Shaping the Future Report

In an effort to understand the bedrock of Kenya’s development landscape, the Pretoria office of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), in collaboration with the Kenya Business Guide (KBG), has compiled an analysis and forecast of Kenya’s likely development trajectory to 2040, along with two alternative scenarios.

KBG and ISS invited different partners and key stakeholders for the publication of the forecast report: “Shaping the Future – Strategies for Sustainable Development in Kenya”.

After welcoming remarks from Marius Rauh (Representative of the German Development Cooperation), Jamshed Ali (Chief Economist, State Department of Planning) and Siddharth Chatterjee (Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nairobi) KBG and ISS presented the report: “Shaping the Future – Strategies for Sustainable Development in Kenya”.  The floor was then opened up to the audience to contribute to the discussion on the key findings and recommendations.

During the event, there were different discussions about the future of Kenya and the different scenarios. Tuko Kazi scenario is a future where Kenya implements successful, five-year interventions (i.e. from 2019 to 2023) in specific areas. The Tuko Kazi scenario is a future where the government focuses on promoting efficiency in the agricultural sector, alleviating the bottlenecks in its education system, improving family planning, increasing housing subsidies and reducing corruption. Aggressively pursuing some goals (e.g. electrification) at the expense of other priorities such as water and sanitation is a trade-off that the government of Kenya should manage carefully going forward. It is about balancing competing priorities. We highly recommend having a look at the report for further recommendations and insights.

Recommendations from the report:

  • Maintain gains in health and education: Health and education outcomes in Kenya are favourable relative to those of other lower-middle-income African countries, but education outcomes have been stagnating in recent years and the government must keep these sectors on track.
  • Address corruption: The issue of corruption is well known and the country must reduce rent-seeking and address the more fundamental issue of poor implementation. The government must also manage oil revenues effectively and transparently going forward.
  • Expand access to basic infrastructure: Recent efforts at electrification have been impressive but service delivery must also expand in other areas – such as clean water, affordable housing and improved sanitation facilities.
  • Improve efficiency in the agricultural sector: Agriculture will remain critical to the livelihoods of most Kenyans. The government should promote efficiency by improving yields, reducing losses and pursuing climate change adaptation strategies.
  • Balance competing priorities: Aggressively pursuing some goals (e.g. electrification) at the expense of other priorities such as water and sanitation is a trade-off that the government of Kenya should manage carefully going forward.
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