'of. our wars were ;~ought because oj' land. I-low then can there b~ a conflict of cplnlon 011 communal ownership? The paper should have made this point quite clear. T\1C

EAST

AFRICA

JOURNAL through

JULY, 1965 clan co-operatives? Individual lnlttative is not usually the best metholl of bring. ing land reform. SInce proper land USe and control is very important if we are going to overcome the dual character o.f our economy and thsreby increase productivity, the government should take a positive stand and, if need be, force people to co:nooHoai:e through the easiest way, which. I think, would be through clan co-operatives rather than through individual initlarive. If one were to suppose that the state is an Instrument of sbciety and i( the society regards growth as Wen as the cor rectlon of the lopsided development whlch has characterized thia country as important, then, the society, through the government, 'I which Is its' instrument, shOUld enforce msans z by which this growth and change can be brought about. TIlls IS not Incompatible with the objectives enumerated in the 1:lrs;t part of the paper. If the government should, however, .f.eel that individual ownership is the best policy to take in order to bring development, then it should restrict the size of farms that can be owned by ont;! individual throughout the country and this should apply to everybody from the President to the ordinary man. On . class problems, the paper states that since th~notsiich a. thIng in Africa, the problem is that of prevention. This is to ignore the truth of, the matter. One wonders whether the authors of the paper have not) noticed that a discernible class structure has emerged in A:rri()a and particularly in Kenya. While we welcome the idea of prevention, we should also try to cure what has: slipped In. The elimination of ,foreign economic and politkat domination is a good gesture towards this, so are plans to develop in order to prevent antagonistic classes. But we also need\, to eliminate power structures that have been, built through e,,~ssive accumulation so that) not only a few individuals shall control a vast: magnitude of resources as is the case now, It is a case of cure and prevention and not prevcntlon alone, The paper says that the prlnciple of political equauty eliminates the use ·of.economic power as a political base. It is strange tha.t the g·!)vernment can say this when, wherever we gO, in America, in Africa, in ElIrope, the dollar, the proud and the mark have been used as political weapona despite Professed ideologies. It Is good to be optimistic, but

paper on the other hand leaves 1:he question thp.re and only plunges into the use of resources How can lone talk ()i: use, whether proper or improper, before o'n(:~ defines the owning unit and the rights theNof?' It is true that proper uses of reSOUrCE!S are of paramount importance if we are going to increase both productivity and per capita incomes, but we cannot deal with this unless and until we deal with ownership and within the African soctalistic system. The paper. gnes further to ~Iay that these traditions cannot be caried on indiscriminately in a modern, monctary economoy, This curious, unless the paper means that what Is produced communally is unsellable, ~['l'l.':~ paper says, that because or credit requirements there has ) to be land titles and reglstratlon. If this is the case, must these .land titles and registrations be done on Indtvinual ownership? Doe~ it mean that eo-operatives cannot be registered") or that what is owned in common cannot have title deeds? Is communal ownership of land Incompatible with land eonsolidatlon? It.\s surprising that one of the best African tradI· tions is not only being put asJ.(l\~in this paper but even the principle is not oelng recognized and enhanced. It is true that mismanagement Can occur both in private as well as 1n ;:lUbltc ownership, but we 'OUght to look at the matter within the social f~(mtext. Looked at this way, we can avoid eeunomic power concentration and bring standardized use and Control IOf. resources through public ownership, let alone the equitable distrtbution at eeonomlc gains that would follow. One need not talk Qf state ownership lof everything from a Rtnl\ll ga.rden to a big farm. One need only look at the problems now encountered in getting lands consolidated in some areas. Will this be easily done through jncl:!vidual action, through co-cperatrvcs or through government ownership? Realtzing social 1:IUcldness and inflexibility and l.ooking at the~ society's dis" tru!;t o.t change, one would s(~e that, 1£ left to the Individual, consolldaticn will take s. long time to come. We have to lO'IJ:I~ at priorities In l:erms of what is good :!lor soelety and on this basia We may find It nacessary to force People to do things they would not do otherWise.

