According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Kenya ranks 124 out of 180 countries in terms of perceived levels of corruption (with an average score of 31 out of 100 where 0 represents “highly corrupt” while 100 represents “very clean”. This means that corruption is seen as a significant problem in Kenya, and as young people, we feel motivated to take action to address it. According to a 2020 survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), corruption is the second most common problem facing young people in Kenya, after unemployment. In the same survey, 84% of young people said that they had experienced or witnessed corruption in the previous year. According to a 2019 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), young people in Kenya face significant challenges in accessing education and employment opportunities, which can be exacerbated by corruption. The same report highlights the need for more youth-led initiatives to promote integrity and fight corruption in Kenya.
According to the Democracy Index 2020 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Kenya was ranked as a “flawed democracy” with a score of 5.52 out of 10. Which means that the country political system exhibits democratic elements such as elections, civil liberties (freedom of speech, assembly , or association), but also has significant shortcomings or deficiencies that hinder its effectiveness and fairness. These concerns raise questions about the protection of civil liberties and the ability of citizens to exercise their democratic rights.
More statistics indicate the need for urgent collaborative efforts to tackle this problem. According to a 2020 report by the EACC, corruption in Kenya costs the country approximately Ksh. 608 billion (USD 6 billion) annually. In the same report, the most corrupt sectors identified were procurement, education, and health. According to a 2021 survey by the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, 86% of Kenyans believe that corruption has increased in the country over the past year. In the same survey, 45% of Kenyans said that they had paid a bribe in the past year. According to a 2019 report by the World Bank, corruption is a major obstacle to doing business in Kenya, with 75% of firms reporting that they had been asked to pay a bribe in the past year. In a 2019 survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 63% of Kenyans said that corruption was a major problem in their community.
Kenya has experienced significant challenges in conducting free and fair elections. The country has faced allegations of voter fraud, manipulation of results, and irregularities in the electoral process. For example, the 2007 presidential election was marred by violence and accusations of rigging, leading to a political crisis. Kenya has a history of ethnic tensions, which can hinder the inclusivity and fairness of its democratic system. Ethnic-based political mobilization and competition have at times led to violence and polarization, undermining the principles of equal representation and participation. Things were a bit better during the 2022 presidential election despite the opposition challenging the results. Additionally, while Kenya allows for multi-party elections, there have been instances of political exclusion and limited representation. Certain marginalized groups, such as women and ethnic minorities, face barriers to meaningful political participation and representation. There have been concerns about media freedom in Kenya, with reports of harassment, intimidation, and censorship of journalists. These restrictions limit the ability of the media to hold those in power accountable and provide unbiased information to the public. Kenya has faced criticism for human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, police brutality, and restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. These concerns raise questions about the protection of civil liberties and the ability of citizens to exercise their democratic rights.
According to a 2021 report by the UNDP, young people in Kenya are more likely to be unemployed than any other age group, with an unemployment rate of 22.2%. In the same report, 58% of young people in Kenya said that they had experienced discrimination or unfair treatment in the past year, with corruption identified as one of the main drivers of this discrimination. These statistics highlight the urgent need for initiatives like the Youth Center for Integrity Building in Kenya, and the importance of promoting integrity and fighting corruption in all sectors of society. Corruption is a destructive force that undermines the foundations of democracy and the rule of law, and it must be combated at all levels of society.
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as of 2020, approximately 53% of the global population does not have access to the internet. In many developing countries, including Kenya, access to the internet is particularly limited in rural areas. Kilifi County, being a predominantly rural area, it faces similar challenges in terms of internet accessibility. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 highlights the growing demand for digital skills across various industries. It predicts that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by automation, but 97 million new jobs may emerge, requiring a different set of skills. Equipping young people with digital skills will help them adapt to the changing job market and increase their employability.
Additionally, Kilifi County has a significant youth population, and it is important to leverage their potential. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, as of 2019, the youth (aged 15-34) accounted for 34% of the total population in Kenya. This indicates a large pool of young people in Kilifi who can benefit from the YIB Kilifi Transparency Hub. Unemployment rates among young people in Kenya remain high. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, as of 2020, the overall unemployment rate for the youth (aged 15-34) was 17.4%. Providing young people with digital skills can enhance their job prospects and entrepreneurship opportunities, contributing to reducing youth unemployment in Kilifi County.