Kenya remained a low human development country despite having shown improvement in education and health in the area of vaccination and antenatal care.
“Kenya remains ahead of the East African countries followed by Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi,” UNDP Resident Coordinator Aeneas Chuma said while releasing the report.
Chuma said the report which measured development in 187 countries ranked Norway at the top while Democratic Republic of Congo was the lowest ranked.
“In terms of change from the previous year, it has just been marginal, Kenya has gone up by one,” he added.
Gabon was graded first in Sub- Saharan Africa.
Planning and National Development Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth noted that inequalities in opportunities were a major cause of poverty in the country.
“Standing at position 143 is not a very enviable position and the fact that we are leading in East Africa should not be a good way to compare ourselves. When you compare ugly situations and come out best, it is definitely not the way to equate ourselves,” Kenneth stated.
The report has also indicated that fighting climate change and inequalities was instrumental to progress in Africa. It said that stable progress in human development in Sub-Saharan Africa could stall and even reverse unless bold steps were taken to reduce environmental risks and inequalities in the region and around the world.
“It is critical that we do fewer projects that will have more impact on our people than doing many projects that have less impact,” the Planning Assistant Minister said.
“Kenya is not short of good plans; it is not short of good dreams about how life and human development should be in Kenya. What we seriously lack is alignment of critical funds to implement the plans that Kenyans have developed for themselves,” Kenneth noted.
He said although vision 2030 was a very good document, it would only work if enough funds were put in its implementation.
“If no funds are aligned to that, it will just remain but a vision 2030,” he stated.
The report titled Sustainability and Equity: a better future for all showed that the current trends like inequality and worsening environmental conditions would be a barrier to development in the continent and globally.
“Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave environmental risks and deepening social inequalities threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world’s poor majority,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in the preamble.
The annual human development report is a publication of the United Nations Development Programme.