Next month, Kenya will hold its first elections since 2007. While the country has made significant progress since this time, including approving a new constitution and achieving strong economic growth, two of the leading candidates for president and vice president – Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto – are being indicted by the International Criminal Court for their alleged role in the violence that followed the 2007 elections. International pressure for free and fair elections in Kenya is high and holding peaceful elections in the country will have major implications for the region and relations with international partners, including the United States.
On February 20, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion on Kenya’s upcoming elections. Panelists included: Jendayi Frazer, distinguished service professor at Carnegie Mellon University; Karuti Kanyinga, professor the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi; and Brookings Senior Fellow Mwangi Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative. Vincent Makori, host of Voice of America’s Africa In Focus, moderated the discussion.