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In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Kenya

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Kenya in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

Kenya has been grappling with unusual weather patterns, impacting both its citizens and environment. The recent torrential rainfall and resulting floods and landslides in Kenya can be attributed to the Indian Ocean Dipole. This phenomenon refers to the difference in sea surface temperatures between the eastern and western tropical Indian Ocean. The 2019-2020 IOD event has been unusually strong, with a temperature differential of 2°C, more than double the intensity of an average event.

Climate change has led to more frequent and prolonged droughts in Kenya with the country experiencing irregular and unpredictable rainfall patterns. Intense rainfall events have caused devastating floods. Rising temperatures exacerbate these extreme weather events. – adapted from Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Kenya

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 31 December 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

Kenya is the economic, financial, and transport hub of East Africa. Kenya’s real GDP growth has averaged over 5% for the last decade. Since 2014, Kenya has been ranked as a lower middle income country because its per capita GDP crossed a World Bank threshold. While Kenya has a growing entrepreneurial middle class and steady growth, its economic development has been impaired by weak governance and corruption. Although reliable numbers are hard to find, unemployment and under-employment are extremely high, and could be near 40% of the population. In 2013, the country adopted a devolved system of government with the creation of 47 counties, and is in the process of devolving state revenues and responsibilities to the counties.

Agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing one-third of GDP. About 75% of Kenya’s population of roughly 48.5 million work at least part-time in the agricultural sector, including livestock and pastoral activities. Over 75% of agricultural output is from small-scale, rain-fed farming or livestock production. Tourism also holds a significant place in Kenya’s economy. In spite of political turmoil throughout the second half of 2017, tourism was up 20%, showcasing the strength of this sector.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,500 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 61.1%

industry: 6.7%

services: 32.2% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate: 40% (2013 est.)

Population below poverty line: 36.1% (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 342 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 29.8 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 68% of population

Physicians density: 0.2 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 51.2% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 56% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Kenya

[accessed 11 February 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Mobile Technology In Kenya Helps Farmers

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~ 3 Ways Kenya Has Worked To Drop Its Poverty Rates

ENERGY for Africa : The Power to Industrialize and Reach Zero Poverty

PD Lawton, African Agenda, 16 May 2021

[accessed 23 May 2021]

KENYA -- The 5 Year Plan aims to fast track the ellimination of poverty, according to Agenda 2030.The 4 Key pillars are manufacturing, affordable housing, universal healthcare and food security. Manufacturing is to go up to 15% of GDP and create 1 million new jobs, half a million affordable homes, 100% healthcare and 100% food security which will increase farmers` daily income by 34% and will reduce the cost of food by 47%, as a percentage of income.

The Plan promises to start 1000 new agro-processing small and medium size enterprises and thereby create over half a million new jobs. Agriculture is set to contribute 48% to GDP. Malnutrition in children under 5 is to reach the target of being reduced by 27%. The Plan further promises to subsidize by 100% all essential healthcare and reduce out of pocket medical expenses by 54% by percentage of household expenditure.

New Hope for the Children in the Kibera Slum

Missions Box MB, Kingwood TX, 13 January 2021

[accessed 14 January 2021]

Kibera is the largest slum in all of Africa, with an estimated population of about 1,500,000. Most residents have no electricity or running water. Kibera is a breeding ground for crime, diseases, and despair. Dr. Jill Biden described the slum as “the poverty of all poverties.”

The move from elementary school to secondary school is a major obstacle for children in the Kibera slum. The leading problem is that students’ parents often cannot afford secondary school tuition and expenses.

Kenya | Ultra Poor Graduation - BRAC

Building Resources Across Communities BRAC

[accessed 6 January 2021]

The ASALs constitute 84 percent of the country’s land mass and are home to more than 12 million people. Household income and human development indicators in these areas are far below the national average – poverty rate is 74 percent in Samburu and 60 percent in Kitui. Historically, the region has endured conflict and periodic drought. More recently, the impact of climate change has made conditions for pastoralist and semi-pastoralist communities more challenging, especially for vulnerable women and unemployed youth.

FEATURE - AIDS leaves Africa's grannies to raise children

Barry Moody, Reuters, Nairobi, 28 November 2020

[accessed 30 December 2020]

Kanotu Mumo moved to Kibera, home to 800,000 people, when her husband died about 25 years ago in eastern Kenya. "I can't remember. It has been so long. When my husband died the relatives threw me out and sold the land."

Unlike many of the grandmothers, doleful and worn down by their fate, Mumo smiles and jokes. She says she cannot remember her age. As she talks, two teenage granddaughters come and go.

Her story is typical of the everyday tragedies of Kibera. Two daughters and a son died of AIDS. Another son was stoned to death by a mob after he was caught stealing. "I am embarrassed to talk about it but it was due to the unemployment."

She lives close to the railway line that runs through the sprawling slum, acting both as a pedestrian thoroughfare and place for traders to lay out shoes and clothes.

She sells her charcoal -- the slum's primary fuel -- for a few shillings profit, after buying from a nearby wholesaler who carries it to her hut.

The Changing face of begging in Mombasa

The Standard

But, as fate would have it, she found herself pushed into begging in 2001 after her son sold off the land to a private developer without her consent.

"I was at home, resting after a hard day’s work, when the local assistant chief came with Administration police officers and told me to leave the farm since my son had sold it off to a developer. The police dragged me away from the farm which was my only hope in life," a sad Priscillah says.

Action Against Hunger - Kenya

[accessed 21 March 2021]

In Kenya, arid and semi-arid areas face immense challenges, including drought, hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Across the country, 4.2% of children are acutely malnourished and 26.2% are chronically malnourished.

From January to September 2019, drought increased food and nutrition insecurity, reduced water access, and increased child morbidity. In October, deadly floods and mudslides affected thousands of people, disrupting health services, economic activities, and livelihoods. Desert locusts entered Kenya in December and quickly spread, posing a significant threat. These emergencies adversely impacted pasture and water availability, crop cultivation, livestock reproduction, agriculture, livelihoods, and food prices.

The World Bank in Kenya

[accessed 21 April 2021]

The World Bank’s work in Kenya supports the government’s Vision 2030 development strategy, which aims to accelerate sustainable growth, reduce inequality, and manage resource scarcity.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 31 December 2020]

Kenya's is an agricultural economy supported by a manufacturing sector, much of which dates from the pre-independence period, and a tourism sector, which is an important foreign exchange earner. Kenya has few mineral resources. Although Kenya is one of the most industrialized countries in East Africa, industry only accounts for around 13% of GDP. Kenya has a drought-prone agricultural sector in which maize is a principal staple crop, along with tubers—cassava, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. There is a shortage of arable land—only 12% is first-quality farm land—and little irrigation.

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