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The meaning of National integration meaning and importance.


National integration is the process of uniting all the people of Kenya irrespective of their cultures, occupations, religions, races and ethnic groups into one solid and responsible nation. National integration is important because:

  1. It encourages socialisation of people of different races, cultures, religion and ethnic groups.
  2. it encourages rapid economic and social developments in the country for example trade, games and sports.
  3. It brings national stability by ensuring that there is security in the country
    1. It promotes national building.
    2. It enables the nation to prosper.
    3. It enhances patriotism and nationalism.
    4. It fuses various communities of Kenya into one
    5. It causes people to develop a sense of pride for their nation.
  4. It encourages foreigners to visit our country.
  5. It encourages teamwork when solving national problems like the problem of drought, famine and epidemics.


The factors promoting national unity.


National language:

This makes it possible for people of different communities to communicate with one another. Kiswahili and English help to achieve this goal.


The constitution:

It protects Kenya citizens from any kind of discrimination. It provides equal opportunities for all Kenyans.



This helps Kenyans children to meet, mix and interact freely. It helps Kenyans to develop a sense of belonging and desire to serve the nation whole-heartedly.






School children socialising on their way to school.


Equal distribution of resources:

Schools, clean water and health centres should be distributed fairly and equally to serve the needs of all Kenyans.


Social economic interactions:

This occurs when people undertake social and economic activities such as trading , games and conducting marriage ceremonies .


Image From EcoleBooks.comThe Presidency:

All Kenyans are united under one President

who they respect and honour. The President

is in charge of the entire nation. He links the

nation with the rest of the world.


The factors which play the role of

limiting national unity.


Tribalism:  Favouring people of ones own

tribe on matters pertaining to

employment, economic benefits,

educational privileges and



Nepotism: Favouring relatives.



Racism/Racialism: Favouring people of ones race for example favouring

Africans and discriminating Asians.


Religious differences:  This is division along religious lines due to different

beliefs and practices.


Corruption:  This is giving or asking for bribes in order to offer services to

others. It also includes misuse of public funds.


Uneven economic development: This is when some areas are more economically developed than others in terms of means of communication, agricultural research centres, industry and trade.


The meaning of the term “conflict”


Conflict may imply a state of war or battle or a struggle of some kind or a long fight. It may also imply a situation whereby ideas or beliefs differ. This may result to ideological and religious differences. It may imply a disagreement or clash. Conflict may also be quarrels or sharp arguments.


Various types of conflicts


  • Political conflicts: Examples are wars, battles, ethnic clashes.
  • Religious conflicts.
  • Cultural conflicts.
  • Ideological conflicts
  • Conflict of laws.
  • Conflict of opinion.
  • Family conflict.
  • Ethnic conflicts.


The issues which may cause conflict


  1. Misunderstanding of people or nations.
  2. Differing ideologies/ideological differences.
  3. Disunity of various people or nations.
  4. Struggle for power and material wealth.
  5. Formation of different classes of people due to social stratification.
  6. Inferiority and superiority complexes.
  7. Struggle for leadership.



  1. 5






The methods of resolving conflicts.


  1. Use of dialogue/talking to agree.
  1. Trying to develop understanding through settling the differences between people or nations or through establishing political relations which enable them to solve problems amicably
    1. Forming commercial/trade partnership.
    2. Developing communication links to facilitate quicker solving of disputes.
  2. Signing of peace agreements or treaties and sometimes engaging arbitrators.
  3. Settling religious differences through use of ecumenical organisations and programmes.
    1. Encouraging equitable distribution and ownership of property and wealth.
  4. Promoting responsibility, accountability, respect, honesty, charity and pursuit for peace.
  5. Forming national and international organisations aimed at promoting peace and harmony in the world or between nations and also between various people in a nation.


The process of resolving conflicts


First identify the type of conflict in question. Secondly isolate the people or parties involved in the conflict. Then cross-examine the major causes of the conflict. Engage an impartial or neutral arbitrator. Now use dialogue as a way of settling the dispute. Incase of a stalemate or deadlock, engage more and more arbitrators. They should maintain a high degree of neutrality and understanding.




Try to exhaust the available ways, means as well as the existing machinery for resolving conflicts. You may involve neutral leaders, elders, lawyers, opinion leaders and all other kinds of mediators. Also refer to the way similar issues were dealt with in the past. If the outcome was negative then forget about it and try your own.

If the parties agree, then they should sign binding agreements or treaties which clearly explain what is expected of them in future. If the parties fail to agree, encourage constant meetings aimed at resolving the conflict and also employ as many mediators or arbitrators as possible until an agreement is reached.

It is therefore important note that when resolving conflict methods such as Negotiation, mediation and
arbitration are very necessary.

In negotiation one has to study the kind and nature of conflict and then analyse all the facts about that particular conflict. The conflicting states or individuals or groups are then assembled for discussion which continues until a lasting solution is reached. When this is
achieved then an agreement is reached and the concerned sign as away of expressing their commitment.

  • It should also be noted that an arbitrator or a mediator should be a neutral person who is not likely to favour any side. Arbitration should never include people who have vested interests, or people who are corrupt and can take bribes. Mediator should not include people who are related to any one group or individual or those involved in the dispute in question.


Various levels of conflict


  1. Interstate conflict: In this case a disagreement may arise between two countries. The causes of this may be boundary disputes, hatred between two heads of state, people of one country raiding people of the neighbouring country to capture or steal livestock, ideological differences and abuse of human rights and international laws.
  2. Conflict between two people: This is a very common level of conflict brought about by issues such as failure to pay debt, land ownership wrangle, family disagreement, political differences between individuals and jealousy.
  3. Conflict between a state and an individual: This is likely to occur especially when one is denied individual human rights for example, The government may take an individual’s land and fail to compensate it. Powerful individual may also grab public land and then the government struggles to repossess it once more for public interest.




  1. Conflict between two or more groups: some of the causes of this conflict may be stiff competition in business, land ownership claims, power struggle by rival political parties and religious differences which involve different religious groups or denominations.


The role of a mediator during resolving conflicts.


  • A mediator explains the rules to be followed during the process of helping the parties to reach an agreement.
  • A mediator acts as referee to ensure that no party interrupts the other when explaining the cause of conflicts.
  • The mediator listens to the parties and compiles the facts which he later uses to help reach an agreement.
  • The mediator gives his own solutions and the parties give out their suggestions.
  • If an agreement is reached the mediator records it and the parties concerned are requested to honour and show commitment to it.



Review Questions.


1.  i)  What is the meaning of National Integration

 ii)  Why should there be National Integration

2.  Describe the factors that may limit National Unity.

3.  Define the term conflict.

4.  Identify the main methods of resolving conflicts.

5.  How can conflicts affect the running of schools in Kenya?

6.  Discuss the process of resolving conflicts.

7.  Identify the ways through which conflicts may be avoided.



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EcoleBooks | History and Government Form 1 Notes : CHAPTER 8. NATIONAL INTEGRATION.


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