The lack of a focused policy since the 1990s has pushed the cashew nut sector into perennial decline. The sector’s disintegration started when the state-owned Kenya Cashewnut factory ollapsed in 1997 – a time when the political environment was not inclined to rescue a sector that had been a lifeline for thousands of Kenya’s coastal residents.
With high levels of mobile phone and internet penetration, coupled with advanced digital technologies in the financial sector, Kenya has favourable conditions for cash transfers to the most vulnerable populations. However, corruption and lack of reliable data on beneficiaries can derail efforts to make all Kenyans food secure during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The disruption of national food supply chains due to COVID-19 lockdowns and curfews has negatively impacted market traders, but it has also spawned localised – and more resilient – supply chains that are filling the gap in the food system.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the global farm-to-plate conveyor belt, including related value chain and support industries. This has led to the overhaul of certain sectors and the expansion of others. On the upside, the disruption has also encouraged citizens to audit the resilience of their local food systems and their capacity to feed people over the long haul.
COVID-19 has had a huge and immediate negative economic impact on low-income households, especially in urban areas. The Kenyan government’s mediocre response to this economic shock has not only increased people’s vulnerability, but has also laid bare the government’s inability to provide basic services.
John Pombe Magufuli’s first term as president has brought about a sea change in the way the Tanzanian government conducts business. But not all of his ultra-nationalistic policies have been for the better.
The relentless violence and aggression that have marked Narendra Modi’s prime ministership are not ends in themselves but tactical manoeuvres to accelerate the process of economic restructuring by distracting or deflecting potential opposition, as well as creating a miasma of fear that empowers Modi to restructure with minimal blowback.
Since 2015, the Tanzanian government has been pursuing a policy that prioritises economic development over political and human rights. However, the government’s vision of a new Tanzania has strained its relationship with Western countries, which have raised concerns about the deterioration of human rights and the closure of civic space in the country.
The Tanzanian Police Force has been a major obstacle in people’s efforts to fight for justice and democratic reforms. Its heavy-handed approach towards the government’s opponents and dissidents has allowed the government of President Magufuli to pass draconian laws that suppress citizens’ rights and freedom. Is it time to overhaul Tanzania’s law enforcement agency?
There are at least three fundamental reasons why it is improbable that there will be BBI-inspired constitutional amendments before Kenya’s general elections in August 2022: one, the amendment procedure is long, onerous and complex; two, a broad and genuine political consensus is required; and three, the constitution explicitly creates checks against unconstitutional constitutional amendments.