Political Regimes, Contentious National Identity Question, and Nation-Building in African Countries: The Kenyan Case (1963 – 2020)
Keywords:Political-Regimes, National-Identity, Nation-Building, Self-Determination, Statehood.
Kenya’s successive political regimes’ contentiousness, like elsewhere in Africa, breeds the dearth of national identity, notwithstanding national identity’s relevance in characterising countries’ politico-economic and socio-cultural landscapes. National identity accelerates nation-building, hence, its inevitability for African countries; given their irrefutable need for statehoods. Arguably, the dearth of national identity constructs gratuitous upheavals as illustrated by post-election violence and contestations, in Kenya 2007, Ivory Coast 2010-2011, Cameroon 2018-2019, Nigeria 2018, Guinea Bissau 2020, etcetera. While seeking to divulge how Kenya’s national identity could emerge with its 4th President in 2017; this paper argues that, in African countries, the dearth of national identities propels political and economic failures, destroys citizens’ senses of belonging, undermines nation-building and enhances national disunity. Irked by these peccadilloes, fashioned by African leaders’ self-centredness; this work grounds on the elite theory to conclude that, leaders of African political regimes generate national identities’ dearth and their countries’ disunity and underdevelopment.
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