Links of the Day – Kenya & Economics

Another normal day for us, but a NEGST graduate who lives just a stone’s throw from our campus gates had a leaflet placed in front of his door saying that all Luos, Luhyas and Kalinjins needed to be out of the neighborhood by [I forget the date.] Mungiki and other gangs are taking advantage of the situation.

Negotiations and other interesting news as always at the Nation and the Standard.

A Kenyan student here at NEGST – posts on a house divided

We are a people, forged together by shared life, shared experience, shared land, even shared ideals. So when they threaten me, my family, my own, they threaten more then just a statistic,

a faceless girl, they threaten themselves, for how can a house, divided against itself survive?

Canadian article – From an old friend B.J. (This super dude deserves a post all of his own.)

These economic pressures are making corruption all the more criminal. But what is happening in Kenya is not just an expression of misery or ethnic jealousy. It is also an explosion of rising expectations fuelled by past success, the knowledge that the country’s wealth is being hijacked by a small elite, and the Internet.

I’m not sure aid sanctions would necessarily be effective. If I’m not mistaken, most of the “aid” in Kenya is Aids and malaria related.

The Economist draws some interesting parallels between Kenya and Gaza

GAZA and Kenya have more in common than short names ending in “a” and violent squabbles apparently not ending at all. Both have too many people, or, to be more exact, too many young men without either jobs or prospects. The resulting frustration is one of the causes of their present discontents

The population of both Gaza and Kenya has grown by about six times since 1950, much more than the 3.6 times of, say, North Africa or the 4.3 times of sub-Saharan Africa. In Gaza about 1.5m people now crowd into 360 square kilometres (140 square miles), making the strip’s population density about two-thirds Hong Kong’s. Kenya is far bigger, but the land can no longer support the rural population. So the young, exchanging urban for rural poverty, head for the slums, bringing their anger, and machetes, with them.

Which leads into this post.

Economics and Polyana. It’s a little too polemical for my tastes, but makes an important point. In church work, we often feel like we are swimming upstream in terms of helping the poor. Part of the problem may be that we don’t know how or want to address the root systems that cause the problems in the first place. Even good people get caught up in bad systems. Knowing how the systems work grounds what we do in reality.

[Thanks as always to Michael Kruse for keeping these kind of issues on my radar screen.]

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