We may pray and hope for a better country but it will take reality to make this hope real. The funny thing about the economy is you cannot pray it around. One has to put gloves on and work tirelessly. You cannot pray to manipulate the numbers.
As SMEs close shop en masse, their impact on the economy cannot be underestimated. They employ 86 percent of the population and contribute about 45.5 percent to Kenya's GDP. How do you make sure that businesses aren't shutting down? Prayers?
Malcolm X said that religion is the opium of the masses, the exploiter of the proletariat, and the maintainer of the status quo. Down into the lanes of history, religion has often been used to subdue the truth and turn people into clueless zombies who fear questioning authority and making independent decisions.
Religion is good. Sometimes it gives us hope. Sometimes it lets us believe that our suffering on earth is temporary for there is plenty of milk and honey in heaven. Religion is good because it makes us realize that we have something to live for. A bright future that sometimes only exists in minds and hearts.
But of late, everyone within and without the current leadership of this country has become overly prayerful and overly religiously notorious. Everyone is talking the language of heaven and slowly alienating themselves from the real country called Kenya.
We may pray and hope for a better country but it will take reality to make this hope real. The funny thing about the economy is you cannot pray it around. One has to put gloves on and work tirelessly. You cannot pray to manipulate the numbers. You just have to work.
Let us face it: 23 counties across the country are facing an acute drought. People have neither water nor food. Some are eating roots while some are hanging on shreds of hope, clinging to a tattered thread that someday, some miracle will happen.
With the drought ravaging the country and with more than 4.5 million Kenyans facing starvation and malnutrition, praying for manna to fall from heaven amounts to total madness. Real food and real plans are needed as soon as possible. Let us make sure that our farmers have access to fertilizer. Let us ensure that we put in place irrigation projects that will help our farmers across the country.
At the same time, the unemployment rate of through the roof. The real rate is quoted at 37.5 percent. With over 50,000 youngsters graduating and joining the flooded workforce annually, the crisis will soon run out of hand. Jobs are not prayed for. They are created. Jobs can only be created through creating an environment that will encourage manufacturing, supporting and bringing up small businesses through grants and affordable loans.
Businesses are ailing. Stats from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), 7 years ago, indicated that at least 450,000 SMEs die annually in Kenya. That is about 30,000 monthly and 1,000 daily. With COVID-19, the number might double.
As SMEs close shop en masse, their impact on the economy cannot be underestimated. They employ 86 percent of the population and contribute about 45.5 percent to Kenya’s GDP. How do you make sure that businesses aren’t shutting down? Prayers? No. Through policies. We need to reform our tax policies and create a friendly environment for businesses to operate.
We have prayed enough. It is time to work and feed ourselves.