For the past twenty-five years Kenya has progressed while much of Africa has stagnated. Instead of the economic disasters, underdevelopment, and serious food shortages that have plagued its neighbors, Kenya has enjoyed an expanding economy and agriculture. And instead of a corrupt and incompetent public administration, Kenya has established several successful rural development programs run by public servants with integrity and professional commitment.
What accounts for these Kenyan successes? In this innovative study, David Leonard illustrates the way public policy is made and implemented in Kenya by focusing on four public officials who have had a great impact on rural development. He skillfully weaves his analyses of Kenya's political, economic, and administrative systems into evocative biographical portraits of Charles Karanja, General Manager of the Kenya Tea Development Authority, Harris Mule, administrative head of Finance and Planning, Ishmael Muriithi, head of the Veterinary Department, and Simeon Nyachae, Cabinet Secretary and chief of the Civil Service. The result is a fascinating glimpse of Kenyan political life from the inside, set in the context of the historical and social forces that have shaped that country's government.