Most Kenyans take a dim view of the motherland and probably rightly so. We can give a hundred or so problems in Kenya, with the government and politicians taking the lion’s share of the blame. From being ranked ‘the optimistic country’ in 2007, a general sense of mistrust and cynicism has permeated in most spheres of the country
But a report published by the Economist shows Kenya is one of the few countries that contribute positive social good to the world. The Good Country Index ranks Kenya at position 26 out of the top 30 countries, and first in Africa.
The Index ranks countries that contribute to the well being of other countries, and to the world by extension in the fields of; international peace and security, science and technology, culture, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and well being.
The ranking of 125 countries was created by collecting and merging data from organizations like WHO and other UN agencies for over three years. Each country got a balance-sheet that showed whether they were a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between.
Kenya’s best ranking was in the area of prosperity and equality (16) and international peace and security (20) while we performed dismally in planet and climate (98) and culture (84).
Before you raise your eye brows on the prosperity and equality index, the factors that contributed to the measure include; open trading, UN volunteers abroad, fair-trade market size, FDI outflows and development assistance. Hosting refugees from neighboring countries and sending peace forces also helped Kenya rank higher in international peace and security
Ireland, Finland and Switzerland are ranked the top three countries in the Index having contributed the most good to the world.
While we are doing well in contributing to the well-being of the world, the story is a bit different at home. UN’s Human Development Index – which assesses such indices as education, health and income of the citizens – ranks Kenya at 147th in the world, essentially in the low human development category.
Kenya is 18th in Africa in the HDI ranking behind Libya, Mauritius and Seychelles which have the highest levels of human development in the continent and in the category of ‘high human development’. Countries like Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana are taking better care of their citizens as they are ranked in the Medium Human Development category.