In the last few years, Kenya has had to deal with the problem of high, erratic and volatile food prices, especially for staple and essential food commodities. Price variations are not problematic, if they move along an established trend reflecting market fundamentals or when they exhibit typical seasonal patterns. However, when they are large and cannot be anticipated, the variations create a level of uncertainty, which increases risks for producers, traders, consumers and governments.
In line with the new constitution, the government has taken positive strides in reforming the structures of public institutions. The passing of the constitution marked the climax in improving governance in general, with clear specific provisions on public finance. The implementation of the constitution is expected to profoundly change the landscape of financial governance by minimizing the monopolistic power that executive maintained over budget formulation and implementation process. It has opened up the process to intensive scrutiny by the
legislature, whose proposal can no longer be ignored. Also, it provides for institutional reforms that will deepen transparency and accountability in public affairs.
A study by KIPPRA on regional disparities in Kenya shows that relatively better regions in Kenya, in terms of lower poverty levels, are not necessarily those with better access to water, security, electricity connection and higher tarmac road density. The determinants of regional disparities in Kenya can be tracked from various dimensions. From a historical perspective, the initial infrastructure setup by the colonial government, that is the road and rail major corridors, was instrumental to the regions’ development where it was constructed. The same can be said of education facilities, which provided a head start to communities that accessed those facilities. It is also a possibility that the communities that got the brunt of white settlers in terms of displacement from their ancestral lands had to be entrepreneurial as a guarantee for survival. Therefore, a clear understanding of the genesis of regional disparities in Kenya may help various communities to rethink what needs to be done to develop their respective regions.