You are here: Home View More News and Highlights 'Status of Social Cohesion in Kenya' Report Launched

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) released the ‘Status of Social Cohesion in Kenya’ report on 8th December, 2014 at the Sarova Stanley Hotel, Nairobi. The report, which was a result of a study by the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), sought to compute a social cohesion index for Kenya and document the status of social cohesion in the country.

The Kenya Vision 2030 and other policy documents and initiatives envision an equitable society that is politically, economically and socially cohesive and integrated, where the citizens have a shared vision and sense of belonging while appreciating diversity. However, this is yet to be attained, judging from the sporadic community conflicts in the country. This necessitated the study, which focused on the social cohesion in Kenya in the year 2013.

The study encompassed six dimensions of social cohesion: trust, peace, equity, diversity, prosperity and national identity. Nationally, the Social Cohesion Index was estimated at 56.6 per cent. Social cohesion was marginally higher among rural relative to urban residents and increased marginally with age. At county level, Kiambu County had the highest composite index at 65.9 per cent, while Wajir County had the lowest composite score at 22.0 per cent.

The impediments to social cohesion as highlighted by the study included tensions over land rights as a direct or indirect source of conflicts. Some can be traced back to the colonial era while others had more recent root. These included high rate of youth unemployment, growing drug and substance abuse, delinquency and incidences of crime, food insecurity, income inequality and poor infrastructure. On the other hand, the discussions isolated the potential for inter-marriage and religion to provide the basis for conflict resolution and reconciliation. Activities such as sports and other cultural pursuits were also seen to have great potential.

Launching the report, Kenya’s Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga said the elites in Kenya were the architects and beneficiaries of a divisive society, adding that cohesion was a choice because we all are naturally equal.

KIPPRA’s Executive Director Dr. John Omiti introduced the report and urged the government to invest in early warning signs systems and ensure equity in access of opportunities. Dr Eldah Onsomu, a Policy Analyst at KiPPRA, gave a detailed overview of the study -- its objectives, methodolody, findings and recommendations.

According to NCIC Chairman Francis ole Kaparo, who was among the guest speakers at the launch, the arms of government were leading in the gloomy state of social cohesion in Kenya. He cited the turf wars between the Senate and National Assembly, and also the differences between the Executive and Judiciary.

The report suggests various remedies to stem out lack of social cohesion in the country. These include reducing horizontal and vertical inequalities; access to public services and opportunities; promoting social values, trust, peace and positive management of ethnic diversities; stemming poverty through a growth, redistribution and productivity oriented strategy; among others. The Social Cohesion Index Report 2013 will be presented to key actors who will facilitate or spearhead the implementation of the recommendations from the study, both at the National and the County levels.

Other guests who spoke during the launch were NCIC Chief Executive Officer Hassan Sheikh Mohamed, Chairperson of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman) Otiende Amollo, Deputy Country Director Programmes (DCD-P) UNDP Fernando Abaga Edjang, SIDA Sweden representative Anders Roquist, and National Police Service Commission Chairman Johnston Kavuludi, among others.

You are here: Home View More News and Highlights 'Status of Social Cohesion in Kenya' Report Launched
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