Home COLUMNS AND OPINIONS Kenya’s economy must work for all of us

Kenya’s economy must work for all of us

by biasharadigest


That the coronavirus has ravaged Kenya is clear to anyone who listens to the Health CS give daily updates on infection levels and death toll. But beneath those numbers lies a more sinister pandemic that is devasating our country in the highest numbers, maybe since the birth of this country. This is the economic hopelessness that we are experiencing.

Since the President lifted the cessation of movement between counties, our roads have been heaving with travellers leaving Nairobi. Many of them are accompanied by their household items, a clear sign that city life has defeated most of us.

Once upon a time, education was seen as the path to success. Children would be beaten for failing to grasp a concept, as failure to pass your exams was seen as failing to secure a chance at a bright future.

Those who excelled proceeded to universities; getting a job thereafter was easy. The employed graduates earned enough to send something back home and maybe even educate their younger siblings.


But in recent times, it has dawned on us that education is not the key to a successful life. Our current President’s daughter, Ngina Kenyatta, recently advised jobless youth to start businesses and create employment for others, which some did.


However, for businesses to thrive, they need a population with purchasing power. And as the business people of Kirinyaga Road in Nairobi took to the streets in 2018 to protest against the bad economic climate in the country told us, it is clear that business is also not the key to success in Kenya right now.

Life in Kenya has never been that easy for the average Kenyan, but at least there was always a clear path to the point where it became manageable. If education wasn’t your forte, you started a ‘hustle’, and if that wasn’t too forthcoming, you moved to the city to look for a way to earn a living.

But all these beaten paths are proving to be useless now. And this pandemic might just be the last nail in the coffin.

It is high time we sat down as a people and decided on our way forward. Rwanda did so and among many other initiatives, decided to market their country as a tourism and conference hotspot, a move that has seen thousands of their people earn a living from their own country’s resources.

 India decided to invest in medical tourism among many other things, and it’s working for them given the number of us that troop there with our sick relatives.

The truth is that Kenya as it is right now is not working economically for a majority of us. We are a people suffering silently, wondering whether it is our fault that we cannot secure a job or that the city life didn’t work for us.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Kenya can and should work for all of us. And who knows, maybe this pandemic and its crippling effect on most of our pockets will be the push we needed to sit down together, united by our struggles, and come up with a manual that will see our children get true and tested paths to success.

The author comments on topical issues; [email protected]

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