Amb. Michal Mlynár Gives Public Lecture on Transformative and Developed Economy
The journey towards a transformative and subsequently, developed economy is a tedious one but achievable to those who endure through the difficult and complicated reform process. This was the main emphasize laid out by the Ambassador of Slovakia to Kenya, his Excellency Dr. Michal Mlynár, during his recent visit to the Strathmore Law School, for a public lecture on what Kenya can learn from Slovakia, especially in the context of Slovakias social and economic change in the past fifteen years.
During his address, the Amb. Mlynár enlightened listeners on Slovakias history after the split of Czechoslovakia, which was faced with the aftermath of the collapse of their economy. This resulted to the country embarking on an intensive structural reform process to rebuild its economy. He highlighted that it was through perseverance that they managed to emerge from the crisis and gave an illustration of its effect by stating that at the beginning of the reform process, the country was a recipient of donor assistance but by 2003, it became an emerging donor. This reflects on the inevitability of transformation.
By having their very own devolution reform, which was implemented in 2002 as the decentralisation of the public administration, Amb. Mlynár highlighted the process Slovakia took for the system to take shape. He shared 5 areas in which the formation and proper functioning of the devolved system can work: The importance of having a strategic consensus between the National Government and the County Government so as to guarantee that it bears fruit and ensures development in the counties: Capacity building so as safeguard the delivery of its objectives: Transfer of competencies which should be done through a well organised system: Financial distribution at the county level, stressing that the core issue is not on the amount of money but on whether it is coupled with delivery: Good governance, which would otherwise be considered as devolved corruption.
Amb. Mlynár also acknowledged three factors that contributed to the success of Slovakias economy; the emphasize on vocational and technical training through good quality educational facilities, favourable salary levels at the work force, and government incentives offered to potential investors
As a parting shot, he quoted Confucius By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest, challenging the audience to pick a method they would settle with. Amb. Mlynár ended the lecture with the quote Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure which was an encouragement to the students to focus on their education.
Amb. Mlynár is a permanent representative to the UN agencies Nairobi, previously presenting his credentials to former President of Kenya H.E Mwai Kibaki, on 28th March, 2012. Amb. Mlynár also served as the Chair of the Governing Board of the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) in Geneva, Switzerland.