Editorial

Kenya after virus, where we will start from?

Imagining effects of the growth stop

27-05-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo

In a world dominated by finance, there is no presumption that the economic recovery will not be taken into account. After the Great Fear, now more than worrying about our mental stability, we look to the wallet.
This is now our society and if there is one positive thing about this fluttering pandemic, it is that (except for the young and very young) I think everyone has realized that the Planet is no longer what it was thirty, forty years ago.
Free and beautiful, with more industrial and less technological pollution and without this wonderful virtual network that makes us feel so close, supportive and as Giorgio Gaber used to sing "all more informed and all more assholes".
Everyone, no one excluded.
Especially those who weren't here thirty years ago or if they were, were too busy trying to ruin everything, maybe even having a little fun.
If this crazy old world has changed, let alone the wild, young Africa that has seen itself catapulted a reputation and a responsibility for growth in the last decade that wouldn't have borne even a rising star of football.
In the space of a few decades it has taken Independence, we have almost forced it to democracy, in many cases even to multi-partyism (without worrying about their multi-tribalism) and now we are generously granting it loans on loans so that its development is sustainable more or less like the lightness of being Kundera.
In spite of all this, those who frequent African countries and Kenya in particular, would also like the splendid anarchy that has always regulated its moorlands to remain so; that the capitals so dangerous but so true and full of opportunities, the uncontaminated paradises and hospitable populations that are content with little, lie in a time bubble fed by colonial oxygen with portions of social commitment and many new inventions of the Western world to drink.
And so the unexpected stop of the virus gives the many nostalgic people the hope of seeing Kenya take two steps back and satisfy those who think it would be nice if it remained the eternal promise of a "Switzerland of Africa" that never was, risking becoming China.
To be able to walk undisturbed through its savannah, to rest in the silence of fishing villages, lulled by the mere noise of the sea, to entertain with fantastic human beings a little backward but so jovial that they have so much to teach us morally.
And instead, look at that, with all the tools we have given them and learning about their natural resources and the infinite possibilities of development, someone has set to work and in a few years the Gross Domestic Product of the country stood out among the top ten on the planet.
Everyone wanted to invest in Kenya and, as banks did in the 1990s with companies and individuals, governments, organizations and international funds were immediately ready to help with more than subsidized loans.
Well, we Italians should know this system well, more or less it is what led us to the break-up while we dreamed of being the fourth world power and reduced us to the dream of winning billions with the Scratch Card, giving half of our (alleged) earnings to the State biscazziere.
There was, however, a positive aspect to the country's growth process: Kenya tried to regulate itself and the turning point tasted good.
The proof is that the opposition has sided with the majority in these battles and that class and tribal struggles have faded. They started talking about rules, restrictive laws, taxes to pay, the fight against evasion and corruption.
There was an air of being at the beginning of this attempt to flank the new emerging reality course with a civic education a little less "old Africa".
And we greedy tourists were already wondering if we would still like a Kenya without five people on a motorcycle, with a fruit canteen where the price can no longer be haggled over because it is forced to issue tax receipts, with paved roads and motorway toll booths, with foreigners treated no longer as travelling gold mines but with the same mistrust with which we see migrants?
Despite the often unspoken awareness that we have led them in this direction, with our good example, and that perhaps among many negative things of progress, there would have been fewer road accidents, less dispersion of money that can be reinvested in public works, fewer Third World situations, where people still die screaming for lack of painkillers and girls get pregnant at 12 years old, now our "passion" for Kenya seems to be at a blind crossroads: to see it return poor, succumbing, begging and set foot again as limping but triumphant "wazungu", dreaming of the right investment in a land that will once again indulge us, or to start walking together again for sustainable growth, helping them to make the same mistakes that led our society to decline? Tell us that there is a third way, a reason that contemplates the (few) good things of the first and second theory.
For now the answer, if any, is still blowing in the Minnesota wind.
It will be necessary to see how humanity will recover from this blow and especially if it has learned something and found a shred of wisdom.
Even if we consider unlikely a "reset" even only partial of the malpractice, of the mass misconduct that has led us to general intoxication, we have to ask ourselves if a possible repulisti could do more good to the Western World or to the Black Continent.
Everything and the opposite of everything, as long as it is not again Africa that has to pay the price for the intuitions, errors and recidivism of others.

TAGS: economia kenyaripresa kenya

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