X

W-ould it not seem, then, that the government could bring more rapid consolidation

JULY, 196;'. so long as we maintain iree enterprise one cannot deny that some wit:l accumulate more than others, not' is it unlikely that in (it counl'XY with low per capita ilH:clmes, to subject the poor into submitting to political ide-ologies and to persuade them to V'o1:,:~ those who for offer' them money, woulcl not be difficult and has, in ,fa.ct, been occurrlng. WP. then turn to foreign investors, Here the r paper outlines how foreign lnvestors can take an active part in the development of the country and outlines areas oj' soclal responsl- . bJJ5ty In which tIley can take part, These arc: making shares available jjDt Africans, employlnp: Africans on management levels "M Boon as qualified people can he found ~l1\(1 providing training facilities for Af.rlcans". Nohle as these objectives are, one cannot fail to see that the govcrnment Ls not committed to any spcclftc and actlvc policy in guiding .'\ Iorotgn Investors .1.0., ,1loreign commercial ;(irrm: to integrate themselves wlthln the Kenya ..

EAST AFRICA

.JOURNAL

I

economy,

It is true that we d~ not have many people quallfied to ta..ke U[J managerial positions in those enterprises nor those who could partlclpate intelligently in pollcy-maklng functions. But this is not to SHY t.hat there arc 110m!. At present, many highly ql.1alUled AfrIcans arc employed by commercial firms a,1)(1 are given very pompous titles. This j,4 (lone only fol:' publicity. If one were to go into the workings o:f these companies, how. eve" one would find that th~~y actually have no voice in thp. companies whicn gIve them these J11gb titles, Key positions should be Alr;icartizea, 'rhey are gi'ITen public reo lations work which lf3 the only high position an Afric~111has held .l11 commercial firms and this is understandable, 1J1~ they are made directors In name hut lack knowledge about the company's workings so that they are 1:111.[;; on with the government's go knowledge without 11(,~r taking a positive stand hy seeing to it that real Afrieantzation Is tal<ing place? Certainly foreign commercial firms arc not gO'ing to push this enough unless the government takes a positive stand, It is "strange" to note that some 'Of the very big commercial :f1rmi:, deal in .some products which are the liieblo'od. of this country but without the people of thts country taking
rubber stamps of what is decldcd. How can

I)

an active part In the formulation of policies thereof, If. some of these ;[i,rm.!O were to stop functioning today the country would be at a standstlll. Let tho goverl1lUel1t take an active part in these spheres and see to it that the people are actively represented in them, It is true that there is lad; of skilled manpower in thc~ country, but :r. would rather thal: tile few we have were properly used ;for the benerit of the country by giving them responsthlr. positions In commercial :fi,ms as is being done In public bodies, The government should 1101: only tallc 'of training those who are not. yet qU('1,Hfled but should also sec to it that those who are qua.li;f,i.Nl are givnll opportunities to do somethlnz for the country. It is strange to talk o{ lack o;f, skilled manpower when tl~e ff!w who are available are not utilized fully. 'I'he paper wishes to encourage domestic accumulation, This is a good p-:0sl:ure except :rot· tl'ri!'-utiae"0ying assumptron whIch one only reads between the lines, that it is Individual 'prlvate enterprise l;1,nl] bustne .. that tends tn ss :i;encourage accumulation. True, in the papeJ.' '~;here IS a realization that taxation elm br. used as $I, means of :forcerl saving, but it Is given a, secondary plaCe In this respect. Cet'l:a.lllly (h0r~ is no limit to taxation if the benefits derived from public services by society mMSure up (:0 the cost In taxation which they have to pay, It Is a fallacy to sny that there is this limit anrl it Is a fallacy to rely mainly on individual rree I;)lJt0rprls0 to get thc savings, How are we golng to rid ourselves '0) economic power concentratlon when we, in our blueprmt, tend towards what we oUI'sdv~s \ discredit'? In paragraph 47 the paper states \HlI:~tthe company f!orm of bUS\l1~SS orgaI1!zl)." tion is a departure from 1;11e dlrect i.nrllviduaJ ownership typical of Marx's clay, Yet one who has road Marx cannot taU to see that cor· porations ave not only w ha 1: Marx referred to as the advanced sta.ge of capitalism but Msrx even called it flnance capitalism by which ;1 tew would contrnl the financc;:s of. so manv and through this have hot only economic power but political power as well, On the subject of application of A.fr.lcan Socialism to planntng In Kenya, the emphasis is put 0(1)1 economic growth, While recogni;Z;il1g' tho importance of Ip:owth, one can ern' phasize it to the rlr.triment of. other objectlvcs,

