KENYA’S ECONOMY was build on SUPPORT from govt to small scale traders and farmers.
It was build on saving in cooperatives, Saccos and harambee initiatives. These pillars of our economy have been taken away by current govt and only the big boys who have connections allowed to operate with ease.
I will prove this.
For starters, the budget being read this week has nothing for the small scale farmer or business person. The bodaboda, mama mboga, kinyozi etc are losers in this budget.
It is a budget meant to protect the big players and make them suffocate the smaller players by imposing impossible taxes. Interestingly, even the worst hit will be the so called middle class; majority of whom in Kenya live on loans ie FULIZA and those loans will attract higher taxes.
In a small-scale economy households make different choices from those in an economy of salaried employees and large organizations. The family will seek stability in polyergy: in having varied sources of income, as many as it can find and appropriate.
How many Kenyans do we know who have a side hustle? Banker by day, butchery/hair salon owner by side….
Even during the times when KENYANS were treated to stories of ECONOMIC growth – it’s was a false growth, barely any trickle-down (hence need for PR firms in media to hype false growth)
And wonder why we don’t hear of enough success stories from Kenyan entrepreneurs – very few can tell the story of how they got from A to point Z without some murky stories or connections in the middle – usually related to Jubilee government connections or at minimum great skill at navigating the political rent space.
Try pitching your open source solution to a government official, unlikely to move anywhere because no fat budget will be attached.
Business strategy: if businesses can make high profits from government contracts or from other privileges, they will invest more to gain the privileges than to become competitive in an open market. Over time this distorts their whole mode of operation: a good salesman is one who can build personal relationships with bureaucrats, a good engineer is one who can draw out a project to make it more expensive. It is rare for a state-dependent enterprise to be also competitive. This was true for the big so-called ‘national suppliers’, as well as for the small I.T. companies, in which many bright engineers wasted their youth working on useless R&D projects funded by EU Programmes.
It is called corruption. That is what our govt has thrived in and has killed the economic growth.
And finally, I think this captures the essence of why I think it is – generally – tough to transition big/large scale companies successfully in Kenya and to translate the innovation that we see all around into tangible (profitable) businessess – we work hard, but are loathe to collaborate, because someone inevitably stabs you in the back and there is no penalty – legal or social (as in they’ll be catching pints next to you in the bar a week later as if nothing happened). So most of that innovation and entrepreneurship bubbling around either doesn’t transcend the individual or the small scale – you cannot grow in an environment that lacks trust and justice.
This is the final budget in Kenya before our economy crushes. We have no bussiness, no productivity, no inspiration to produce, no justice… All these are a combination to kill our economy.