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President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 834

Essay

The current president of Kenya is Mwai Kibaki. In this essay, President Kibaki’s leadership is analyzed on several fronts. The succeeding paragraphs describe and discuss the president’s exhibited traits, decision style, leadership behaviour, and leadership style.

Among the traits that have been clearly exhibited by President Kibaki are intelligence, resilience, and visionary. The president’s intelligence has been exhibited all throughout his life, from graduating at the top of all of his classes from basic to tertiary education in Kenya, to completing a graduate degree program with distinction from a prestigious university in London. President Kibaki is also highly resilient both politically and personally. He pursued his political ambition amidst strong opposition from various rivals and experienced several defeats before finally emerging victorious. Most importantly, President Kibaki is a visionary, who through projects such as free education and the Vision 2030; he is leading Kenya to exceptional years of progress and development.

Even before he became president, Mwai Kibaki’s decision style has been largely consultative (II) when evaluated through the VYJ model. Kibaki would consider deeply, even the positions of his political rivals in coming up with his own independent position on an issue. As president, there were various instances which showed that President Kibaki made it a point to consult his advisors and even his constituents and act in consideration of their positions. This is true in his educational reform of giving free education to Kenyan children, a plan that was brought forth from meetings with educational administrators, who informed the president of the main reason behind low enrollments being the inability of children’s parents to finance their children’s education. President Kibaki’s consultative style is also shown in the various times that he has publicly called for emergency meetings with his cabinet as well as with his other subordinates across the country (Nzioka). This shows that he values the contribution of his subordinates in his own decision-making. However, it is still himself who makes the final decision rather than putting anything to a vote. In fact, when members of his cabinet disagreed with a referendum that he had pushed in 2005, he removed nearly all of his cabinet members from their positions (United Nations).

In terms of leadership behaviours, President Kibaki has expressed many. He has exhibited the ability to hire great talents to deal with significant problems beyond his expertise, such as appointing John Githongo, a prominent anti-corruption activist, as Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics (Wrong 17). He has also been proven to be capable of establishing long term visions of progress for the nation, and following this through with feasible proposals, such as in the case of Vision 2030. Furthermore, President Kibaki remains to be a role model of integrity and a prime example of a competent leader who relies on producing actual results to gain people’s support, rather than engaging in personality politics and populist sloganeering that had been the tactic of his predecessors (Walsh).

Among the different leadership styles, what describe’s President Kibaki’s style best is transformational leadership. Rather than simply continuing status quo, President Kibaki’s entire presidency has been based on making revolutionary changes that would not only change the Kenyan government, but Kenya itself and its citizens. The primary example of this is the educational reform of making education free for citizens to avail of. This move is not simply a means to increase the population in schools. President Kibaki, being a strong economist, is well aware of the role that education play’s in a nation’s progress. By making education free, President Kibaki has opened the floodgates to enlightenment. This means that succeeding generations of Kenyans would no longer largely be illiterates who can be easily used and abused by political parties. By enabling the young to avail of free education, President Kibaki has taken a crucial step to dispelling ignorance in the country. Thus, President Kibaki’s objective is to eventually transform Kenyan society into a more educated society, and in so doing empower its people with the potential to achieve even greater progress, well after his term as president has ended. As declared by the United States former president Bill Clinton with regard to President Kibaki’s educational reform milestone, “by providing free and compulsory primary education, what Kibaki had done would affect more lives than any president had done or would ever do” (Tooley).

This essay was able to describe President Kibaki as an intelligent, practical, and visionary leader. He has largely exhibited a consultative decision-making style, and several leadership behaviours. He is a transformational leader, who has done many things for the development of Kenya.

Works Cited

Nzioka, P. Defiant MP says No at Kibaki meeting. 2010. 21 Nov 2010. Web.

Tooley, J. Private schools for the poor: education where no one expects it. 2005. 21 Nov 2010. Web.

United Nations. Weekly Round-Up – IRINCEA-306. 2005. 21 Nov 2010. Web.

Walsh, D. New era for Kenya as opposition obliterates ruling party. The Independent (London). 2002. 21 Nov 2010. Web

Wrong, M. It’s Our Turn to Eat: The story of a Kenyan Whistleblower. Fourth Estate Ltd., 2009.

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