The Role Of Military In Development In Africa: Case Study South Africa And Kenya
Ivonya, Fredrick M.
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There is now an increasing awareness by developing countries of their poverty and the slow progress toward industrialisation. This has led to a lot of pressure on the leaders to put in place strategies to combat poverty, ignorance, disease; and to create job opportunities as well as improve the infrastructure. The resources available to provide for all these needs are far from adequate and governments therefore have to utilise all means at their disposal to deal with these challenges. The military is one of these resources but which, unfortunately remains underutilised for national development in most African countries, Kenya included. The question therefore is, what role can the military really play in dealing with some of the challenges and how has it been utilised in both Kenya and South Africa towards this end? The objectives of this study were to assess the role of the Military in development in Kenya and South Africa, establish how militaries have contributed to development globally, identify the main areas of development in which African militaries can participate and carry out a comparative analysis of military contribution to development in South Africa and Kenya. The study was carried out in South Africa and Kenya and relied on primary and secondary data. Secondary sources included books, Journals and periodicals from the NDC library; as well as government documents, policy reports, newspapers, and online sources. Primary data was sourced from senior military officers from Kenya and South Africa, the target population being respondents from the Kenya Defence Forces and members of the South African National Defence Forces holding relevant positions in these institutions. The data sampling for the study was the Purposive/Judgmental Sampling method and the researcher interviewed 20 senior military officers from the Kenya Defence Forces, and 8 from South African Defence Forces and other experts with background information on the South African National Defence Forces. Validity and reliability of the data is high as the respondents were senior officers holding key appointments. The distance from Kenya to South Africa is approximately 3750 kilometres and this made it difficult to access data source from the country. To overcome this limitation, the study relied on South African military officers and experts based within Kenya as well internet to reach respondents in South Africa. The study also had limitation in accessing classified government documents in both countries. To overcome this limitation, the researcher focused on data from unclassified and declassified documents, and interviews. The study was contacted within a period of one-year from July 2014 to June 2015. The researcher established that militaries from various parts of the world play a key role in development. Areas in which militaries have been used for development include engineering and construction, Industrial development, Agriculture and Medical. Defence industry in the US for example led to technology spinoffs in aviation technology, computer science, the semiconductor, lithium battery and the GPS. In Africa, countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and South Africa have relatively advanced military industries, while Namibia, Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania are developing capacity in this area. In all cases, the study established these industries contribute to development. The study also established that Kenya’s military industry is still in its infancy stage, but there are plans towards enhancing the capacity.