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肯尼亚可以从中国学习什么


肯尼亚可以从中国学习什么

文| 维克多·奥扬戈(Victor Onyango)  肯尼亚《民族日报》记者    翻译| 周佳 



  导 读 

肯尼亚政府应该通过与中国陕西、海南等省份的合作与对照学习,共同努力消除贫困

● 非洲贫困现状

肯尼亚面临贫困挑战

减贫需借鉴中国经验



非洲贫困现状

非洲大陆坐拥丰富自然资源,然而不幸的是,尽管他们已经为消除贫困付出诸多努力,但许多国家仍处于不发达状态,深深困溺于贫困之中,肯尼亚亦在其中。非洲大地之所以遍布饥饿、疾病、艾滋和肮脏的环境,贫困是主要原因,这应归咎于欧洲国家对非洲多年的殖民和掠夺。

当贫困成为非洲大地的主基调,许多国家自独立以来便心安理得地接受西方援助,这不但滋生了非洲的依赖文化,同时助长了美国等国家的家长作风。时至今日,西方国家以捐款和贷款为主的财政援助,固然可以说是在刺激当地经济并减少对援助的依赖(例如可持续农业和青年创业),但事实上仍然是西方全方位控制非洲的工具。这些援助接受者正处在一个扭曲的时代,他们标榜的所谓“英雄人物”决定了他们应该如何进行选举、施行宪政以及选择贸易伙伴,而一旦没有按照西方意愿选出领导者,等待他们的便会是制裁和“旅行建议”。

但现实是,贫困让人往往无力承担医疗保障需求,也无法让子女接受教育。所以当每两个非洲人中就有一人处于贫困状态时,意味着整个非洲大陆有一半人无力承担医疗和教育。其结果是,健康不佳降低了劳动能力,直接影响了收入增长;教育薄弱让数百万非洲人脆弱而廉价,常常只能在无补偿的非正规经济行业中从事低薪工作。这让摆脱贫困的前景雪上加霜。

联合国儿童基金会的报告显示,南部非洲地区近一半儿童生活在赤贫之中,生活在贫困线以下的儿童可能性是成年人的两倍,发育迟缓、夭折和发育受损使他们比成年人更难以应对贫困。

肯尼亚面临贫困挑战

尽管如此,肯尼亚仍然有信心迫切需要从他们的最大贸易伙伴——中国,吸取如何消除正在吞噬经济的贫困和腐败的教训。

世界银行的统计数据显示,按照2009年人口普查数据,肯尼亚4000万人口中,38%的人生活在贫困线以下,这意味着每天有超过1500万人仅靠一美元生活。例如,2007年至今,城市贫困率统计保持不变,但因为人口剧增,贫困人口的绝对数量从230万增加到380万。生活成本的增加,特别是高昂的住房成本和食品价格,以及稀缺的就业机会,降低了城市家庭的可支配收入。

肯尼亚同样面临大多数非洲国家,如尼日利亚和南非在城市化过程中遇到的挑战,它拥有最大贫民窟——内罗毕基贝拉贫民窟。61%的肯尼亚城市人口无力购买经济适用房,政府试图通过对15%的公务员征税来实施经济适用住房计划。然而,在世界银行向该国提供2000万美元贷款以执行该计划的时候,却面临着法院延迟实施的法律纠纷。

减贫需借鉴中国经验

与此形成鲜明对比的是,那些生活在贫困线以下(每天低于3美元)的中国人却可以获得清洁的饮用水、完善的基础设施、良好的电力供应和稳定的医疗保障,还有正在由政府翻修的老旧住房,而肯尼亚却恰恰相反。

中国政府在两会期间发布的报告显示,1386万人摆脱了贫困。这归功于贫困农村地区基础设施的快速发展,这些地区兴建、修缮了约208000公里道路。同时也归功于中国农村地区的互联网现代化,目前94%的贫困村庄有网络服务,包括为给穷困人口的提供住房和翻修住房。

扩大与中国的合作。从包括蒙巴萨至内罗毕铁路在内的基础设施到居民住房,以弥合目前200万的住房赤字。中国从上世纪90年代初开始就大力打击腐败,同时奖励那些为促进经济增长有效利用公共资金吸引投资者的政府官员。中国还持续简政放权,赋予地方政府更大自主权力,确保地方政府能够做出迅速而重要的决定以吸引和稳定投资。

借鉴中国脱贫经验。1981年,51%的肯尼亚人口生活在贫困线以下,80%的中国人口极度贫困,但在2018年,中国的贫困率下降到不足2%,而肯尼亚的贫困率没有什么变化。政府统计数据显示,中国依然是一个发展中国家,仍然约有1600万贫困人口。但政府正不遗余力地让人民摆脱贫困。2015年,中国启动了一个脱贫攻坚战,以期到2020年成为一个完全脱贫国家。

为此,中国政府在全国范围内推行了一系列举措,包括发展当地产业和为贫困县提供财政支持等。中国扶贫开发办公室的统计数据显示,过去6年里,中国超过8000万人摆脱了贫困,贫困人口从2012年底的9899万减少到2018年底的1660万。

5月在西安召开的“国际扶贫合作一带一路论坛”开幕式上,陕西省委书记胡和平介绍了该省扶贫举措,他表示这项举措取得了显著进展。

西安市政府于2018年1月启动了“减贫超市”,以解决贫困地区农产品销售问题。该项目旨在通过挨家挨户购买交通不便村庄农户的农产品,建立“绿色通道”,并利用销售大数据进行“以销售为基础的生产”,以应对农产品销售面临的挑战。该计划有效地提高了贫困村庄和贫困户的士气,促进了农业产业的发展。陕西省减贫报告称,截至2019年4月,“减贫超市”提供了13个类别的200多个单项,其供应系统覆盖了10个下属城市、30多个合作社和900多个供应户。这些都应该是肯尼亚政府可以学习以消除贫困的,例如中国贫困人口正在接受教育和疾病(如癌症)补偿。

