Strathmore Universiy Business School Logo


Dr. Kipng’etich: Leadership, Corruption and Ethnicity stifle Country’s economy

  May 21, 2015

kipngetich bdDr. Julius Kipng’etich the Chief Operating Officer – Equity Bank delivered a guest lecture session to the participants of the Senior Management Leadership Program on Friday, 15th May 2015. . The lecture titled Change Leadership explored the magnanimous economic growth in Singapore, a case study he used to explain the impact of transformative leadership. These were his thoughts.

The three most stubborn white Elephants; Poor Leadership, Corruption and Ethnicity are responsible for stifling Kenya’s economy despite its robust and resourceful labor. What makes Singapore the epoch of leadership and economic strides? More than half a century ago, Singapore, an equally small country occupying 700km2 was battling with territorial land disputes, civil riots, and subjugation. Fast-forward to 2015, modern Singapore, no longer passes for the ‘small pot’ as it was formerly referred to. Modern Singapore is a bursting hub for industrial development; with the third highest GDP per capita in the world. A transformation attributed to the Late Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore.


The late Lee Kuan Yew has been referred to as the history giant maker on the story of Singapore, one to reckon with when it comes to economic development.

Kenya’s Economy Stifled

When we were drafting the vision 2030 for the country, we made one huge mistake of putting the cart before the horse. We should have first tackled some of these issues before we become visionary. As a result of these factors, a country like Singapore, which geographically is even smaller than Nairobi, with no access to Water or Oil which ironically is one of their exports, is recording the third world’s largest GDP.


Kenya’s economy so far, can only generate 1250 US$ GDP per Capita, whereas Botswana, the least corrupt country in Africa, generates 1500 US $ GDP per Capita despite having 80% of the country being a desert.

Transformative Leadership in Strategic Planning Concept

In 1963, when Singapore became a sovereign state, an estimate of Tokyo’s and London’s market projected lucrative and viable open markets which Singapore would thrive in tapping. Dominating these markets was not only a game changer for Singapore, but a tipping point in drinking from the lion’s well in terms of profit gains. Coming back home, Kenya’s population is currently at 40 million. If the current growth rates are anything to go by, Kenya’s population by 2030 on an estimate will be at 60 million, and by 2100 the next 85 years, 160 million. Will the country in the next 85 years be in a position to provide basic amenities such as food and water to a population of 160 million? Being visionary dictates an ardent eye on open opportunities, adhesive research and factual information, which our country needs to deploy when it comes to questions of sustainability. All it took for Singapore was a transformative leadership approach, a strategic plan, and a visionary outlook. Our leaders in promising good performance delivery, merit and results should first conceptualize on what these factors mean to them individually, and as country. It is only when these concepts sink deep, that the reality dawns on us that failing to deliver on the basis of merit, in its simplest translation is giving room for mediocrity.

Share This:

Sign up to receive important news and information from Strathmore University Business School

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Global Partners

Twitter Feed

Important Links


Social Media