I first visited Kenya in 2008. The nation was still suffering from the aftereffects of post-electoral violence. But, I knew that Kenya would recover to become a leading force for African development.
Under the coat of arms of Kenya is a Swahili phrase, “Harambee.” Literally, it means “all pull together.” I saw the spirit of harambee in the people and leaders. They knew that together they had the power to rebuild their nation.
That year I joined thousands of volunteers from former tribal enemies, grass-roots and high officials, from Kenya and around the world, to clean the Nairobi River. Together we cleared the banks that were clogged with rubbish. The transformation was a symbol of hope for the nation.
The spirit of harambee continues to grow. The African Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development reflects a growing trend of cooperation among governments, the private sector, NGOs, and individual citizens to cultivate this spirit of volunteerism and service.
Kenyans have shown that together we can secure the African Dream for Kenya and the African continent. Their example will help Africa to grow beyond its troubled past and stand on the global stage as a precedent-setting leader. The fate of Africa rests in the hands of Africans.