Globalization has negatively impacted Kenya over the years. Trade between Kenya and developed countries is often not practiced on equal terms. In terms of goods and services, Kenya exports less than it imports. Developed countries are often able to influence trade outcomes, and protect their economic interest. However, this is not the case with developing countries such as Kenya. Some of the unfair trade practices by developed countries include high tariffs on imports from developing countries relative to other developed countries. This negatively impacts developing countries by raising the prices of their goods and services. Consequently, this globalization-induced pricing issue causes income to fall sharply and further contributes to increasing poverty levels in Kenya.
Population pressure has also been a major contributor to poverty in Kenya. When a country experiences a higher population growth than it can sustain, it is unable to provide basic services for its citizens. To ensure population control, there is a need to increase education about family planning among households in Kenya. In addition, resources need to be optimally utilized to meet the demands of its population and leave a surplus for export.
Inadequate employment opportunities–especially among the youth who constitute the larger share of the population–are a major contributor to poverty in Kenya. To reduce unemployment, the country will require strong fiscal and monetary policy investment and management. The country will also need infrastructural developments to boost service and transportation delivery, as well as more affordable housing. A strong selection of political leadership will be crucial in boosting infrastructural growth, and tourism leading to more employment opportunities. Political stability is a key factor in a nation’s economic growth and level of employment thereof, that’s why it’s important to have the correct selection of leaders.
Strong political leaders can also play a crucial role in influencing the international trade disadvantage discussed above, by pushing for more favorable terms of trade with developed nations. Also, the provision of better agricultural infrastructure would allow local farmers to compete with imported products and improve employment prospects. A thriving Kenyan sector would mean abundant employment opportunities for locals. In addition, there is a need for multi-sectoral and targeted interventions to improve the living standards of the marginalized regions of the population, particularly the NEDI counties. Social safety nets can also play a vital role in building human capital and protecting the most vulnerable communities in Kenya, leading to higher productivity.
Kenya’s robust growth over the last decade has resulted in a remarkable poverty reduction. This puts the country in a unique position to eliminate poverty in the coming decades. In addition to sustaining growth, Kenya needs to put in place policies that translate growth to poverty reduction. Kenya needs to focus on marginalized communities such as the NEDI counties and the youth to win in the fight in poverty reduction.