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Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Nigeria should learn from unrest in Kenya

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

There are concerns about the possible effects on regional stability and economic growth as a result of the recent unrest in Kenya, which has sent shockwaves across the continent. For African countries, it is a moment of reflection especially when the high cost of living becomes alarming.

Like many other developing nations, Kenya’s national debts have increased thanks to the recent hike in interest rates around the world. The worldwide financial architecture urgently needs to be reformed. This needs a strategic way in order to lead Kenya away from more violent political and economic crises.

The violent demonstration and public outcry over the proposed tax increase in Kenya draw attention to the nation’s grave problems, which include high rates of youth unemployment, growing poverty, and disparities in living standards. Severe corruption, a crippling foreign debt, and an overly harsh response from Kenyan police are the major causes of this crisis. In order to maintain stability, as a commercial hub in East Africa, and its ability to act as a peacemaker—all of which the US is increasingly depending upon in Africa and beyond—action must be taken to defuse this problem.

Kenya is the economic and transportation hub for East Africa and parts of Central Africa, with the port of Mombasa handling cargo for countries as far away as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Kenya remains East Africa’s most important and influential nation.

Among Kenya’s major problems are corruption and debt. The underlying societal crises of inequality and poverty need to be addressed. Kenya’s economy expanded significantly prior to the 2020 COVID pandemic, partly as a result of policies that supported corporate growth. Kenya must, therefore, experience remarkable and continuous economic growth in order to fulfill its crucial mission of eradicating poverty.

Kenya’s progress is hindered by pervasive corruption and dubious economic choices made in the past. Kenya has made significant investments in large-scale infrastructure projects throughout the last decade, although these projects necessitated significant foreign loans. Kenya currently owes $80 billion in debt—roughly 70% of its gross domestic product—both domestically and internationally. Repayment of debt currently consumes almost half of the government’s budget, making it more difficult for the nation to continue the development initiatives required for economic growth.

Likewise other African countries, there are facing similar nightmare. Was raising tax the solution to such circumstances? Every citizen will be willing to pay for task, if what he paid is been utilized and used effectively. This is a challenge that needs to be addressed, while the countries still have the power to change things around.

The crisis in Kenya has significant implications for other African countries. It highlights the need for institutional reforms, regional cooperation, and effective conflict resolution mechanisms. It also underscores the importance of addressing economic crisis, which threaten to undermine stability and progress in Africa. As the continent continues to grapple with these challenges, the international community should provide support to African countries as they work towards a more peaceful and prosperous future, while they create an economic system that will work for them.

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