Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Is Kenya a Failed State

I will not and i have refused to accept that Kenya is a failed state.

I read this report and saw What about Congo, Rwanda et al who cannot compare to our country and are not on the list. Seeing what makes us a failed state worsens the whole situation. Who says corruption is out of hand? Who says that crime is out of hand? To my knowledge there is more corruption in Kenya than in Nigeria?

Thank you
Kenya Daily Newspapers for making our country look like a failed state on everyday of the week that you can afford. Everything nowadays looks like a scandal.

The British High commission for telling your folks that Kenya is a crime prone state that they should not visit.

And to all those who contributed to the data that Kenya is a failed state.

Because it is not.

Second to none is Kenya. Infact the only part that South Africa beats us is service delivery for its people and minerals. Otherwise i have conviction that Kenya is the best country in Africa. No more no less. And we will get there.

How do you group us with the likes of Somalia and Sudan? Shakes head in disbelief.


  1. Can a country claim to be a succesful state when it has failed in its primary responsibility, service delivery?

    I am just wondering if we can have one without the other.

  2. If a successful state, to use the wiki definition, is one where the central government can beat the people into submission, then it's not a measure I want to use.

    Like you, I disagree with the assessment of "failed state," but less on military than historical and ideological grounds.

    On the other hand, there's no shame in admitting we're not perfect (show me a perfect country and I'll show you a camel going through the eye of a needle). And we should be careful about certain comparisons: South Africa looks good on paper but, at least according to Pambazuka News, has serious, ongoing racial problems. Where others may see backwardness, we might see something else, something worth defending.

    Failure and/or success also depends on perspective. For those who have reliable jobs, decent homes, and have benefitted in other ways, no doubt Kenya is a successful launching point. For others, perhaps not so much.

    I'm not sure sucess/failure is really the best way to understand any country. It strikes me as a endlessly self-defeating binary.

  3. While I agree that the assesment of Kenya as a failed state is inappropriate, I really don't see how you can make comparisons to the other countries you have mentioned without providing solid empirical evidence.
    At the risk of sounding preachy, I would also like to point out that it isn't a competition, and comparisons to other poorly performing African countries does not improve Kenya's performance.

  4. Shiro, I think you have failed to create a dichotomy between patriotism and social-political-economic analysis.
    As a patriot, I believe that Kenya is second to none, yet as a commentator, i feel that we have failed in actualising our development agenda.
    Inspite of the social flaws of the south africans Keguro talks of, their government is seen to have a development agenda that works to a greater extent than ours. when you walk through NAirobi, how many South African firms do you see? How many Kenyans are emigrating to south africa in pursuit of dead end jobs?
    This are issues that make blatant patriotism seem like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand.
    As Monef notes, you have made comparisons without providing empirical evidence, and that evidence I maintain be based on discernible, economic, social, political progress indicators, and not amorphous concepts of patriotism.

  5. sometimes we are our own worst enemies.. bah!

  6. Why would you blame the press???

  7. even if one does not travel its worth watching most of the Tv journal be it Africa, Asian, Europe or south America. we are far much better than most of them, if you believe Kenya has failed that means you are the one who has failed, what have you done be it little or big that you can be proud of. look at the buildings and companies put in all towns after the mzungu left they are many they belong to Kenyans,Kenyans dont wait for free food to be put on the table they go out to work for it. we dont have minerals like others but look at where our country is u cant compare withy many. even in the SA they look good in their 3 major Cities and roads but u cant comapare their villages with ours(we have food , education,healthcare, water and electricity\solar), Tuko mbele, as an African country we have tried. I dont know where the MPs go when they say we have Bad Matatus we have clasic mats the 14 and the minibuses, their mats are similar to the ones we had like 15 years back,.

    I believe if Kenya progresses in the same or better trend we shall be like some Europea countries.

  8. How do you group us with the likes of Somalia and Sudan? Shakes head in disbelief.

    are you trying to say we have not failed..

  9. kenya is a failing state!! it is just a matter of time before unemployed youth and middle aged people drive crime to uncontrollable levels. nairobi and other major towns will be over run by large scale unplanned settlements. anyone who has watched the growth of nakuru town might understand this better. the gap between the rich and poor fuel violent crime. as more educated people find themselves without any hope of formal employment, they will start planning "ocean 11" style bank robberies. what do you do with a young man/woman who has the brain to study electrical engineering for 5 years and finds no formal employment?

    sooner than later, no go zones will increase from a handful to entire sections of nairobi and other major towns. criminals determined to fight with law enforcement agencies will suddenly become para military outfits. anyone watching the metamorphosis of mungiki should be uneasy.

    the signs are there. we are just in self denial!!