EAST AFJUCA .JCJUF\,NAL We should not only put t1J1 c)tn e:r.f.or1:s
01.1

JULY,

1.965

growth, but ~~h6uld COVf'T a. wl.del' subjects which is development, We can have 01. high rate oJ: growth economically Mel yet not develop both. economically, pol.i!;iN.lJly and socially, A p(i.p(:~t: such :,1,$ thif; oric, produced by tho govr.rnment, whlch should be and 1.1;
a blueprint of the country's poJ,iel~~s, cannot confine iWeU to mundane ~H\c1 picayune factors when 1.t I)I.n:hl: to der,J,)with r.!1~vd.olnnenl: whlch includes growth. E;un~ly thls is tl'l€! more encompnsstna subject which t11.,;: paper should have dr.alt with fully, I am gl!.~,d 1:111[; aper notes What We (;.Irr. p short of and seeks ways to correct these shortages, Yet recognition of what we arc short of i.o; not the re,~JIZ;:l.Uorl of why We are short of them 110r how we can remedy these SI'JOrtf.l.r-:e.'_o;.. s~y that per l~'l.pll:<l. in-) To comes !l:r~ low is a thing that any man can Sec. Likewise, to' say that we are short of domestic capital because of the) low rate 0:1:' SaVll"1I'~ ill H tFlutOJ.,l)gy. T1H) reasons are thi:l.t tho major+ty of the' populace ha V~ such a low

The paper notes Jack or qualified skilled manpower. Training must he expanded so that 'Our already qualified manpower Can gain the experience to participate fully
In advancing fled. Through 011 paragraph

foreign aid, a.nd asslstann«, Is not this the reason the governmr.l1t si-louJ.d tax the rlch more so a.9 to glmJ\rate h:lgh tax surpluses ? Tlleor0i:i.c.'l,l)y, there ls nothing that call stop the gowrnment from tax!nl~ 100 per cent income so long as the peoph~ INt hN~0.:ri1:.':: Jro]1J the govet'IlmmH Commensurate with their ineomo which is taxed, ASl:'lum..inf:( 1:1'11'].1". development and the achievement oJ a: high pet' capita income is a benefit to society as a Whole I do not see why the government cannot tax i:)WS0 who have nWH' and syphon some ·of tlle[~~ revenues into ~'~I.v:ingGwhlch can be utilized in investment for futur(~ devolopment, thereby reducing our reliance on .fol:'eigl~ aid.

'or

ami)

pr.e capita income that it is almost impossible

rJ~~vC'llopl"Y1l'nt whtle the t.tnqwllisome of the statistics giv~m E\3 one can sec what we 'have and what we: lac1~ In terms (lJ skilled manpower and the period it I:l',k~'sto train it, It

"""..;
.
,'.,'.

,f:or thorn to save. There is a small minority 1):[ people and worse still, on a racial biH;)e" Who hRVC high lncomcs and who can 9,:i'ford to savo, but 110 country can atr:()n:l to rely Cll1 I)11C group or a small segrnen I: o·r society to do all the saving, Nor is all o:r this s~.vil1f.;"', being invested in thls country, Some nt'~~,.>' sent abr()I~d In 1110. rorm of c1ivkle:)(lS and fol many other reasons, Vvh::L1: is mOl0. important i8 to find means by whIch we can l'cdi.strlbut,;: our economic (;tHins to tlJe hr:!11cfit of: 9.11 nnd (It the !;:r:t111!,! ti.m!~be able to dl.anlel some of tllese gains 1'0 J:U\.IH'Q production. 'l'hi.s is the governm,;:nt's ol1lig'atiol1; it shou1~1 have come Out with II. plan In the paper t'o achieve this, 'rhe government recognizes that each pound sa.veci 08.n g(mcl'atc three pounds in both

is, in tact, quite 8.11 aohievomont that the government .hJls clone so much within "I, :;h01:1: tlme. YQ1: one sometimes wonders why, [los"
pHr~

these

:f..;:.I.d.:;,

tll~~

government

c;orrH:1.lmes

refused Some scholarahips which arc g lven to Kenya studente, <lJ\d ls fussy :in dl'wldi.ng those who can go abroad t;\11c1 l'ho~1" who "ho\1kl study in our E:;l,gt Arrtcan univcrstties. i\n·~ we looking at a I.:;ift 11.0l:o;() in 1:110 mouth when We refuse ::lcholarshlps? It is important that \','C ~;lHl1ddgl\'(: Pl'iC1l"j, Ij.08 in i:,nl.initlg to what we Iack most, but tills; does 110t mean that we have to ,~1:(lp pco[JI~~ frnm goIng to study ab.l:'Oad [uat bC'H:IlI,I~0 they arc not going for what We WIHl1:them. to stmly, particularly when no 'Ol1~~ applies for what we

