Candidates for Governor of Nakuru, Dr. Francis Kirangi and Lawrence Bomet engage in KAM-hosted economic debates.
While the recent presidential debates in Kenya are being hailed as a success, a newly-created political office could have a decidedly more powerful influence on the lives of Kenya’s 40 million residents: County Governors.
In order to learn about the platforms of candidates for these new positions and ensure that issues critical to the private sector are addressed, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), with CIPE support, is running a series of gubernatorial debates focusing on economic issues.
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania released its 2010 rankings of think tanks around the world in January. The report identifies 6,480 think tanks in the world and notes the growing impact of policy research organizations, especially “as catalysts for political and economic reform.” Many CIPE partners are included among the leading 25 think tanks from each region; we congratulate them for their performance. Here are a few examples of how think tanks have been working with CIPE to improve democratic policymaking.
With the post-election violence in Kenya an all too recent memory and as Zimbabwe continues to slip into a downward spiral after its most recent elections, Ghana’s December 7 elections could be a breath of fresh air for Africa. This is the first time in Ghanaian history that all major parties are taking part in televised presidential debates.
Today, Ghana’s four presidential candidates will sit before a record-setting television and radio audience for the second and final round before the elections. Today’s debate will address governance and social issues following the October 29 debate, which focused primarily on the economy and energy. Knowledge of the candidates’ platforms will help Ghanaians make an educated presidential choice not along ethnic lines, monetary handouts, or coercion, but based on policy.
The first round of debates on October 28th in Accra were an overwhelming success. They reached a record-breaking number of people – between 10 to 20 million with exact numbers difficult to determine. The debate was substantive, focused, and provided concrete policy positions. For example, on the economy and energy, My Joy Online reported:
In tandem with his party’s philosophy, Nana Akufo-Addo said the private sector was critical in dealing with the question of job creation….He said small and medium scale enterprises in the country should be supported because they are the main providers of jobs.