To create more jobs, the government needs to invest more in sectors that have a high potential for growth and employment creation, such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, ICT, and renewable energy5. The government also needs to provide incentives and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of the economy and employ about 85% of the workforce.
Corruption is an endemic challenge facing Kenya, as it undermines the rule of law, democracy, and development of the country. According to Transparency International, Kenya ranked 124 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020, with a score of 31 out of 100.
Kenya is a country going through so much. The current administration is facing serious political opposition from the Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) Alliance led by Raila Odinga, who accuses the government of fraud in the 2022 presidential election, mismanagement of the economy, and violation of human rights.
The opposition has staged several protests in the past months, demanding electoral reforms and lower cost of living, which have been met with police brutality and violence. The protests have also disrupted the normal functioning of the country and affected its already fragile economy.
The government of President William Ruto has agreed to a temporary truce with the opposition and expressed willingness to engage in dialogue over some of the issues raised by the protesters. However, the government has yet to show how it will address the multiple challenges facing the country, such as creating jobs, reducing poverty, making healthcare affordable, making education more relevant, enhancing security, combating corruption, and tackling gender-based violence. These are some of the pressing problems that affect millions of Kenyans and require urgent and effective solutions.
One of the main challenges facing Kenya is unemployment, especially among the youth. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the unemployment rate in Kenya was 10.4% in 2021, up from 5.2% in 20194. The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation, as many businesses have closed down or reduced their operations due to lockdowns and restrictions. The lack of jobs has increased poverty, crime, and social unrest among the population.
To create more jobs, the government needs to invest more in sectors that have a high potential for growth and employment creation, such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, ICT, and renewable energy5. The government also needs to provide incentives and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of the economy and employ about 85% of the workforce6. The government can also promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth by providing access to finance, training, mentorship, and markets for their products and services.
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Reducing the Cost of Living
Another major challenge facing Kenya is the high cost of living, which has eroded the purchasing power and living standards of many Kenyans. The inflation rate in Kenya was 9.2% in February 2022, mainly driven by rising food and fuel prices. The Covid-19 pandemic has also increased the cost of health care and education for many households. The high cost of living has triggered protests and discontent among the population, who demand lower prices for basic commodities and services.
To reduce the cost of living, the government needs to implement policies that will stabilize prices and increase incomes for consumers. Some of these policies include:
Making Healthcare Affordable
Healthcare is another key challenge facing Kenya, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Kenya has a ratio of 1.5 doctors and 12.9 nurses per 10,000 people, which is far below the WHO recommended threshold of 44.5 health workers per 10,000 people. The country also faces challenges such as inadequate health infrastructure, equipment, and supplies; low health financing and insurance coverage; poor quality and safety of health services; and inequitable access to health care across regions and socio-economic groups.
The Covid-19 pandemic exposed these weaknesses and overwhelmed the health system, especially in terms of testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment of cases. The pandemic also disrupted the provision and access to essential health services, such as maternal and child health, immunization, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and non-communicable diseases. The pandemic also increased the risk of infection and burnout among health workers, who have protested over the lack of adequate PPE, salaries, and benefits.
To make healthcare affordable and accessible for all Kenyans, the government needs to implement policies that will strengthen the health system and ensure universal health coverage. Some of these policies include:
Making Education More Affordable and Relevant
Education is another crucial challenge facing Kenya, as it affects the development of human capital and the future prospects of the country. According to the KNBS, Kenya has a literacy rate of 81.5%, which is lower than the average of 86.6% for sub-Saharan Africa. The country also has a high dropout rate, especially at the secondary level, where only 50% of students who enroll complete their education. The main barriers to education include poverty, gender inequality, child labor, early marriage and pregnancy, disability, insecurity, and poor quality of education.
The Covid-19 pandemic worsened the situation by disrupting the education system for over a year. Schools were closed from March 2020 to January 2021, affecting over 18 million learners. The closure of schools had negative impacts on learning outcomes, mental health, nutrition, protection, and socialization of children. The reopening of schools in 2021 faced challenges such as overcrowding, lack of water and sanitation facilities, shortage of teachers and learning materials, and increased risk of infection and transmission of the virus.
To make education more affordable and relevant for all Kenyans, the government needs to implement policies that will ensure access, quality, equity, and relevance of education at all levels. Some of these policies include:
Security is another vital challenge facing Kenya, as it affects the stability, peace, and development of the country. Kenya faces various security threats such as terrorism, violent extremism, inter-communal conflicts, crime, cyberattacks, and environmental disasters. These threats have resulted in the loss of lives, displacement of people, destruction of property, disruption of economic activities, and violation of human rights.
The Covid-19 pandemic also posed new security challenges for Kenya. The pandemic increased the risk of social unrest due to economic hardship, political tension, and public dissatisfaction with the government’s response. The pandemic has also strained the capacity and resources of security agencies to respond to existing and emerging threats. The pandemic has also created opportunities for criminal and terrorist groups to exploit the situation and recruit more followers.
To enhance security for all Kenyans, the government needs to implement policies that will address the root causes and drivers of insecurity, as well as strengthen the response and resilience of the security agencies. Some of these policies include:
Corruption is another endemic challenge facing Kenya, as it undermines the rule of law, democracy, and development of the country. According to Transparency International, Kenya ranked 124 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020, with a score of 31 out of 100. The country also lost an estimated 6.3% of its GDP to corruption in 2019, according to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Corruption affects various sectors and institutions such as public procurement, health, education, security, judiciary, legislature, and executive.
The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the extent and impact of corruption in Kenya. Several scandals have emerged involving the misuse and embezzlement of funds meant for the Covid-19 response. For instance, the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) was accused of irregular procurement of PPE and other medical supplies worth billions of shillings. The Auditor General also reported that several counties could not account for millions of shillings allocated for Covid-19 emergency funds.
To combat corruption in Kenya, the government needs to implement policies that will enhance transparency, accountability, and integrity in public service. Some of these policies include:
Tackling Gender-Based Violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) is another pervasive challenge facing Kenya, as it affects the dignity, rights, and well-being of men, women, and girls. According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, 45% of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence and 14% have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. The most common perpetrators of GBV are intimate partners, relatives, or acquaintances. GBV has serious consequences for the physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health of survivors, as well as their economic and social empowerment.
The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation of GBV in Kenya. The lockdowns and restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus have increased the exposure of women and girls to abusive partners or family members at home. The pandemic has also reduced access to essential services and support for GBV survivors, such as health care, legal aid, shelter, and counseling. The pandemic has also increased the risk of other forms of GBV such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, and sexual exploitation and abuse.
To tackle GBV in Kenya, the government needs to implement policies that will prevent, respond to, and eliminate GBV in all its forms. Some of these policies include:
In Summary, this is what the Kenyan government can do to turn around the economy; Here are 40 things the Kenyan government can do to turn around the economy:
These are just a few of the things the Kenyan government can do to turn around the economy. By taking these steps, Kenya can create a more prosperous future for its citizens.
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