31

JULY, 1965 want our people tOI study. It should be rcallzed that one person who goes out to study leaves a chance-in our' untversitles ror another person who would n.c:>t therwise have h$.d the o chance .. It is the reason why we should not be so choosy in what we get in terms of SCholarships. In fu.el:, sooner or later We are going too wish we did not turn clown SOme of the scholarships which we have been offer" ed and that we had not heen so choosy as to discrcdlt those who have o.ffered us those scholarships. While it is true 1:111').1: Kenya does not surter from fore.lgn exchange shortages dght now, we cannot -say that We will not su.f:r.er from it 111the ncar ruture. We should take measure to encourage more import substituting industries and have selective controls wl.th high prsrerence be:ing given to capnal goods purchased from abroad, A form of, Import licencing ought to Ill;! introduced which will only 100]( at the goods Imported in terms of. their contrlbutlon to growth and development. unless they are things that we do not produce ourselves, In this wa.y We will be able 1:0 make full USe of foreign exchange which wn can earn tlll'ouglil our exports While at the same time sati~lfyllng the needs which We cannot sst1sfy locally. Com1ng to critical Issuss and choices, it is surprising that no general mention is made of the (lual cnaractertstic of our economy, How can we afford to ignore the pockets of tM)!; economy which are underdeveloped without some positive statement about their develop· ment. In Kenya the colonial government only developed tho so-called ...wh~te areas. rhus .. find that the central province, some parts of the :Rift Valley and some parts of Kericho arc developed, in farming, roads, water systems and the l.iI~ewhen most of the former \. ... \ Afr.jCan reserve areas are eldng a liVing 011.1· poor areas without even good road networks to serve them, How are these areas going to be monetized and bring development . when we do not even have the In;frastructul'e on which development depends unless the government takes a positive stand and docs something to correct this lopaided way of development, The government talks of deaUng only with areas where the returns out of any development programme are ostensible. But surely

EAST AFRICA

,TOURNAL

W~)

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tho returns are low only because these areas are and were undeveloped in the beginning. Must we be so short-sighted as to 1001~only into intermedlate gains when these areas ate rotting in poverl:y? In these areas we find a lot of disguised unemployment Which, if we were to plan sensibly, could be utilized to the benefit of society. The government says th/l.t people who come into the cUles in search of [ohs should return to the land and farm .it. This would have been more sensible i:r. they had a land worth farming. I wonder whether the government really means that It family can. live on an acre o:f, undeveloped land. If these people come out ill Search o:r work, it is because they cannot make a llvlng aut of whatever land they have had. It is because these lands are undeveloped, It is because these lands are poor and II: is be(,~~~IJSr~ their marginal productivity Is zero. In Ja.ct, their return to the land is only to stop them. from contributing to increased output since those who remain on the land produce the sarno amount of product as when those who come out: are also on the land. Isn't this the reason why the government should find projl~ct.'3 either in t:J:H~cities Or in rural areas which could absorb thcm ? It Is II curious thing that the government. doss not recognize these facts in its policy paper. .-·~·-"""Thcre a statement made on nationalizais (:1:ion, True there are cases in w?ich .nation~U. zatlon is bad, hut there are, likewlse, quite a few benefits to be derived from it. On this subject, I would liIH1 to retcr the authors to Prof, Bronferbrenner's work on tho "Appealf ror conttscatlon in Economic Development'!" Nationalization should not be looked at only in terms of profitability a.klt)~, but also, or even more, on the benefit to society that such servlces render and on Its importance in t.erlll,!: of publ.lc interest. If we were to look at tl~r.~e things purely on profitability, then thc ra..ll· ways would not. have been nationalized worl.d· wid~ ~ince it Is the l~ai?t pt'oiitable so that. )11 all countries it is subsidized by government. The.t'e is also a statement that l"lation~l1zat10U will apply to African cnterprlse, How can w~ talk -of nationalizing African entarprise whe)l '" Bcon. Development and CuJ.(:ural chs.lJg'c - Vol. HI, N·(J.3, April, 1955 pp, 201-18.

