ISBN 9789966190314
Pages 566
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2018
Publisher Mdahalo Bridging Divides, Kenya
Format Paperback

Kenya, Bridging Ethnic Divides

A Commissioner's Experience on Cohesion and Integration

by Alice Wairimu Nderitu

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) was set up to facilitate and promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful coexistence between persons of the different ethnic and racial communities of Kenya, and to advise the Government on all aspects thereof after the violence that followed the December 2007 elections.

In Kenya, Bridging Ethnic Divides: A Commissioner’s Experience on Cohesion and Integration, Commissioner Alice Wairimũ Nderitũ looks behind the scenes at the NCIC’s efforts to ensure peaceful co-existence. Such as, working with elders, mediating confidentially between political leaders at the highest levels and co-founding and working as first Co-Chair of Uwiano Platform for Peace, a conflict prevention agency largely credited with leading efforts in ensuring peaceful processes during the 2010 Constitutional referendum and 2013 General elections.

The book tells of NCIC’s efforts in grappling with the seemingly intractable problem of managing the negative consequence of ethnic differences on questions such as: Why is Kenya so ethnically polarised? Why is an ethnic group the key defining factor in Kenyan politics? What hope is there for an inclusive Kenya?

The book shows that positive policies and intra- and inter-ethnic spaces can be used to counter negative influences that lead to fear, exclusion and violence. The diversity of Kenya’s ethnicities and races need not be a pretext for conflict, but a source of truly national identity. It proves that dialogue on understanding differences and commonalities leads to improved relationships and understanding on societal dynamics. This in turn, contributes to preventing and transforming conflicts through appropriate inclusion policies, identifying entry points for change as well as opportunities to tackle the norms and behaviours that underpin structural disparities.

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About the Author

Alice Wairimu Nderitu

Alice Wairimu Nderitu is a 2011 Transitional Justice Fellow of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africa. Her commitment to conflict prevention and innovative approach to mediation has won her several prizes; Woman Peace Maker of the Year (2012) from the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, the Global Pluralism Award (2017) and the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue (2017-18) by the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. 

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