So I went to the forum/discussion on Kenya last week and it was very interesting. The whole issue in Kenya is one that many seem to be very pessimistic about. The discussion at the forum, hosted by OAS, surrounded the root problems that have led to the current state of Kenya. The terms “ethnic conflict” and “civil war” were thrown out into the discussion. People threw out a lot of ideas as far as solutions to the conflict such as an interim government or power sharing however I feel like the root causes would still be inadequately addressed. Paula mentioned that a lot of the fighting was going on in the slums of Kenya and that there was very little conflict in places with majority middle-and-upper class people. That signals to me that a lot of the problems causing the fighting have very little to do with election results and mostly to do with underlying socio-economic problems. There was also a discussion about democracy in African countries in general and how suitable it is and I agree with many people in the room who think that democracy is not meant for everyone. This made me think about the history of democracy in the U.S. and how it had a whole different birth than the democracies of other nations.


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