We Must Rethink What Pan-Africanism Means Today – Dr. Korir

Speaking to the Fellows and Alumni, Dr. Korir shared his personal leadership journey starting out as an advocate in Nairobi, to his work in the field of human and minority rights in and an attempt at running for political office as MP for Kwanza constituency in Kenya

Fellows and Alumni of the LéO Africa Institute held a conversation with Dr. Korir Sing’Oei, the legal advisor to Kenya’s deputy president Hon. William Ruto. The conversation was held on the sidelines of the inaugural Africa Now high-level dialogue organized by the Africa Strategic Leadership Centre (ASLC), a Kampala-based think tank.

Speaking to the Fellows and Alumni, Dr. Korir shared his personal leadership journey starting out as an advocate in Nairobi, to his work in the field of human and minority rights and his attempt at running for political office as MP for Kwanza constituency in Kenya. “Politics allows you to know the real issues people face,” he said when asked the lessons learnt from the experience. Asked about his leadership journey so far he noted that leadership at any level is a sacrifice, but is worth it at the end of the day because “leadership is about taking the issues that people face every day and being able to articulate them.”

Dr. Korir had earlier spoken on the panel “positioning Africa for the 21st century” with other speakers that included Samia Nkrumah, the chairwoman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Ghana and daughter of Pan-African icon Kwame Nkrumah, among others who reflected on the Pan-African dream of post-independence African leaders like Nkrumah and how to re-invent it for the modern times at the dialogue.

“We must rethink what Pan-Africanism means today,” Dr. Korir told YELP Fellows and Alumni during the conversation. “Even though we draw influence from forefathers like Nkrumah, we need to redefine what it[Pan-Africanism] means to Africans today”.

Later in the conversation Dr. Korir entertained questions from Fellows and Alumni on his current role in the Kenyan government as the legal advisor to Deputy President William Ruto as well as his role in the making of the new Kenyan constitution in 2010. “You can have a good constitution, but without responsible leadership, it serves no purpose,” he said while emphasizing the importance of good leadership in Africa. Dr. Korir also shared his views on the international justice system, especially the role of the ICC in Africa having been part of Deputy President William Ruto’s defense team during his (H.E William Ruto’s) case at The Hague.

In the end he implored young leaders in the room to follow their passions and above all be accountable, because that is the only way they will cause meaningful change. “Gaining trust of the electorate will take live examples of leaders being accountable to their constituents,” he said.

Dr. Korir Sing’Oei with young people in the LéO Africa Institute network.

More Pictures from the conversation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/africaforum/albums/72157671819248978

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