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National Integration

We have learnt that Kenya has different communities living in it. It is important for these communities to live together in harmony. In this session, we are going to look at how people can live together in peace.

People of diverse backgrounds

National integration

As you tackle National integration, it is important that you know clearly some of the terms that are at times confusing. They have been defined as follows:

A Nation is a large community of people usually sharing a common

a) history

b) culture

c) language

d) one government

e) one territory

f) common experiences

The concept of nation and ethnic are similar, the only difference is that a nation has a political aspect while an ethnic group refers to social cultural identity. In Kenya, there are many ethnic groups, for example

a) Maasai

b) Akamba

c) Oromo

d) Pokot

e) Kuria

f) Taita

g) Giriama

State: An institution formed by people occupying a particular geographical territory for common goal and under one government

Map of Kenya

Nation state: this is a term loosely applied to all modern states (countries) but mostly to states where population is made up of one nation under one government

Government: the machinery in which the state operates. It comprises parliament, civil service and the courts

Kenya gaining independence



Lesson Objectives

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

1.Define the term National integration

2. Explain the importance of national integration.

3.State factors that promote and limit national integration.


Meaning of National Integration

National integration is the process of bringing together people with different customs, values, culture language etc to make a nation.

National integration is important to our nation in the following ways:

1. promotes national unity

2. brings peaceful co existence of different ethnic groups and races

3. gives a sense of national direction

4. it is easier, more efficient and more accurate when communicating the policies of the government.

Factors that promote national integration

There are many factors that promote national integration. These include:

1.Common language, for example Kiswahili. This increases national unity and breaks ethnic differences

2.Education brings national integration because there is uniformity in the following areas:

a) Examination

b)Syllabus

c)Teachers

3. National activities - common activities among people help promote national unity. For example national days remind Kenyans of important national events in their history

4. Agricultural and trade fairs which enable the different economic sectors to display and advertise their goods and services. For example, the Nairobi international trade fair

5. National symbols give identity to Kenyans. These are:

i) National Flag

Flag of Kenya


a) Black - symbolizes the color of the people

b) Red - symbolizes the blood shed during the struggle for independence

c) White - symbolizes peace

d) Green - symbolizes the fertility of the land

The flag also has a shield and two spears. These are symbols of defense of life, truth, justice, freedom and peace.

ii) National anthem: the playing of the national anthem brings a strong sense of patriotism for one's country

iii) Coat of arms: Coat of arms is found in different items and places to represent the government of Kenya. It is found in currency, government buildings, official government letters, official presidential vehicle and Kenyan Embassies in foreign countries.

6. Kenyans come together in support of their sports men and women.



Flag of Kenya


Flag of Kenya

Another factor that promote national integration is the constitution which is a set of rules agreed upon by a group of people living together.

One government, yet another factor key in national integrity, refers to the three arms that run the affairs of the nation at various levels. They are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

The arms of the government

The presidency unifies Kenyans. The president is the spokes person and international representative of all Kenyans

President Mwai Kibaki addressing the nation during a national day.


The mass media
is important in that it ensures that information is disseminated to all at the same time. It enables Kenyans from all parts of the country to contribute to national debates before decisions of national importance are made.


Factors that hinder National Integration

National integration can be hindered by the following factors

1. Racism - discrimination based on race

2. Tribalism- practice of favoring people because they are from one's ethnic group

3. Nepotism - practice of favoring people because they are related to you

4. Corruption - practice of using one's position or power for selfish gains

5. Greed - a situation where one has an extreme desire to acquire wealth or power disregarding other peoples' welfare.

6. poverty- state of lacking the basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing

Conflict Resolution

When people live together, disagreements are inevitable. These disagreements are referred to as conflicts. They could be as a result of self interest or differing ideas. It is important that a way is sought to restore peace hence conflict resolution. This is where disputes are settled and peace is restored.

The historic hand shake between Pesident Mwai Kibaki and Prime minister Hon Raila Odinga after the 2007 post election violence.

Meaning of conflict

Conflict refers to a situation where people or groups are involved in disagreement. This could be as a result of self-interest or differing ideas.

They may lead to violence. Conflict resolution is a process of settling disputes and restoring peace. It involves bringing people or groups in the opposing sides together.

