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Meaning and origin of African Socialism.

The Sessional paper No.10 of 1965 defines African socialism as an African political, economic system that is positively African, and capable of incorporating useful and compatible techniques from whatever source.

African socialism was born out of the desire by our leaders to create a new society, from the colonial society and which embraced equity devoid of racism, oppression and other social injustices.

Main features that characterized African socialism in Kenya.

a) Political Democracy where all people are politically free and equal

b) Various forms of ownership of wealth. E.g. free enterprise allowing private ownership of property, nationalization policy for key industries, partnership with private sector

c) Mutual social responsibility. That the spirit of service and not greed for personal gain motivate Kenyans.

d) A range of control to ensure that property is used in mutual interests of society and its members.

e) Progressive taxation to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and income.

f) Diffusion of ownership to avoid concentration of economic power on a few people in the society.

Achievements of African socialism as a National Philosophy.

a) It has led to promotion of democratic process in governance. Multi-partism has been established in Kenya due to African socialism policies. Kenya has also witnessed the growth of the civil society.

b) Since the philosophy is built on African traditions, it has promoted African cultures Kenya pursued African values consistent with her traditions.

c) The philosophy has promoted national unity and coexistence among Kenyan communities.

d) There has been a greater effort to achieve fairness and justice through progressive taxation and a range of other controls. The government has tried to achieve fair distribution of resources through the activities of the District Focus for Rural Development.

e) The philosophy led to establishment of cooperative societies in Kenya. This has promoted social and economic development in Kenya.

f) African socialism has promoted agricultural development through the land tenure system that was undertaken to ensure settlement of the landless in settlement schemes like Bura.

g) Social development in education and health has been achieved. Discrimination in schools, hospitals and residential areas stopped. Uniform systems were adopted.

h) The philosophy gave Africans the right to participate in their economy. This was through the policy of Africanization in which industrial enterprises hitherto owned by Asians and Europeans, changed ownership.

i) African socialism has encouraged rapid development in Kenya. The policy of mutual social responsibility through self-help promotes a sense of patriotism and service to the nation as Kenyans work together to build the nation.

Problems that faced African socialism.

a) Progressive taxation has put an additional burden of taxation on the poor thus discouraging development.

b) Political interference in public projects and wrangles among leaders retards development.

c) The spirit of unity and co-operation and self-help has been discouraged by misappropriation of funds.

d) Corruption leads to negative attitude from people towards contributing to national development.


Meaning and origin of Harambee philosophy.

Harambee is a Kiswahili slogan, which means pulling together or working together. It was a development strategy in which, people supplemented government efforts through voluntary contribution.Mzee Jomo Kenyatta made it a national Motto in 1963 when he aptly advanced it as unity in all causes of national integrity and human progress.

The Harambee spirit embodies ideals of assistance, joint effort, mutual social responsibility and community self-reliance.

Harambee projects are categorized as;

  1. Social Projects. Educational institutions and facilities, medical centres, recreational facilities and religious institutions.
  1. Economic projects. Construction of rural access roads, bridges and culverts, agricultural and livestock activities.

Principles that guide the Harambee spirit.

a) It is a development strategy that is aimed at mobilizing the people at local level to participate in their development

b) Participation is guided by the principles of collective good as opposed to individual gain. Harambee efforts should be directed towards community projects rather than individual projects.

c) The choice of project is supposed to be guided by the felt needs of the majority. Participants should be involved in decision making.

d) In the implementation of projects, there should be maximum utilization of the local resources such as labour, materials and money.

Contribution of Harambee movement to the development of Kenya.

a) Harambee movement has led to development of education in Kenya through Harambee fundraising to construct schools and colleges.

b) Funds have been collected through Harambee to improve infrastructural facilities such as roads, rural electrification and provision of water.

c) Collective participation in development programmes by people from different groups has promoted national unity.

d) It has helped inculcate hard work in the people of Kenya. This has in turn encouraged various ethnic groups to develop their respective areas.

e) Harambee projects especially in rural areas have attracted foreign donors especially the NGO’S

f) Has led to re-distribution of resources as people with more funds have participated in the development projects in the less developed areas.

g) Funds have been raised through Harambee to help the less fortunate members of the society. For example, President Moi 8th April 1989 held a Mammoth Rally where KSH 70Million was raised to help the disabled.

h) Harambee movement has promoted agricultural development e.g., through construction of cattle dips and purchase of farms through Harambee.

i) Funds raised through Harambee have been used to purchase buses and Matatus to provide transport.

