Everyone is Included: Evaluating UDA’s Bottom-Up Economic Model

The bottom-up economic model aims to build a strong economy from the bottom of the pyramid, with key focus on individuals, families, and small scale enterprises. Ruto has picked this up, and he says it will eradicate poverty and help the common man to have money in his pocket. His approach diverges away from the traditional Kenyan politics that has always been built on tribal alignments and propaganda.William Ruto in Nakuru

Brand Identity

Kenya Kwanza has brought together several parties with common ideologies that resonate with the bottom-up economic model. The bottom-up approach primarily reflects the ideals of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which emerged from the Tangatanga narrative. Tangatanga was a term used by President Uhuru Kenyatta to discredit his deputy, but the witty doctorate graduate from the University of Nairobi turned it into a fortune for himself politically.

Tangatanga means roaming, which emerged when Uhuru accused his deputy of politicking instead of focusing on development. Ruto responded by saying that he was moving across the country to implement and supervise projects, which sounded well with the voters.

UDA’s party symbol is a Wheelbarrow, symbolising “the value, dignity and respect of work in pursuit of an equitable society.”

This brand image respects the principles of the bottom-up theory because it focuses on the working class. The bottom-up model requires the state to distribute resources to the grassroots so as to help individuals and families move away from poverty.

The slogan of the party is “Kazi ni Kazi”, which means any job is good, or every hustle matters. This shows that the party respects everyone’s job, and encourages the youth to work hard in building the nation. As a result, the UDA party and all stakeholders that support the party’s ideals have identified themselves as the “Hustler Nation.”

William Ruto the Role Model

William Ruto has used himself as a role model for all hustlers. The Rift Valley political lieutenant says he is the son of a chief and a farmer. Contrary to his main competitor, Raila Odinga, who is the son of a former Vice President, Ruto poses as someone who has risen through the ranks by working hard.

He is the right leader who understands what it means to lack food, shelter, and education. Therefore, to him, every hustle matters, and he is willing to support everyone with their hustle.

Empowering People

UDA leaders have shown an unrelenting desire to distribute resources equally, which means that rural counties will take part in the economic development of our country as custodians of critical resources.

By empowering people through income distribution, subsidies, and other incentives, the model will help communities to become more self-sufficient and to be able to create jobs on their own.

There is no more need to rely on the government for hand-outs. Under the Hustler Nation everyone has an equal chance to prosper.

However, it is always easier said than done. How do we know that what is being said will be implemented?

Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice

Ruto has committed himself to the difficult task of making an economic pact with each county in Kenya. The Deputy President has worked in the government long enough to understand what needs to be done. He is using his vast experience and the help of economists such as Moses Kuria and David Ndii to develop an economic charter that will be signed by the National Government and all counties.

The content of the economic agreement comes from the people. Ruto and his team has already started collecting views through economic forums that bring together stakeholders within the counties. Farmers, teachers, small business owners, individuals and local leaders come together to give their views on the economic areas that should be prioritized.

Through such collaborations with local communities, the Kenya Kwanza flag bearer establishes an economic plan for each county before he even gets elected.

Yes or No to the Hustler Nation?

Indeed, the bottom-up approach has already kicked off through the economic forums, and the people have started to feel involved in economic decision making processes of the country. This has a national appeal and cuts across all counties, including those in which the Deputy President did not have significant following before.

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