In Kenya, partner advocacy influenced citizenship related legislation within the country’s new constitution, including the Identification and Registration of Kenya Citizens bill; the Birth and Death Registrations Bill; the Kenya Citizens and Foreign Nationals Management Service Bill; the Kenya Citizens Immigration Bill; and the Refugee Bill 2011. Waiting periods for essential citizenship documents in Northern Kenya have since reduced from 5‐6 months to 2‐3 weeks.
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Key elements of context
- Constitution: The 2010 constitution has been hailed as one of the most progressive in Africa, containing a strong emphasis on voice, inclusion and transparent governance. Moreover, many policies have attempted to redress legislation which had led to the historic underdevelopment and discrimination of the North of the country.
- Citizenship in Northern Kenya:
- Power in Kenya is inextricably linked to ethnicity. In the post‐colonial era, leadership has been captured by two ethnic groups (Kikuyu and Kalenjin), governments they have dominated have disproportionately allocated resources (jobs, money, land etc.) to the elite from their own tribes. This has perpetuated the belief that the only way to ensure your region’s development is that once in power “it’s our turn to eat”
- Ethnic groups on the periphery of these power games and corrupt practices have been routinely and systematically marginalised, in particular those in the North.