chapter
A Politics of Experience
Pages 11

HARTLY: I do. And I think the single largest reason is the development of the middle class. In the last 40 years, education has become the single most important thing to a Kenyan family. They’re hardworking, dynamic, entrepreneurial people. They’re coming up with new ideas-not just traditional industries. I hope we come up with a Bangalore situation in East Africa. They have a horror of the kinds of things Arap Moi was bringing to Kenya-the creation of private militias, the rampant looting of the country, with the help of international figures, the kind of big-man-ina-suit politics-they were shocked and horrified by that. They surprised people in the West who had washed their hands of Kenya. If you walked into a Western embassy two years ago, the predictions for the elections would have been pretty grim. I don’t think that anyone was quite prepared for the responsibility and the peacefulness of the elections. I believe it was the most significant election in Africa since independence. It was a euphoric moment-it was a real democratic competition. There was no real surprise in 1994 with the election of Mandela, though, of course, it was a high point. But in Kenya, we had nothing but bad things to look forward to-and then millions of ordinary Kenyans said, we just don’t want this system anymore.