Friday, February 8, 2008

Kenya: The real causes are poverty and inequality

Most coverage on Kenya blames tribalism for the recent violence, but there is something far more fundamental that explains why anger is spilling into the streets: pervasive poverty and extreme high inequality. IrinNews reports.


kaviash said...
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kaviash said...

Understanding the history of the regions (Provinces ) that were highly affected by the post-election violence can provide a clear understanding of the situation. True, poverty and inequality plays a part in the violence but also there has been politically (and or ethnic) motivated clashes in the Rift Valley and Western provinces in the early 90's; the worst were the 1995 and 1997 land clashes. The post election violence was sort of scratching a 'wound that was healing'.

martin de wit said...

Kaiash, thanks for the comment. It is surely not the one or the other. Politically motivated clases need some fertile ground of discontent.What causes that? The fact that someone else lives in another tribe? Or, maybe that one particular tribe used their power to capture all the rents, and hence breed inequaliuty and poverty?

The policy implications however, will be very different.Good enough reason to seriously apply our minds, and hence all possible options in such a complex situation.

martin de wit said...

Ill-distributed economic growth places a strain on the system. See this piece from Project Syndicate ( lending support to the risks of development: violent social feedback from those wo are left behind. A tell-tale lesson for other growing, and more unequal, African countries as well.