The Kenya National Perception Survey 2011 indicates that up to 78 percent of Kenyans are proud to be Kenyans.
The survey was carried out by the Brand Kenya Board to reveal the general feel and attitude of Kenyans towards their country. The board says that in the 2009 survey, this figure was at 67 percent.
In 2009, Brand Kenya carried out a National Perception survey that sought to evaluate and understand attitudes and perceptions of Kenyans, determine what they consider the strengths and weakness of Kenya as a brand and understand their expectations regarding politics, economy and the society in general.
“Much like in the last survey, Kenyans felt that our athletes and wildlife were the key brand drivers,” Mrs Mary Kimonye, Chief Executive Officer, Brand Kenya Board said during the launch of the survey. However, she noted “corruption is still the main barrier and a deterrent to investment.”
The CEO pointed out that the attitude of citizens towards their nation affect their participation in Nation building. “It affects innovation and creativity as well as the level of positive energy that is directed towards implementing the country’s development agenda.”
Mrs Kimonye said several developments in the country in the recent times have renewed Kenyans hope and revived a sense of pride and patriotism. She explained that the promulgation of the constitution, the transparent vetting of the officers for public offices and reform in the public sector and judiciary are giving hope to Kenyans.
She added that recent developments in the information and communication technology sector, in particular the launch of the open data government portal, and impressive growth in transport infrastructure have boosted optimism among Kenyans, as well.
“This renewed hope is reflected in the fact that 79 percent of Kenya’s do not believe that there will be a repeat of the 2007 election crisis,” she pointed out, elaborating that “66 percent consider it their role to vote for the best candidate.”
The finding indicates that Kenyans’ attitude towards reform will determine how successful they will be in realizing the end results of important socio-economic and political undertakings. According to the survey the future expections of Kenyans include the full implementation of the constitution and accountability from politicians, equal distribution of resources, better infrastructure, availability of social amenities to all Kenyans and hosting the world cup in 2040, among others.
The Minister for Information and Communications, Mr Samuel Poghisio who launched the survey urged Brand Kenya Board to continue with the good work of educating the public while co-ordinating government efforts to institutionalize shared values.
Mr Poghisio pointed out that the moral and social fabric of society is held together by shared values which give people an identity.He said the government has invested in efforts to identify and document Kenya’s shared national values across communities through the National Steering Committee on the Policy, Legislation and Institutional Framework for the National Values System for Kenya. “These values can also be found in our constitution.”
“Some event such as the recent famine have negated this pride and fostered the cynicism prevalent among citizens,” he said as he urged Brand Kenya “to re-focus national attention towards the noble duty of nation building even as we confront these challenges.”
The minister said that youths deserve special attention as they “are the fulcrum upon which our movement towards economic prosperity and social development will be anchored.”
“I’m happy,” he said “to note that Brand Kenya Board has paid special attention to this key group in its strategy and programs, in this regard the Youth Attitude Change Programme being carried out by the Board remains a major area of progress as we seek ways to meaningfully engage the youth not only in gainful economic activity but also in acquiring the right life skills and attitudes.”