Kenya, like all African countries, focused on poverty alleviation at independence, perhaps due to the level of vulnerability of its populations but also as a result of the ‘trickle down’ economic discourses of the time, which assumed that poverty rather than distribution mattered. In other words, it was only necessary to grow the economy because, as the country grew richer, the wealth would trickle down to benefit the poorest sections of society. While the country has registered remarkable economic performance, extreme poverty has not been eliminated and inequality has not only persisted but deepened.
Why does equity matter in Kenya?
First, the Constitution clearly specifies that equity is an expected outcome. Specifically, clause 201 states that the public finance system is to promote an equitable society in that revenue raised nationally shall be shared equally between national and county governments and in the promotion of equitable development, and expenditures will be oriented towards addressing the needs of marginalised groups and regions.