Development Over The Last Century – Kenya

2037 words - 9 pages

Kenya is a third world country located in East Africa, compared to nations such the UK and the US, Kenya is relatively a young nation. This country came to international limelight in the late 19th century, when the British took control over it (CIA, 2014, p. 1). During the British reign over the nation, there was not much development in the country. Instead, the Kenyan society became poor and highly stratified (Okoth, 2003, p. 1). This paper examines the development of Kenya over the last century (20th century) taking into account five of the development indicators that are used by the World Bank (2014) in rating the development of nations. The development indicators to be ...view middle of the document...

The locals were denied many rights and forced to work without pay. The profits that were gained from agriculture were personally used by the white settlers, while some were repatriated to their home countries. With the exception of infrastructures such as road networks meant to ease British administration, there was not much development in Kenya in the early half of the 20th century.
The second half of the century started on tumultuous tone with the natives fiercely fighting for independence. By 1963, Kenya had gained its independence. Thereafter, the economy grew steadily; between 1964 and 1971, the rate of growth was 6.5 percent; however, it was reduced afterwards. The industrial sector, formed shortly after 1963, rapidly grew at an annum rate of 8.2 percent. The agricultural sector also kept on increasing at an annum rate of 4.2 percent. The economy expanded, enabling the central government to facilitate its services. However, Kenya continuously accumulated a foreign debt that became a threat to the growth of its economy. For instance, by 1987, the foreign debt was $5.9 billion USD.
In fact, Kenya became renowned in the agricultural sector particularly owing to its tea and coffee growing. Since its independence up to 1986, coffee was a major foreign exchange of the country; however, a decline in the price of coffee in 1986 saw the foreign exchange from coffee exports drop from $445 million to $277 million USD. To compensate for the loss in foreign exchange, tea production was increased by 60 percent. Towards the end of the last century, the country was forced to double its efforts just to stay in place. In 1993, the economy stagnated and it has been viewed as the country's worst economic performance since its independence. After much effort to stop the agricultural sector from shrinking, the economy started improving in 1997, growing at a rate of 1.5 per annum (Michigan State University, 2014, p. 1).

The system of education before the coming of the Europeans was informal. Neither classrooms nor specific class of persons called teachers existed in the country; instead, everyone was involved in teaching children. Children were taught the cultural traditions and specific skills on how to undertake various tasks such as hunting. Specialized skills like medicine and iron work were learned through apprenticeship programs. This system of education was strong in the first half of the last century (Wosyanju, 2010, p. 2).
Missionaries laid the foundation of the modern education system, starting with teaching the natives on how to read. By 1909, a formal system of education was set up. Europeans, Asians, and natives were required to be taught differently. After gaining independence, the system of education was changed to enhance unity among Kenya’s ethnicities. The 7-4-2-3 education system (7 years of primary school, 4 years of secondary education, 2 years of high secondary education, and 3 years of university...

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