OneWorld Development Report for Kenya
Kenya remains firmly in the bottom quartile of the Human Development Index rankings with nearly 60 percent of its population surviving on less than $2 per day. Economic growth has been largely ineffectual in stimulating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Indeed crucial poverty indicators such as child and infant mortality are moving in the wrong direction. President Mwai Kibaki has been unable to shake off international donor concern over corruption and there are limited prospects for social development initiatives in an election year.
OneWorld.net provides country guides that offer an introduction to relevant sustainable development and human rights issues, with pointers to more detailed content.
Millennium Development Goals
The prognosis for Kenya to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is bleak, being unlikely to meet the Goals for poverty reduction, gender equality, fighting AIDS, improving maternal health or environmental stewardship. Measured by the Human Development Index (HDI), Kenyans are worse off today than in 1980…..more.
In spite of its glossy image for tourists, the majority of Kenya’s land is arid or semi-arid, the home of pastoral and nomadic people living on the margins of subsistence. The country lacks robust food production and is vulnerable to unstable rain patterns……more
Health and HIV/AIDS
Like many of its neighbours, Kenya has suffered a massive human and economic loss from HIV/AIDS, reducing life expectancy to 48 years. The current rate of infection is 6.1 percent of the adult population, down from a prevalence rate of 16 percent in urban areas and 8 percent in rural areas in the late 1990s……more
Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963, but since then has had only three Presidents. The first, Jomo Kenyatta held office from 1963 to 1978; the second, Daniel arap Moi inherited the post from Kenyatta and retained power until the most recent election in December, 2002 when Mwai Kibaki of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) toppled Kenya’s historic ruling party — the Kenya African National Union (KANU) — to form the new government. This election was widely regarded as free and fair and, after years of repression Kenya now has an embryonic, but vibrant civil society. For many observers, the electoral defeat of KANU was greeted as the dawn of a new, more democratic era, and was even described as Kenya’s “second liberation”.
The current mood is less euphoric. The new government promised to…..more
Another criticism of the draft constitution concerned its failure to protect minority ethnic rights in matters of ownership of land and minerals. Ambiguity over these rights in Kenya creates a vacuum for unsavoury jockeying for political power, generating tensions which boil over into local violence, especially in the run-up to elections. The most serious current example of these land clashes is in the Mount Eldon region…..more
Poor economic growth coupled with an uneven distribution of wealth are the two principal reasons for Kenya’s dismal MDG record. Currently, the richest 10% of the population control almost half of the nation’s wealth, while the poorest 10% control only 1%……more
Information and Media
After initial optimism that press freedom would increase following the 2002 election, recent events have done little to inspire confidence……more
By far the most severe environmental threat to Kenya is caused by increasingly unpredictable rainfall patterns that are consistent with the predictions of human induced global warming……more
Reprinted with permission from OneWorld.net . The Kenya Guide was first published in January 2006 with a text written by Volunteer Editor Keith Child