What elections in Kenya mean for the country, the continent, and the world
Kenyans returning to the polls on August 8 will choose from a multitude of candidates that are seeking offices from president to governor, and parliament to county assembly. As the economic and political hub for East Africa, this is Kenya’s sixth set of national elections since the end of the one-party state in 1991, and second since the introduction of a new constitution in 2010. It falls a decade after the worst electoral clashes in Kenyan history, when more than 1,100 people were killed and 650,000 displaced. Given this history, and rising political tensions, many fear the potential of violence ahead. While the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is presently favored, regionalism and ethnic divisions continue to overshadow important electoral concerns over economic development, regional security, and political change.
On July 21, the Africa Security Initiative of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted an event focused on Kenya and the upcoming elections there. Panelists included Matt Carotenuto of St. Lawrence University, Lauren Ploch Blanchard of Congressional Research Service, and John Tomaszewski of the International Republican Institute. Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings senior fellow, moderated the discussion.
Professor of History and incoming Associate Dean of International and Intercultural Studies - St. Lawrence University
Lauren Ploch Blanchard
Specialist in African Affairs - Congressional Research Service
John “JT” Tomaszewski
Professional Staff - Africa Policy - Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID)
Michael E. O’Hanlon
Director of Research - Foreign Policy
Director - Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology
Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative
Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology
Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy
To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.