Kenya ‘a beacon of democracy’ in East Africa, says expert
Kenya’s new president Uhuru Kenyatta has said he wants to become the face of the East African country.
Speaking about a country where he has been president since his father was Kenya’s first president in 1963, Mr Kenyatta told the BBC’s Newsday programme: “I want to become the face of the East African. I want to be the face of Kenyatta.”
The country of 20 million people is one of the last remaining stable democracies in Africa, and Mr Kenyatta, 51, is tipped to run for the presidency in Kenya’s 2011 elections as his main rival, Raila Odinga, 48, steps down.
Mr Kenyatta said: “Even to make a small step in democracy in East Africa is an event. It is the biggest thing in the world.”
He said he hoped to be the country’s head of state for the next 15 to 20 years.
He told the BBC: “To some people, Kenya is not a country but an idea. They think Kenya is a country as far as Africa goes. Kenya is not a country. Kenya is an idea. This country is bigger than just one country. It’s a continent. It’s a union.
“And I want to make this country my country. I want to be the head of state for the next 15 or 20 years. That’s my dream.”
His comments come just weeks after he was elected president a second time as Kenyatta’s electoral support collapsed at the polls in December, with most Kenyans turning to Odinga.
Odinga, the once widely-respected vice president, had sought to win the election by winning large majorities among Kenyans who had until then refused to vote for the former leader in polls that were marred by allegations of electoral fraud.
His presidential ambitions