Kenya’s security is tenuous regardless of the country’s first effort to raise foreign capital, primarily from European and American investors, through the use of a Eurobond.
A Eurobond is a bond issued in a currency not belonging to the country in which it is issued, in this case the Euro. The effort was seen as a success, the bond attracting many large investors and bringing in $2 billion dollars regardless of the country only aiming to raise $1.5 billion.
This economic success is a direct reflection of the confidence many investors have in the growth Kenya is experiencing. Kenya’s economy is a diverse one, not based entirely on one product, meaning chances of it failing are minimal and the opportunity for growth very high.
Regardless of this foreign investment, the people of Kenya have been living in fear, questioning Kenya’s security and experiencing rising unemployment and prices. This is a direct result of terrorist attacks that seem to be growing almost as quickly as the country’s economy is. These terror attacks have had a very negative impact on the tourism industry in Kenya. The U.S., UK, Australia, Canada and France have even gone so far as to upgrade their terror warnings for the country.
The most recent attack occurred last week in Mpeketoni, a small Kenyan coastal town, when Somali extremists stormed the town killing a total of 48 people.
These rising prices, unemployment rates and concerns for security have helped spark protests by opposition leaders. One of these leaders, Raila Odinga, said “I’m not talking small protests, I’m talking massive.”
These protests are only agitated by the governance of the country under president Uhuru Kenyatta, whose most recent desire to create a nationwide neighborhood watch was compared to a nationwide organization of government spies by some critics.
Many Kenyan’s also feel the current government is a flawed one, primarily being run like an ethnocracy. This means that the politics of the country and its leaders are mostly based along ethnic lines rather than those best for the people.
It’s clear that regardless of growing cities and foreign investment, Kenya’s people aren’t seeing the benefits. With growing unrest among its people and an ineffective government in charge, many wonder if a social revolution might be underway.
– David Clark
Sources: New York Times, TIME, BBC
Photo: BBC News