Kenya is a beacon of democracy in East Africa

Kenya ‘a beacon of democracy’ in East Africa, says expert

By Paul Muwanga

24 August 2017

According to a report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Kenya is a beacon of democracy in East Africa and one of the world’s most improved countries in several categories.

Among the “countries with the most improved scores”, Africa is the continent with the most improvement. Kenya scores the highest for freedom (67.15), followed by South Africa (64.15), Uganda (63.15), Rwanda (61), Tanzania (59.45), Ethiopia (57.1) and Burundi (54.1) while Burundi ranks the lowest and is the most backward of all the countries in Africa.

The report says that Kenya has improved because it has improved its democratic institutions and civil society. The country’s political institutions are modern and free, the media independent, the judiciary independent and well governed, there is an independent human rights commission, anti-corruption programmes, independent media and free speech.

These features are essential to the country’s democracy; the report said.

These features are essential to the country’s democracy.

Despite these conditions, Kenya is still ranked 139th of 146 countries surveyed for freedom in the World’s Freedom in the World report.

The report says the “deterioration of conditions for women since 2008 has been the most severe and prolonged, with no signs of improvement in the last two years, contrary to international trends”.

The report says that violence and human trafficking have intensified in northern Kenya, particularly where the region borders with Somalia. Female genital mutilation and child marriage are widespread in the country. It says that the country lacks the resources to adequately tackle the situation.

In the report’s ‘Eulogy to Kenya’s progress it is said that Kenya has seen “the slow but steady reduction in poverty” in the country and that “the gains made by the people have not translated into more jobs for Kenyans in the formal economy but rather, the informal economy had begun to expand in the country”.

It also says that Kenya has achieved the “transition from a plantation economy to a consumer economy

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