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National Philosophies Kenya - History Form 4

National Philosophies (Kenya)

In this topic we shall define National Philosophies. These philosophies include African Socialism, Harambee and Nyayoism. In particular, we are going to discuss African Socialism.We shall explain its features and analyse its impact.

Tom Mboya, key advocate of African Nationalism


By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

1. Define African Socialism

2. Explain the features of African Socialism

3. Analyse the impact of African Socialism


To summarise this topic, attempt the following exercise. Drag the statements in Box L and drop them to the corresponding statements in Box K.

African Socialism

African Socialism is a social-political system that has its roots in African values. It is based on ideologies that are drawn from African traditions. This philosophy incorporates foreign values and ideologies that were deemed useful.

Its Origin

African Socialism existed in African traditional societies. KANU manifesto of 1963 borrowed heavily from existing indigenous African socialism. The ideas were published in sessional paper no. 10 of 1965 entitled "African Socialism and its application to planning in Kenya". This philosophy was coined by the Kenyan leader who intended to use it to achieve development in the nation.


Reasons why the Government Adopted African Socialism

There were several reasons that made the government to adopt African Socialism as a national philosophy. These included:

1. The leaders wanted to create a new society different from the colonial one.

2. The leaders wanted to create a society free from social-economic inequalities, racism and oppression.

3. The leaders desired to create a just and humane society in which all were considered equal before the law.

4. The leaders desired to create a united and free Kenya where individual rights and freedoms would be recognized.

5. To achieve high and growing income per capita.


Features of African Socialism

African Socialism is characterized by the following features:

1. Political democracy: It stresses that all people are politically free and equal.

2. Mutual social responsibility: It demands that Kenyans be motivated by the spirit of service and not greed for personal gain.

3. Various forms of ownership:

- This advocates for free enterprise which allows private ownership of property.

- It did not reject nationalization policy where the government controls and owns key industries.

4. Equity: The state should ensure equal opportunities to all its citizens.

5. Progressive taxation: It advocates for the gap between the rich and the poor being narrowed. The wealthier members of the society should pay higher taxes.

Effects of African Socialism

The application of African Socialism as a philosophy has affected the society in many ways. These include:

1. Promotion of democratic processes. This has been realized for example through the establishment of a multi-party system of government.

2. Building of a society where human dignity is upheld and respected.

3. It has promoted a sense of service and patriotism by upholding the policy of mutual responsibility.

4. It has helped to promote African cultures.

5. Agricultural development has been realized.

6. It has promoted social development in Education and Health sectors.

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