EAST AFRICA

,TOURNA.L

JULY, 1965 and services, If we realize this then we Should not be worried about the rate of growth of population. AU we need to' think of: is to plan properly and .find projects, given prloritiee, which will absorb this populace, In this way we will not only be able to absorb the rtsing population growth, but also the overwhelming disguised unemployment. On the question 0:( priorities, there is nothing more demanding and important now than the ccnsolldation and proper utilization 0:( land In the former Af.rIcan areas. After consolidation, we should introduce modern farmi.ng methods. Consolidation will add relatively little to output unless productivity is increased and productivity can only bp. increased if the 'old methods and tools of production are abandoned, It is the more reason We need modern methods of production, and on this respect the government wJl1 have to play an active part, through the purchase and loaning ot znore small machinery and fntcnsttytng the training of people 'On how to use them in their lands and teaching them intensively ways (If rotation of crops, grazing and prevention of erosion. Further there will be a. need for more model ,farms run by the government as example. The government instead of worrying with th.€ settlement schemes should have started with this in the beginning. There is a statement in the paper about encouragtng tourism. It Is surprising that the government thinks only about lodges but )10t about making it cheap so as to include those who are not so rtch, At the present tlmc, the cost of living is too high Ior tourists. The hotels charge exhorbitant rates and there are no prlee controls so that only the very rleh can a.fford to come to Kenya ar:; tourists. How are we going to encourage tourism and on a wide basis i;r. we make it too expensive for the middle-class people'? The government ought to do something about thts, Despite' my remarks, it il; laudable that the government came out; with the paper. But thts Is not to deny tile fact that it could have been a better paper .if the government were 1:0 look into prtorities and see them clearly within their context eo that their Implemcntatlon could h9.w~'had a basis on which to rely. Maybe it is better to have something pettunctorily done than none at all!

SU<;henterprises do not exist. H we are going to nattonallzc, we are going to nationalize what exlsts and is worth nattonnlizing. But these are European and Aslan enterprises. One need not be a' Kenyan to note that nearly al commercial enterprises from. smal shops in River Road to big shops in Government Roa.d and that Industries In the Industrial Areas o,f Nairobi are mostly owned b. Asians and EuropeM~. o.t'le 1101:!(1 not be a Kenyan to note that most hotels and entertainment places are owned by Asians and Europeans. One need not be a Kenyan 1:0 note that when one goes to a gO(;Id restaurant he mostly finds Asians and .lBUI:opeans,nor has he to be a Kenyan to see that the maiority of cars running iii. Kenya al:'0 run by Asians I.l.ndEuropG:ans. How then can we say that We are going to be mdiscrtrninate in rectifying theSe lmbalances ? We have to give I:he Arrkan his place in his own country and we have to give him this economic power I:C he is going 1;0 develop. The paper talks >o.f tear o:r.retarding r.:rowth if nattonalizatton or purchases of these enterprises are made fo\' Africans. But for whom do we! want to grow? Is it the Af.J:'ican who owns this country? If he does, then why should he not control the \\Conomic means of growth in. this country? It: is mainly In this - country that one finds almost everything owned by the non-indtgeMus populace. The government must do SOmething about this and soon. For these reasons, all paras, 80, 81, 82, 83 and 84 In this sessional paper are unfortunate in that they did not state the problem clearly and Come out with possible solutions, The paper touches on recant demographic 1:re.n(lsin this country and says that the popula.1:10!,\ is growing at the rate of 3 pet cent per an11Um or more. TrUe this 1s a. high rate oJ population growth, but we have 1',0 look at it in terms of the population base and the area of Kenya. SureIy we are not ~tll overpopualted country. We have vaat areas Which a,€! lying' idl€ or sparsely populatr.d or which could be [nhabitable l,r, irrigation ~d proper projects were to be under way, I e cannot only absorb three times the popuation We have now, but even more with propel' planning. Fu.rthH, we should not only look at the Population as consumers ·of. goods and ~e\, ' '. v i ces, but also as producers of these goods

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