On October 26, we learned that Kenya’s rank in Transparency Interational's Corruption Perceptions Index dropped seven places since 2009. Kenya now ranks 154 out of 178 countries—well below most of its EAC neighbors. But how bad is it, in fact? Will the new Constitution do anything to make the situation better?
In Kenya, no one seriously doubts that corruption is a key constraint to greater growth and prosperity.
Corruption comes in two forms. Petty corruption occurs when citizens are asked for kitu kidogo (“a little something”): to get a document stamped, a service provided, or an infraction overlooked. The amounts are small, but hardly petty to the many victims living on less than $1 a day. Kenya also has large-scale corruption—public purchases made at inflated prices; public benefits handed out to people who are not entitled; fictitious companies being paid for contracts that they never executed.
Update: This post has generated a very interesting discussion in a different blog. See it here.
I gave a lunch talk at a recent conference of civil society and technology people organized by the Tech@State people at the U.S. State Department. I thought I’d share it more widely.
In the old days—that is, the 1950s and 1960s—development was about correcting market failures. Influenced by the “big push” theories of economists like Rosenstein-Rodan, post-war Keynesian economics and the apparent success of the Soviet Union, policymakers in developing countries saw the role of government as providing public goods (bridges, roads and ports), addressing externalities (protecting “infant industries”) and redistributing income to poor people (by, for instance, keeping food prices low). Donors supported these countries by financing some of the public goods—a bridge, say. Knowledge assistance consisted of helping to identify the market failure, and then designing the “optimal bridge”.
Depuis ces dernières années, la région Afrique a été victime d’une série d’inondation répétitive, résultant de fortes pluviométries, qui non-seulement sont de plus en plus fréquentes mais dont l’ampleur s’intensifie. Pour ne citer que le cas du Togo, qui depuis 2007, ne cesse de subir les effets de fortes pluies tous les ans; à Madagascar, les fortes tempêtes tropicales Ivan et Jowke ont affecté une bonne partie de l’ile en 2008. En 2009, la Namibie, la République Centrafricaine, le Burkina Faso, le Mali, le Sénégal, et la Mauritanie ont consécutivement été touchées.