Eighteen months ago Kenya’s abortive elections lead to widespread, unexpected violence, which was only quelled when the international community lead by Africans helped create a coalition government. What does this look like now and where is Kenya likely to go? Recent scholarship has raised serious issues about the efficacy of the democratic model for African countries. Does the Kenyan experience, combined with lessons emerging from the recent Zimbabwe experiment with coalition government and the successful South African elections, provide insights into the validity of democratic models in the African context?
On June 12, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted Dr. Constance Freeman, regional director for East and Southern Africa of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Nairobi who led a roundtable discussion on “Democratic Elections and Coalition Government? A View from Kenya.” Dr. Freeman was joined by Dr. Susanne Mueller, a consultant with the World Bank and associate in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Mwangi Kimenyi, senior fellow of the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings, moderated the discussion.