Kenya: The MDG report card.
Sometime next year the timeframe of achieving the Millennium development goals will come to a close, a lot has happened since 2000 when the goals were set, countries have had mixed reactions some doing much others less, while others never really got to start doing anything.
This week marks a great milestone for my country Kenya as we will no longer fall under less developing countries. Thanks to rebasing our GDP we are officially a middle income country(Lower), which is a good achievement but looking around me I think the people at the World Bank need to consider what makes up a middle income country.
Kenya has done a lot considering it lacked the billion dollars resource that most of its African peers had the minerals and the oil, but with recent discoveries hope we will do much better in the years ahead. Well today I want to assess where Kenya is in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s),this is just my opinion the real report will come sometime next year, I will not go that deep but I believe my indicators will pretty much give a rough estimate, in my report card I will grade using the A to be 80% plus ,B being 60%-79% ,C will be 50%- 59% meanwhile D will be between 40% – 49% and E below 39%.Let us start on the report card.
Goal #1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger.
With poverty level pegged at 40%-45% depending on the source this is via the CIA fact book and the world bank and having unemployment of more than 40 % and not forgetting that some parts of this country can starve while we have enough food in other parts of the country, coupled with our dilly dallying with matters of food security. In terms of goal number a D is a good grade we can work with, I feel we need to have a D considering that these figures have risen above what we had at independence.
Goal #2 Achieve Universal Primary Education
Looking at what the previous government of Emilio Mwai Kibaki did to education in this country starting with primary education which this goal aimed to achieve I feel Kenya deserves an A, here I have given it an A because we managed to have about 100% of school going children in school unless otherwise, though we have problems concerning infrastructure and the quality of the education but I believe those are the rough edges that will be smoothed with time. The current government has plans of giving every class one child a laptop, let us wait and see on this one.
Goal #3 Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Currently we are having more women joining university, at the corporate ladder and the glass ceiling they are breaking that too, though we have much to do especially if you look at women representation in politics and public appointments which the constitution has laid out one third.
Regarding the promotion of Gender equality and empowering of women we can say that we have a weak B, this is because we have issues like FGM, disinheritance of women among other vices hence we are not yet home with this goal.
Goal #4 Reduce Child Mortality
The country is having a 40.71 deaths/1,000 live births this is a drop from 68/1000 live births back in 2000, a considerable drop but not that good. We need to achieve more than 90% drop in this figures to consider it an achievement based on this I feel we deserve a D.
Goal #5 Improve Maternal Health
In the latest maternal mortality rate as at 2010 we had 360 deaths/100,000 live births this ensured that the country made it among the top 30 countries with highest maternal mortality rate in the globe. This figure was 490 deaths/ 100,000 live births we could do much better, a D here is right though I have to admit that courtesy of the first lady there has been a new drive to get this figure beyond zero and also the government has waived maternity fee for expectant mothers but considering what we have done in the past 14 years these noble gestures cannot atone for our sins.
Goal #6 Combat HIV/AIDs Malaria and other diseases
As at 2012 we had a HIV prevalence rate of 6.1% which was among the top 12 in the world and more than 1.6 million people living with Aids that made us the 4th country in the world ,the HIV prevalence has dropped from a high of 13% in 2000 this signals a big achievement, considering there has also been a drop in deaths from Malaria ,but in light of the good news in fight against Aids and Malaria we have the rising cases of cancer and other lifestyle diseases ,this is our next war front in the years to come. On this goal I feel a B is a good grade.
Goal#7 Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Regarding environmental sustainability I feel we are yet to do enough there is too much litters and piles of garbage in our towns and emerging urban centers ,there is also the issue of poaching and encroaching on water towers and forests we need to find ways of going beyond the 10% forest cover which I fear we are way off. Though we have had much drive regarding this area but we have a lot much catch up to do. Here we can only manage to score a C.
Goal#8 Global Partnership for development
Kenya has always looked towards its neighbours and other friendly countries to ensure partnership in development we have many NGO’s operating in various sectors of the economy from poverty eradication, fighting of HIV/AIDS among others on this one we have done something to create a global partnership in development look at the amazing roads the Chinese have done for our country on this goal we have a strong B.
That is it. That is how I feel we have done regarding the MDGs you may feel otherwise ,let us await for the figures from the UN and those charged with monitoring the MDG progress.