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Kenya Survey
In Kenya, corruption and patronage are listed as the first of four main barriers to development in the draft Country Development Diagnostic undertaken by DFID Kenya in close collaboration with other parts of the British High Commission and external partners:

“Corruption affects all areas of society: from poor health outcomes - as a result of mismanagement of funds; a barrier to investment and economic growth; and a justice system which struggles to remain independent and fails to deliver its core objectives. This is largely driven by a political system where there is patronage, and politicians seek to maintain power by rewarding their ethnic constituency in return for political support.”

In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report 2018 (here), Kenya ranks 93 out of a total of 140 countries in terms of its ‘incidence of corruption’ score. 26.4% of firms experienced at least one bribe payment request in Kenya, compared with the average of 23.7% across Sub-Saharan Africa, and 16.7% of public transactions involved a request for a gift or informal payment.

A 2017 survey conducted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) involving over 3,000 international and Kenyan companies reveals further insightful statistics(find the survey report here):
  • In the last three years, 10% of businesses decided not to move ahead with an investment for five main reasons, of which number four is corruption (the others include economic or political uncertainty, business downturn, and high cost of production).
  • 10.3% report to always provide gifts or make irregular payments in business transactions. 
  • 13% report that these gifts or payments always account for up to 10% of their revenues.

A recent Corruption Risk Mapping Survey by KEPSA which covered 1201 businesses in Kenya in April 2019 (here) reports that corruption and bribery exist in both the public and private sector in varying degrees. President Uhuru Kenyatta declared corruption a national security threat in 2015 and said, “there will be no mercy for the thieves”. While previous state-led anti-corruption drives have been and gone (e.g. under President Mwai Kibaki), the high-profile focus (as evidenced by several speeches) presents a moment of opportunity for the UK government to support this agenda. This includes the return of proceeds of corruption in Kenya that end up in the UK, which under the agreement President Kenyatta signed with the UK’s Prime Minister in 2018, will be given back to the Kenyan people.

Based on demand from the private sector, the Kenyan Bribery Act was enacted in 2016, which explicitly states that bribery (even extra-territorial) is a crime. According to the 2017 EACC survey, 60% of firms are supportive of the President’s anti-corruption drive and believe that eliminating corruption would help them grow their businesses.

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