Law enfocement officers restoring peace during the 2007 post election violence in Kenya


Lesson Objectives

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

1.define conflict resolution

2.identify methods of resolving conflicts

3.describe the process of resolving conflicts




Causes of conflict

There are several causes of conflicts. These include:

(i) Economic causes.

This may arise when a number of parties disagree on matters that affect the development of trade, industry and wealth for a example a dispute between employers and employees where the employees seek higher pay.

(ii) Social causes.

This occurs when people in a group or community fail to agree on matters affecting their social life for example a family dispute, land disputes.

(iii) Political causes.

This arises out of political differences for example difference between political parties and boundary disputes between countries.


Methods of resolving conflicts

As we mentioned earlier, conflict resolution refers to ways of settling disputes or disagreements when they occur.

There are various ways through which conflicts are settled. They are discussed here. Click on the above panel for more details on the methods of conflict resolution.

Negotiation:

This refers to discussions between people who are trying to reach an agreement. It involves three important steps. These are;

a.Fact finding which involves finding the root cause of the dispute

b.Disussion which involves a give and take situation. This creats a friendly environment to solve the conflict.

c.Reaching an agreement which involves the parties showing willingness to compomise for the negotiation to succeed.

Arbitration

The process of arbitration involves:-

(i) The sides involved in the conflict should be ready to present their case.

(ii) The arbitrator then asks questions to clarify some aspect after listening to each side.

(iii) Based on the applicable rules, the arbitrator considers the facts and makes a decision to settle the dispute.

Mediation

This involves a situation where a person who is not involved in a dispute tries to help two conflicting groups to reach an agreement. The parties involved must be willing to listen and come up with good ideas that will enable them reach an agreement

Kofi Annan former UN Secretary General who mediated peace after the 2007 post election violence in Kenya

There are several steps towards meditation

(i) The mediator explains the rules.

(ii) The parties involved in the conflict explain in their own words what the problem is.

(iii) The mediator summarizes the facts from submission of the two sides.

(iv) Solutions are suggested by the mediator and the parties are invited to give their opinions on the solution.

(v) Depending on the parties' reaction the solution may be looked at afresh to get an acceptable solution.

(vi) An acceptable agreement is reached by both parties which is written down. Both parties must be committed to it.

 

Compromise

This is based on bargaining where the opposing parties take a middle position in the conflict. They accept the conflict between them and the fact that they can co-exist.

Problem Solving

This method attempts to determine the root causes of a conflict and then resolve the basic issues.

This is possible where there is mutual trust among the conflicting parties.

Collaboration

This is where there is willingness by the opposing parties in the conflict to work with the other to resolve differences between them.

An example is the recognition of the ruling party in a country by being given leadership positions in the government.

THE PROCESS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION

There are several phases involved in the process of resolving conflicts.These are:

(i) Recognizing that a conflict situation exists.

(ii) Diagnosing the conflict.This involves establishing the nature of the conflict and its causes.

(iii) Examining the grievances because most conflicts are caused by a situation where parties have varying information.

(iv) Determine how far the conflict has advanced.

(v) Problem solving or handling grievances.Relevant information is examined and a range of possible solutions is considered. The ideas are critically considered from the alternatives given.

(vi) Implementing the solution: This should be done with careful planning to avoid any further conflict.

(vii) The follow up action; which involves establishing the degree of effectiveness of the solution.

(viii) Evaluating the solution to determine the reasons behind success or failure.

THE PROCESS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION

THE PROCESS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION

There are several phases involved in the process of resolving conflicts.These are:

(i) Recognizing that a conflict situation exists.

(ii) Diagnosing the conflict.This involves establishing the nature of the conflict and its causes.

(iii) Examining the grievances because most conflicts are caused by a situation where parties have varying information.

(iv) Determine how far the conflict has advanced.

(v) Problem solving or handling grievances.Relevant information is examined and a range of possible solutions is considered. The ideas are critically considered from the alternatives given.

(vi) Implementing the solution: This should be done with careful planning to avoid any further conflict.

(vii) The follow up action; which involves establishing the degree of effectiveness of the solution.

(viii) Evaluating the solution to determine the reasons behind success or failure.

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