Kenyatta declares itself a beacon of democracy in the East African region

Kenya ‘a beacon of democracy’ in East Africa, says expert

The East African nation of Kenya has proved to be a beacon of democracy in the region, according to a key expert on the region, but President Uhuru Kenyatta must also avoid the temptation to take the freedom of his people for granted.

Author: Agence France-Presse, Washington Post

Published: 12:10 PM EDT April 11, 2017

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(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Kenya’s new president Uhuru Kenyatta has declared his country a beacon of democracy in the East African region, saying his country is the only country that does not impose a religion on its citizens.

Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda all have the largest Christian populations in the region, but Kenya, which has a strong Muslim population, has declared itself the only country in East Africa that is not governed by a religious law, Kenyatta told the Associated Press in an exclusive interview.

“It has taken us 13 years to go from being a poor country to becoming a prosperous one, and it has been through the power of the private sector. It has taken us that long so that we can learn how to lead ourselves”, he told the Associated Press in an interview at his official residence in Nairobi, in a speech to be broadcast at 10:00 pm local time on Sunday.

The new President is facing his first major domestic challenge since taking office in 2012, and the nation’s recent election of a new parliament, which was boycotted by the main opposition, have raised concerns across the region.

Kenyatta told the Associated Press his new administration would do its best to work with the parliament to create a conducive environment for its members to perform their duties.

“It is very necessary to work on unity, love and harmony in the country; I mean by that we want a country without any difficulties. We want a peaceful country. We can be a beacon of democracy in our region. We have to take care of our people. We cannot afford to be a beacon of democracy if we cannot afford to take care of our own people”, he said.

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