SOCIO – ECONOMIC DEFAULT IN PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
“Applying an economic perspective, and the lack of inclusion in many forms is a major driver of radicalization,” – Quy-Toan
Kenya is the most developed country in east and central Africa and is one of Africa’s strongest economy pillar currently number nine in the whole continent. Leading with an average annual growth of five percent in 2018. For last year’s we have seen consumer prices in Kenya going up to 3.7 percent.
However some areas in Kenya still face challenges including poverty, inequality, climate change and vulnerability to radicalization and violent extremist terror attacks. Most of this Violent Extremism (VE) affected areas in Kenya are prone to radicalization, while majority of those living in these regions have for years perceived themselves to be excluded from the national development agenda, and acknowledged to be flashpoints for radicalization and violent extremism activities that results from poverty, high illiteracy levels and under-investment in basic services.
The link between poverty and violent extremism is compelling, and means that if we want to address extremism, we must fight poverty too. But that does not mean we can sit at ‘Maskani’s’ and wait for the government to seek funds to initiate projects. As youth we can go out and demand to be engaged in economic activities. It is the silence of the youth that has led to massive corruption and looting of public resources.
There are a lot of ways of which the youth can engage themselves and change the ideology of joining violent extremism to earn a living. We can build resilience against violent extremism in our communities where adverse effects have the impact of encouraging both radicalization and violent extremism has led to massive corruption and looting of public resources. We can find better ways of how to address the bleeding economy in Kenya to suit the youth and reduce violent extremism.
By Pauline Kwamboka