Kenya: The Geopolitical Significance of a Uhuru Kenyatta Presidency

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s newly elected president

AFRICANGLOBE – Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the 4th Kenyan president before mid-morning 9th March 2013 after Kenya decided he was its best bet.

Uhuru Kenyatta won the election with a significant and commanding lead of near 1million votes beating Raila Odinga and promising Kenya rapid economic growth.

This remarkable win weathers many storms turbulently homing in on Uhuru Kenyatta, including British attempt to influence the outcome of the election and the International Criminal Court.

Kenyatta becomes a president of a rapidly developing African country that has broken ranks with the West besides becoming a regional military power after destroying Islamist terrorist and militants in Somalia, beating the West and the NATO counter-terrorism operations hands down.

There are repercussions and geopolitical ramifications to the Uhuru Kenyatta victory as 4th President of Kenya and almost every foreign envoy in Kenya is rethinking their engagement, after many of them came out against his candidacy, some such as the United States even threatened to sanction his presidency.

Different Scenarios 

The economic factors that make Uhuru Kenyatta a powerful and one of the most sought after African president by the Western diplomats are many.

Oil and Gas discoveries and confirmation of their commercial values, coalmines, titanium export, and gold and geothermal power generation are key attractions pulling edgy investors to Kenya.

This wealth alongside massive infrastructure programs under Chinese contractors and a successful anti-terror operation in Somalia makes Kenya an attractive besides strategic development partner and investment hub.

Kenya no longer leans on the West for development programs; rather, it has set the terms of diplomatic engagement very clear, that, only development partnership makes diplomatic sense.

This puts the West and the European Union in such an awkward position and seemingly losing face after failing to stymies the Uhuru Kenyatta presidency.

Kenyatta insists, Kenya does not need the West than the West needs Kenya, a very significant statement since Russia, China, and the Asian economies have become Kenya’s strategic development partners.

By failing to work with Kenyatta, the West risks losing vital assets, investments, and funded programs managed by international NGO’s and the United Nations Development programs across East and central Africa.

The West will need this man, more than Kenya needs them.

Military, Intelligence and Anti-Terrorism Teams

US Embassy Kenya
The U.S. Embassy in Kenya is the largest in Africa

China has been covertly funding the Kenyan military and intelligence operations in the region, making China one of the most important development and security partner with Kenya making the West worried its losing clout.

The United States alone has invested billions of dollars through military, intelligence, and counter-terrorism programs across East and Central Africa with its main forward bases in Kenya.

Kenya’s National Intelligence Service shares intelligence with the Central Intelligence Agency CIA, conducts covert anti-terror operations alongside the Kenya NIS and Defense Forces.

Sidelining Uhuru Kenyatta would see these intelligence and counter-terrorism joint task force programs collapse as Kenyatta seeks alternative partners. The West will not take such immense risks whatsoever.

The West particularly Britain will find it very difficult to charm Uhuru Kenyatta to keep business as usual in the interest of immense Western intelligence, military, and economic investments in the country and a volatile region.

Kenya has been upgrading its military capability by sourcing new weaponry from China, Russia, and Ukraine further sidelining the West, which in the past enjoyed these lucrative contracts through their defense equipment firms.

Regional Geopolitical Outcome

Kenya is a regional economic giant that in 10 years under good governance can overtake economies like South Africa, besides being the regional military power.

Every military or regionally important security intelligence operation planned by the West is coordinated by Kenya; Kenyatta’s astute character and near-radical resolve observed in his political self defines a more power-hungry general who will increase Kenya’s geopolitical influence.

Kenyatta is not very diplomatic particularly in geopolitical scenarios; he will make snappy what he perceives a threat under a credible intelligence report, hence halt any advancement of an agenda that injures the country.

Kenya’s neighbors and international partners will contend with this character hence approach Kenyatta with enough caution to ensure, though distant, a relation is established and maintained.

The West will have a big challenge convincing Kenyatta they wish Kenya well, since Kenyatta already views them skeptically and has often told them off and they, have constantly convinced him, they are Greeks bearing gifts hence he should be wary of them.

The influence Uhuru Kenyatta has across Africa is significant further denting the West influence in the dynamic regional geopolitics, particularly the economics and military operations.

The Uhuru Kenyatta win is a big loss to the West since it has lost all its grip on the region to a hardline politician who does not view them as partners anymore than enemies of Kenya.

The West indeed will have to work with Uhuru Kenyatta or lose to other contenders such as Russia, Japan, and China all who now fund Kenyan security and economic development projects with less ado.

 

By; David Goldman