Ways in which the Harambee philosophy has promoted the development of education in Kenya.

a) Many education institutions have been constructed using funds raised through Harambee effort. Thus enabling many children to attend school.

b) Many students have been assisted to pay school fees/thus it enables the needy to go on learning.

c) Physical facilities have been constructed/improved through Harambee. This enables learning in a conducive environment.

d) Teaching/learning materials have been purchased/ donated to schools to improve the quality of education.

e) Additional staff/workers in schools have been paid through Harambee contributions by the parents to offset inadequacy.

f) Through Harambee spirit, well-wishers, thus helping the learners to exploit their talents, have supported co-curricular activities.

g) Scholl furniture has been bought through Harambee effort thus making learning /teaching comfortable.

h) Parents have contributed funds to supplement the government’s school feeding programmes thus improving enrolment.

problems that face Harambee movement in Kenya.

a) Misuse of Harambee funds/diverting its use and lack of commitment by leaders.

b) It puts an additional burden of taxation on the poor.

c) Embezzlement of public funds.

d) Political interference and wrangles among leaders.

e) The spirit of unity and co-operation and self-help may be killed by misappropriation of funds.

f) Poor co-ordination and supervision of Harambee projects.

g) Use of force or extortion of Harambee funds from the people/dictatorial tendencies.

h) Corruption and negative attitude from people.

i) Use of Harambee for political gains.


Meaning and origin of Nyayoism.

Nyayoism originally meant footsteps i.e. following the footsteps of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

This was a phrase coined by the former president of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi, in reference to his Endeavour to follow the foot steps of his predecessor. Today, Nyayoism means peace, love and unity that form the pillars of the development philosophy. It stresses the concept of being mindful of other people’s welfare. It is closely related to the principal of mutual  social responsibility as embodied in African socialism.


Sources of Nyayoism.

1)  Sessional Paper No. 10 of 1965 that articulated African socialism, which is based on collective responsibility and on being mindful of other people’s welfare.

2)  The Biblical teaching of the Ten Commandments, summarized as Love for God, fellow man and oneself.

3)  Moi’s long political career inspired him to develop the philosophy when he realized that national building required love.

Pillars of Nyayoism

1)  Peace: – the state of being free from war and disorder. Peace is the beginning of sustainable and cumulative progress. Peace promotes development. According to Nyayoism, peace discourages political stability.

2)  Love: – Love brings about trust and readiness to cooperate by working together tofoster national development. Lack of love disturbs peace, creates disorder and destroys progress. Love encourages the African culture of sharing through the extended family (communalism).

3)  Unity: – the state of being one, being in harmony or in agreement in objectives and feelings. The diversity of Kenya’s culture, religion, races and language requires that there must be unity for nation-building.

Role played by Nyayoism in national development.

a) The philosophy formed the basis for solving national development problems. The philosophy perpetuated the Harambee spirit.

b) The philosophy helped in unifying different communities. The philosophy enhanced cooperation and unity of all.

c) Nyayoism was used as the rallying spirit for the collective contribution and approach to national development.

d) Nyayoism discouraged societal evils since it preached love, unity and peace. Corruption was discouraged through the philosophy.

e) It discouraged all forms of discrimination based on religion, tribe, race, and social status.

f) The philosophy created respect for public property and functions.

g) It enabled the creation of a welfare state since everyone became mindful of others welfare.

h) It created a sense of nationalism and patriotism necessary for national development.

Impact of National Philosophies

Social Impact of National Philosophies.

a) Education has been promoted through philosophies like the Harambee that have assisted in construction of schools, laboratories and libraries.

b) Medical services have been improved

c) Cooperation, understanding and unity have been encouraged since the philosophies emphasized togetherness for nation-building.

d) The philosophies have promoted the spiritual and social welfare of people by raising their living standards. African socialism encourages people to assist others are share with others.

e) Through the Harambee spirit, the plight of persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups has been looked into.

f) The philosophies have promoted African cultures, since they are drawn from African traditions.

Economic impacts.

a) Self-reliance and The Africanization process through which the people of Kenya were able to take over from foreigners was made possible by the philosophies.

b) Due to the policy of pooling together resources and the spirit of cooperation derived from African socialism, cooperative societies have been formed in agriculture and other sectors, thus contributing to the country’s development.

c) Transport and communication has been improved through African socialism and  Harambee spirit. Rural access roads have been constructed; Nyayo buses were bought though the scheme failed due to mismanagement.

d) The agricultural sector has been boosted by the philosophies. Kenyans are encouraged to work hard to increase food production.

e) The pillars of Nyayoism have created a conducive atmosphere for growth of tourism and foreign investment in the country.

Political impacts.

a) The philosophies have promoted nationalism and patriotism in the country.

b) African socialism has encouraged the democratization process as it champions for political equality.

c) It has promoted international cooperation and understanding