Ban Ki-moon the former UN Secretary General once defined sustainable development as ‘the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.’
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) can accelerate Kenya’s walk along this pathway. SEZs operate under a different set of laws conducive to business. As such, they can turbo-charge sustainable development by boosting Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Exchange revenue.
Pressing Kenya’s rewind button will lead us to 2009 when the price of Maize Flour was about Ksh150. Despite this high prize and dire maize shortage in the country, the hand of corruption reached into Kenya’s maize reserve and ripped out 80,000 bags of maize valued at Ksh150 million. Briefcase maize millers that were allocated the maize allegedly sold this maize to South Sudan.
Exactly two decades ago in 1997, researchers from the University of Maryland in USA revealed that ecosystem services in the world were worth a staggering USD33 trillion. This amount was almost double the entire global economic wealth. Ecosystem Services come directly from nature and provide us with basic needs like food and water. More broadly, the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment placed ecosystem services into four areas: supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services. Contained in these ecosystem services is natural capital that is worth trillions.
Seven out of ten Kenyans are at risk of catching malaria. Those who catch it are at the risk of becoming part of the 400,000 people in the world who die from malaria every year. Most of these victims are babies and pregnant women from sub-Saharan Africa.
Against this bleak backdrop, the recent announcement by the World Health Organisation that Kenya will be one of the three African countries to participate in the new Mosquitrixmalaria vaccination programme is welcome news. But even as we await for the trials of this vaccination programme, we should also look East and embrace the malaria medicine that has worked there for centuries.
According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, there were 1.6 million cars on Kenya’s roads in 2011.National Transport and Safety Authority further records that between 2012 and 2016 nearly 1.2 million more vehicles joined our roads.It is therefore assumed that there are currently an estimated 2.3 million serviceable vehicles plying our roads.
According to the UN Environment, vehicle population in Nairobi is expected to double in the next six years. While this is indicative of a growing middle class, it has also made Nairobi one of Africa’s most polluted cities.