, 24 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
Happening now: press briefing on Fighting Inequality in Kenya on the inequality crisis in Kenya and its implications. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
In African terms, Kenya is a relatively well-off country. Its GDP per capita is $1,500 dollars, more than double that of Uganda.
Yet 10 million people in Kenya, almost one in five, routinely experience hunger and inability to get food. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
One in three Nairobians regularly go hungry. 1 in 3 Kenyans 8M (36%) live below the poverty line. Despite consistent economic growth, life for most Kenyans is extremely hard, levels of poverty similar to those found in far poorer African countries. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
The reason for this is inequality is the growing gap between rich and poor. In Kenya, a huge amount of the country’s wealth is concentrated in just a few hands. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
•The 8300 richest people in Kenya have the same wealth as the rest of the population, 51 million people. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
•The number of super-rich in Kenya is one of the fastest growing in the world. It is predicted that the number of millionaires will grow by 80% over the next 10 years, with 7,500 new millionaires set to be created. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
•Kenya has the highest level of inequality in East Africa and one of the highest in Africa. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
All around Nairobi, new luxury flats, shopping malls being built all over, including Africa’s tallest luxury apartment building, 88 Nairobi in Upper Hill, with apartments retailing for tens of millions of shillings, helipad, rooftop swimming pool. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
From the pool it will be easy for you to see Kibera, where hundreds of thousands live cram into informal slum housing with minimal access to clean water and open sewers where children play. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
Inequality impacts on all aspects of Kenyan life; health, education, access to justice. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
Rich Kenyans can expect to live many years longer than poor Kenyans. Life expectancy in Kibera has been estimated to be as low as 30 years, compared to the national average of 65 years. For the richest it is likely to be higher than this. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
There is a massive thirty-five-year gap between rich and poor, just a few miles apart in the city. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
2.6 million Kenyans are pushed into poverty each year by the cost of healthcare. Patients imprisoned in hospitals, bodies of relatives not released for burial, until debts are settled. Meanwhile the richest Kenyans can access world class healthcare. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
Children from poor families in Kenya have much less chance of an education that those from rich countries. Every January newspapers are full of children with great marks in their exams unable to proceed with their education due to a lack of funds. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
This is a tragedy for them, but a tragedy for Kenya too. A girl from a poor family is 17 times more likely to have never gone to school than a girl from a rich family. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
Land inequality in Kenya has increased dramatically in the recent years by 35%. Women only own 6% of all land. Poorest 60% of Nairobi’s population, 3.6 million people live on just 6% of the land in Nairobi, crammed into slums/informal settlements. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
Over 200 young people were MURDERED by the @PoliceKE in the last year in the poorest parts of Kenya, KILLED WITHOUT TRIAL or access to justice. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
The Government of the Rich: The Government of Kenya can reduce the gap between rich and poor in the country by increasing taxation on the richest and by increasing spending on health, education and other public services. #UsawaKenya
Kenya proposed to increase the top rate of income tax to 35% and to increase capital gains taxation from 5% to 20%. Both would have ensured the rich paid more. Both of these moves were dropped ahead of the budget in 2018. #UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
Meanwhile government pushed ahead with the deeply controversial removal of the VAT exemption on fuel, only partially backing down when faced with large scale protests. #UsawaKenya
Fight Inequality Alliance Kenya is calling on the Government to fight inequality. Huge gap between rich and poor is a stain on our reputation. It undermines economic progress, and it creates a divided country. It does not need to be this way.
#UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
•Increase taxation of the richest Kenyans and richest corporations
•Stop tax avoidance and sweetheart deals for corporates
•Provide free, universal healthcare for all Kenyans, as a right.
#UsawaKenya #UsawaFestival2019
•Invest in supporting the poorest with jobs, opportunities and security, and with safe affordable housing and clean water.
•Truly crackdown on corruption, which fuels inequality, robbing public purse to benefit elite few at the cost of many. #UsawaKenya
Kenya must set clear targets to reduce the gap between rich and poor and make Kenya a more equal country where all Kenyans can benefit from economic progress, not just the super-rich. #UsawaKenya
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