Extreme inequality is out of control in Kenya. Despite impressive economic growth since 2005, poverty still affects millions of people’s lives.
Kenyans have the poorest saving culture in East Africa with a rating of 13 percent below the African average of 17 percent.
According to Oxfam International, less than 0.1 percent, that is, 8,300 people, of the Kenyan population own more wealth than the bottom 99.9 percent, more than 44 million people.
The richest 10 percent of people in Kenya earned on average 23 times more than the poorest 10 percent. In other statistics, Kenyans have the poorest saving culture in East Africa with a rating of 13 percent below the African average of 17 percent.
According to Oxfam, extreme inequality is out of control in Kenya. Despite impressive economic growth since 2005, poverty still affects millions of people’s lives.
It appears that a minority of wealthy individuals and investors are creaming off the yields of the country’s economic performance. While this minority of super-rich Kenyans are accumulating wealth and income, the fruits of economic growth are failing to trickle down to the poorest.
The rich are capturing the lion’s share of the benefits, while millions of people at the bottom are being left behind. If inequality remained at the same level for the following five years, 2.9 million more people could be living in extreme poverty.
The number of super-rich in Kenya is one of the fastest-growing in the world. It is predicted that the number of millionaires will grow by 80 percent over the next 10 years, with 7,500 new millionaires set to be created.
At the same time, corporate tax dodging is undermining Kenya’s tax base. Kenya is losing $1.1bn a year to tax exemptions and incentives – almost twice what the government spends on its entire health budget in 2015/16, in a country where mothers face a 1 in 40 chance of dying in childbirth.
Against this backdrop, there has been a call for financial literacy education drive in order to help Kenyans understand how money works in everyday life.
Tala, the global Fintech building the world’s most accessible financial services for the underbanked will be releasing survey findings on the state of Kenyans’ financial literacy, resilience, and health.