Kenyan Youth Are More Optimistic about the Economy.

Young people aged 18-35 years are more optimistic about the future of Kenya compared to the elderly people who are aged 51 years and above. This is the findings by Afrobarometer, an organization that closely works with the University of Nairobi research think-tank Institute of Development Studies.

Dr. Paul Kamau, Associate Director, Institute for Development Studies, released the findings on December 11, 2019 at Nairobi Safari Club. 

Afrobarometer is non-partisan, pan-African research institution conducting public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, the economy and society in 30+ countries repeated on a regular cycle. They are the world’s leading source of high-quality data on what Africans are thinking. They are the world’s leading research project on issues that affect ordinary African men and women.  They collect and publish high-quality, reliable statistical data on Africa which is freely available to the public.  They were established in 1999 and has been conducting research and sharing their findings with the donor community, development partners, people in the development space and the academia so that they can make decisions based on the findings from the people on the ground. 

According to Kenyans, the government should concentrate their efforts on tackling corruption, Unemployment and managing the economy. Other issues that the government needs to address include; water supply, food shortage, education, infrastructure, crime and security, poverty and violence during post elections and taxation.  Among the 2,400 Kenyans who participated in the polls, fewer than half think that Kenya is not headed in right direction.

On elections and violence after divisive political campaigns period, Kenyans overwhelming support the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Right Honorouble Raila Odinga that took place on March 18, 2018.  Kenyans support the handshake and the building bridges initiative by 78 percent.  Kenyans were in support of the Handshake because of the peace it restored in the country. It was a breadth of fresh air after the tensions created by political heat.  After the handshake between the two arch-rivals, Kenyans were able to continue with their businesses. It emerged that Kenyans love peace, they need more cooperation between political leaders than antagonism.

The government received low ratings among Kenyans on issues related to job creation, improving livelihoods, dealing with corruption, unemployment, management of the economy. “According to a survey done in 2016, 48% of Kenyans believe that KE economy is on right direction compared to 44% of Kenyans in 2019. Rural population are more optimistic than urban population.  Women are 46% more optimistic compared to men at 42%. The Youth between 18-35 years are 49% optimistic compared to those between 36-50 years at 37% and 38% for those who are 51 years and above,” said Dr. Paul Kamau.

 In the recent past, the government proposed a tax on housing to help in realization of the affordable housing for all. One of the governments Big Four Agenda. According to James Macharia, the Cabinet Minister in charge of Transport, Infrastructure and Housing, once the houses have been constructed, the government will use a lottery model to give out the houses to the respective occupants. This means that not everyone who contributed towards the affordable housing will benefit from the houses. Affording to Afrobarometer findings, most Kenyans oppose the proposed tax on housing.