So with a recalculation of its GDP, Kenya effectively became a lower-middle-income economy.
According to the World Bank, a lower-middle-income economy is one where the GNI per capita falls between $1,045 and $4,125. After the 25% upward revision of Kenya’s GDP, Kenya’s GNI per capita is put at $1,160, just above the $1,045 cut-off point.
But does that paint the true picture of the economy and the well being of the population?
Comparing Kenya’s to other economies within the same economic class from Asia (India), Europe (Ukraine) and Africa (Egypt) in areas such as poverty rate, unemployment, Debt to GDP ratio, Urbanization and contribution of manufacturing sector to the overall GDP, Kenya still lags behind.
A large proportion of Kenyans remain unemployed at 40%, well higher compared to the the rest; the economy is still dependent on subsistence agriculture; while a high poverty rate despite an average middle-income indicates high income disparities.
Shelter is a basic human right. The quality of housing in Kenya is not only dependent on income level, but on Government policy, availability of building materials, cultural practices, weather and access to financing.
The widening gap between amount allocated for housing and actual amount spent on housing over the last two years is worrying considering the low quality of housing in some parts of the country.
Looking at the disparity between the county with largest amount of National Housing Corporation loan advanced, Kajiado, and the fifth, Kisumu could lead to a varied number of conclusions, albeit with the knowledge that the NHC is only a single player in the real estate financing sector.
The type of material used does not necessarily point to income level but plays a significant role in access to utilities like electricity, improved water and improved sanitation; and shows how protected the occupants are from bad weather conditions and environmental hazards.
The UN Climate Summit 2014 was opened earlier this week. This then would be a good time to remind ourselves that global warming is real; that due to avoidable human activities, among other effects, the Earth’s average temperature has increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the 20th century.
This may seem minimal but is significant in that global average temperatures remain constant over long periods and small changes have vast effects on the environment. To put this into context, at the end of the ice age, the global average temperatures were only 5-9 degrees cooler than today!
Despite Africa contributing only 3.6% of total global CO2 emissions, it stands to suffer the most from the effects with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), projecting that by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people living in Africa will be exposed to increased water stress; rain-fed agricultural production could be reduced by up to 50 percent; and access to food may be severely compromised in the continent. This, in the words of Desmond Tutu, is a steep injustice.
There exists disparities in the level of education within counties. Looking at the list of the counties with highest proportion of skilled population – calculated as population with more than secondary level education – Nairobi leads the way. But that would be due to migration of skilled labor from other counties to look for employment.
From the next chart, you notice how skill level and poverty rates compare in some selected counties.
But knowing how poverty rate is calculated, what does it mean for counties inhabited by nomadic pastoralist communities who own large herds of cattle but with no income in the conventional sense?
In counties like Turkana, for instance, inhabitants own large herds of cattle (around 1.5 million) yet still ranked as having the highest poverty rate in Kenya (88%).
A few weeks ago, the Kenyan Cabinet gave their green light for the enactment of the Access to Information and Data Protection bills that have been in discussion since 2006.
Below is a map of 23 African Countries that already have Acccess to Information laws that make data access easier for their citizens. Hopefully Kenya will be Joining pack soon!
Kenya as a single map of her Major Infrastructure and resources.
– Administrative boundaries
– Major Towns
– Electricity Grid
– Under sea cable
– Hydro-power dams
There has been a lot of talk about the African Middle class and looking at the amount of attention this issue has received, there is something there.
A few weeks ago, the Standard Bank released a new report mapping Africa’s middle class ecosystem, which went in contrary to what the African Development Bank (AFDB) had predicted in 2010. AFDB was very ambitious with their numbers but check out the chat below for a few select countries’ popupation, Standard bank projections 2014 and 2030 with AFDB’s 2010 report.
Feel free to leave a comment.
The world marked the International Literacy day earlier this week.
According to the UN, literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development, as it empowers people so that they can make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration.
Literacy rate is defined as the percentage of total population over the age of 15 that can read and write.
But how literate is the Kenyan population and how does it compare to its neighbors, the rest of Africa and the world in general?
Notice how well Zimbabwe is doing, easily amongst the best in Africa. Germany and Luxembourg typify the situation in Western Europe. Afghanistan and Burkina Faso, on the other hand, rank as the most illiterate populations in the world.
Breaking it down by gender, we see just how glaring the disparity is. We can get the Gender Parity Index -dividing the female figure by the male figure – for literacy in the selected countries to get a clear view. The closer to 1 the index is, the more gender-equal the population is in terms of literacy.
Brazil is particularly interesting: the female population is more literate compared to the male population!