Scholars: Kenya has a lot to learn from China’s fast-paced development

China’s rise from a poor developing country to a major economic power in just under four decades is something Kenya and other developing countries can emulate, Kenyan scholars have said.

Acknowledging China’s rise to economic superpower status, the experts drawn from various fields made a case for those in authority to emulate the leadership style practiced in China, that has seen the East Asian nation lift millions of its populations out of extreme poverty.

Speaking at an event to mark 100 years since the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama expressed admiration for China’s ruling party citing the achievements it has made particularly in tackling corruption, and urged the Kenyan counterparts to borrow a leaf.

“The evolution of political parties as effective agents of public administration and governance in Kenya has been to a large extent an under-performance in the view of some scholars in Kenya. We need to interrogate the experience of CPC and draw lessons that could enrich political parties in Kenya and strengthen their ideological orientation.” The VC said

Addressing the forum, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Dr. Zhou Pingjian noted that China registered tremendous progress given that the Communist Party created fundamental political conditions and institutional foundation for the realization of development and progress. And he says this was made possible by the commitment to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese people.

“The CPC united Chinese people and led them in launching the great new revolution of reform and opening up, in removing all ideological and institutional barriers to China’s development, and in embarking on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Thus was China able to stride ahead to catch up with the times,” Ambassador Zhou said

Beijing’s top diplomat says CPC has been able to survive the test of times because its policies are people-centered. He said serving the people wholeheartedly is the fundamental purpose of the Communist party.

“Under the leadership of CPC, China’s socialist democracy is the broadest, most genuine, and most effective democracy to safeguard the fundamental interests of the people. The CPC always has its goal as the people’s desire for a better life and pursues people-centered development,” He said

As a friend of Kenya and Africa, Ambassador Zhou said China under CPC will enhance exchanges with political parties to share best practices on state governance. He said his country is keen to join hands with the rest to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

His sentiments resonated well with those of Prof. Peter Kagwanja, the Director of Africa Policy Institute.  He said the Chinese ruling party has created long-term stability which has resulted in the rise of the country noting that no country will attain development without stability.

“One of the most enduring lessons from the experience of CPC over the last century is that long-term stability of political parties is necessary for development,” Prof Kagwanja said

He added that “CPC’s zero-tolerance to corruption has enabled it to the maintain discipline within its ranks, assert the rule of law and safeguard crucial resources for development.”

The renowned scholar also lauded China for taking a leadership role in global affairs. He said amid raging populism, isolationism, protectionism & anti-globalization trends, CPC has forged a new foreign policy strategy that has enabled China to create solidarity bonds across cultures & civilizations.

On his part, Amb. John Mutiso, the Director of International Relations at the Jubilee Party pointed out that the Chinese people have a story to share with the rest of the world. He said countries, especially in the developing world, have a lot to learn from CPC and its 100 years of existence.

“We at Jubilee Party believe that the China story is an amazing story. The CPC calls for prosperity for all, poverty eradication, stability for future generations, consistent leadership that is tried and tested, and hard work.” He told the forum.

Amb. Mutiso said CPC shows that strong political parties are necessary for guiding the development and prosperity of the people.

“Every country needs strong parties to advance the course of democracy and human development,” He said

Altogether, the scholars said Africa should draw on China’s experience and success and identify ways in which Beijing can continually work with African countries to achieve a sustained trajectory of economic growth.


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