In November 2020, FSD Kenya was invited to co-chair a session at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Development Symposium. The 2020 symposium, bringing together experts and mid-career professionals from sciences and social sciences, debated the question: ‘How can we build resilience in world of shared resources?’. The symposium focused on 3 areas: economic resources, human resources and natural resources. FSD Kenya was asked to co-chair a session on economic resources together with Eka Ikpe of Kings College London.
Rather than a ‘cost’ to the state, social protection is an essential component of any sustainable, national economic growth strategy. Most of the world’s successful economies are significant investors in social protection, with spending across the OECD averaging 12 per cent of GDP.
The COVID-19 pandemic, termed ‘the Great Disruption’ hit the global economy in 2020 and was defined by divergent impact within and between economies. 2021 is already being defined by multispeed and divergent recovery in the global and local economies.
Kenya has received world-wide recognition as leader in financial innovation. This is a laudable achievement because finance holds the potential to unlock solutions to the real-world problems that Kenyans face in their daily lives.
In 2019, FSD Kenya and Turaco – a Kenyan microinsurtech startup providing simple, low-cost health and life insurance products to emerging market consumers – collaborated on a three-month pilot project in with a leading digital lender in Kenya. The study found that 80% of respondents were most interested in an in-patient cover to cushion the cost of hospital admissions, saying getting such insurance for free is incentive enough to repay their loans on time. Almost 50% of the treatment group opted in to having insurance payments added to their future loans, citing the idea of low-cost insurance from a financial service provider they know and trust as a key incentive.
Why is agricultural sector the least funded sector in Kenya by the formal financial sources despite being the largest sector in terms of GDP contribution (at over 50% GDP contribution directly and indirectly)?