Kenya has its Presidential election coming up on August 8. This has some major consequences for Kenya, East Africa, and Africa as a whole. First, Kenya has seen a lot of activity over the last few years from the terrorist organization, Al-Shabaab. This will be an opportune time for them to cause mayhem. Also, Kenya has been assisting Somalia in the fight against terrorism. The opponent in this year’s election is declaring that he will end this support. Kenya is the second largest economy in the region, and supports a lot of workers. Finally, Kenya is the hub for most of the humanitarian aid that takes place in East Africa. This includes South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. Each of these areas could have a major impact on the Christian populations of these countries.
07/31/2017 Kenaya (Al-Jazeera) – Kenyans will be heading to the polls on August 8 for elections that have been closely followed not just in the Horn of Africa country but across the world.
Election posters have replaced consumer goods ads on street billboards as politicians step up their campaigns to win over the 19 million registered voters.
It is the sixth presidential election since the country of more than 45 million people embraced a multiparty democratic system in 1992.
So why do the elections in Kenya matter not just to Kenyans but to the rest of the African continent and the world?
Nairobi is East Africa’s economic hub, and the country is the second-largest economy in the region, according to figures from the World Bank and the International Monitory Fund (IMF).
Until late 2014, when its larger neighbour, Ethiopia, overtook it, Kenya had the biggest economy – at more than $60bn – of the East Africa region.
“Kenya was quick to welcome foreign investors, more than its neighbours. Kenya, for a long time, had the fastest developing economy in the region,” Samuel Nyademo, an economist at Nairobi University, told Al Jazeera.
“Foreign investors put a lot of money, for example, in the aviation, banking, tourism and the telecommunications sectors. These sectors generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues for the government and employ thousands of Kenyans. Anything other than smooth elections will be a disaster,” Nyademo explained.
Nairobi is also home to the region’s most developed stock market and, according to Nyademo, the rhetoric on the campaign trails can affect share prices.
The port in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa serves neighboring landlocked countries like South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.