POLITICS – Managing risks and opportunities in a fast-changing landscape

How will issue-based politics, devolution and Covid-19 shape Kenya’s future development?

Chapter Contents:

PART A: UNDERLYING TRENDS

Over the long-term, young people may inspire a shift to issue-based politics in Kenya

  • While political affiliations are changing, the election in 2022 is expected to be fought along traditional lines
  • Over the long-term, millennial activists – enabled by digital media – may encourage a shift to issue-based politics

 

Devolution must overcome numerous challenges to deliver development over the medium- and long-term

  • Devolution has the potential to positively impact Kenya’s politics and developmental trajectory
  • Realising the potential of devolution will require addressing issues of corruption and capacity at the county-level while ensuring promised resources are transferred to local government

 

PART B: IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON POLITICS IN KENYA

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for an effective working relationship between national governments and counties and cast a spotlight on corruption

 

PART C: CONCLUSION

What might a growing youth population and a greater focus on devolution mean for economic transformation?

  • Shifting demographics may alter Kenya’s political landscape and open up opportunities for dialogue on broad-based economic growth, but this will not be straightforward 
  • Devolution has opened up some ‘green shoots’ of effective economic governance. However, the prospects for county governments to become engines for Kenya’s economic transformation are mixed.