In a historic ceremony August 27 in the capital Nairobi, international dignitaries, Kenya's leaders and thousands of citizens gathered to witness the adoption of their nation's new constitution. The event was as much a celebration as a formality, as the nation marked a peaceful transition from one legal framework for democratic rule to another.
The constitution was approved in a national referendum just three weeks earlier. The process that led to the drafting of the new government charter was open and transparent, seeking input from lawmakers, stakeholders and civil society. And while it was not without controversy, the vote, approval and signing of the constitution demonstrates the commitment of Kenya's leaders and people to a future of unity, democracy and equal justice for all, even the powerful. With this achievement, the people of Kenya have set a positive example for all of Africa and the world.
Supported by a large majority of voters, Kenya's new constitution represents a moment of promise for the country not unlike that of the early days of national independence. To usher in a new era of progress for the Kenyan people, the moment must be seized, though. The United States looks forward to partnering with Kenyans as they move through the multi-year process of implementing the new constitution, a process that will lead to a deepened democracy and expanded economic opportunity for all of the nation's citizens.