Two local engineers assembled a ventilator from locally available materials, the trade Cabinet secretary quickly linked them with kenyan research institutes to develop a prototype that would meet international standards. A textile factory in kitui is making 30,000 surgical masks a day-we barely made any before as a country. Kenya medical research institute has come up with technology that can test and detect COVID19, putting kenya at the brink of being the first country in Africa to start mass testing. These developments reinforce the belief of many educated and skilled Kenyans-we have never lacked in capacity. The world is locked within limits of a racial hierarchy that has regelated africans to the bottom of the pile. This racial complexion of world politics has eroded our self-belief. We believe anything foreign is better than homegrown solutions.
The greatest challenge of our generation isn’t western imperialism though, it is lack of political goodwill. Our politics is not fueled by the desire to create enabling environments for the common African to thrive but is fueled by a materialist rivalry. A rivalry that has propagated patterns of primitive accumulation of wealth.Governments import goods and services, not because we lack the ability to provide these back home but because this model offers a perfect conduit for profiteering to the billions, through inflation of contracts. We have now been forced to look from within as factories in the west and china are overstretched. Look at what happens when we’re left with no choice!Maybe there’s a silver lining in this Covid-19 pandemic after all.