大力发展特色农业。肯尼亚是非洲茶叶主产地之一,但茶叶的收益并没有体现茶叶种植或茶园工作的效益。同样在中国陕西宁强县的茶叶农场,约有600户家庭通过政府推行的合作社,每个月可收入7560元。而肯尼亚政府创造的工作机会,却是与凯里科、南迪、基西、基安布和穆兰等县种植茶叶现实需求相悖的。肯尼亚可以向中国学习,通过修改宪法将更多的资源用于各县作为一种有权决策消除贫困的方式,同时通过合作社改善农民生产生活方式。

中国2018年国内生产总值(GDP)增长13.4万亿美元,成为仅次于美国的20.5万亿美元的世界第二大经济体。在习近平主席的领导下,中国提出了全面脱贫机制,以期到2020年成为一个消除贫困的国家。

中国政府对国家繁荣、开放、简政放权、反腐和城市化的不断追求,一直是中国实现其发展目标和脱贫路线图的重要指引。

实事求是地讲,我们无法将肯尼亚的经济实力与中国相提并论,但是肯尼亚政府应该利用现有条件消除贫困,而不是将其留在贪婪的政府官员和政治家手中。

学习借鉴反腐败经验。习主席在今年4月第二届“一带一路”国际合作高峰论坛期间提出,一带一路国家需要齐心协力打击腐败。肯尼亚需要保持坚定和稳定以遏制腐败,甚至成为一带一路成员国,与中国展开治理和反腐败合作。像每年3月中国各部委所做的一样,肯尼亚需要效仿其贸易伙伴采取严格的透明方式,在预算编制之前,每个部都举行新闻发布会向全国说明如何使用上年度预算。这可能会堵塞一些漏洞,也为公众提供了审查公共资金流向的黄金机会,也许可以遏制更多腐败丑闻。

积极响应一带一路倡议。作为共建一带一路倡议的积极成员,肯尼亚需要与中国展开更多合作,在消除贫困方面对照学习中国经验,并在如何处理住房赤字方面获得更多办法。甚至可以借鉴这些计划,因为其经济发展计划得到了农业部门的支持。就在今年年初,由于干旱造成的损失,图尔卡纳、巴林戈、伊西奥洛、加里萨、瓦吉尔、基利菲、马萨比特、塔纳河和桑布鲁等县的数百人死于饥饿并发症。肯尼亚政府应该通过与陕西、海南等中国省份的合作和对照学习,共同努力消除贫困。

总而言之,尽管还需要应对腐败,还需要艰难推进政府部门透明化,肯尼亚仍可以凭借自然资源(如图尔卡纳发现的石油、丰富的农产品和旅游资源等)消除贫困。



英文版




What Kenya Can Learn from China


By Victor Onyango  Journalist for The Daily Nation, Kenya


Africa is continent gifted with enormous natural resources, unfortunately, many countries remain underdeveloped as countries Kenya not left behind are deeply rooted in poverty despite numerous efforts by those countries to fight poverty.

Poverty in Africa remains the only cause of hunger, disease, aids and squalor which has always been attributed to the European colonialism and scramble for the continent for many years.

With poverty taking the centre stage, African countries have been recipients of foreign assistance from the west since their independence and these donations reached a point where majority of African countries had developed a culture of dependency and fostered paternalism for countries like U.S.

These financial aids in terms of donations and loans from the western were said up to now that they are meant to stimulate local economies and reduce aid dependency (such as sustainable agriculture and youth entrepreneurship) but they have remained to be tools used by the west to control Africa from all dimensions.

Recipients of these foreign assistance from US and other western countries are facing skewed time because their so called ‘demigods’ dictate how they should carry out their elections, constitutionalism as well as trading partners. If you fail to elect a leader who is liked by the west, you are being sanctioned and given travel advisories.

But the reality is that poor people often cannot afford the healthcare they require, nor are they able to educate their children to basic levels of education.

Thus the fact that almost everyone in two Africans are in a state of poverty means that half of the continent has a fundamentally compromised ability to afford healthcare and education, a reality that then makes the prospects of rising out of poverty more difficult. Poor health compromises one’s ability to physical work and exerts a great toll on income growth.

Poor education ensures that millions of Africans are vulnerable, stuck in low paying jobs, often in the informal economy that routinely undercompensate. Poverty itself makes it difficult for Africans to rise out of poverty.

According to Unicef, nearly half of all children in sub-Saharan Africa are living in extreme poverty; children are twice as likely as adults to be living below the poverty line.

And because more children live in poverty, they are much less likely than an adult to cope with extreme poverty because of stunting, infant mortality and compromised early childhood development.

Nevertheless, it is with confidence that Kenya urgently needs to induce some lessons from their number one trading partner China on how to fight poverty and corruption which is eating the economy.

With a population of over 40 million per the 2009 census, 38 percent of Kenyans are living below the poverty line which means that more than 15 million people are living on a dollar per day according to World Bank statistics.

For example, the urban poverty rate have remained statistically unchanged from 2007 to date, and in fact, the absolute number of urban poor increased from 2.3 million to 3.8 million due to high population growth. Increasing living costs, especially because of high housing costs as well as high food prices, paired with scarce job opportunities have reduced the disposable income for urban households.

Kenya is not left out in the urbanization challenge facing most of the African countries like Nigeria and South Africa with Kibera, largest slum in the Southern Sahara being in Nairobi as the government tries to roll out the affording house program through taxing civil servants 15 percent because 61 percent Kenyan urban population are unable to afford affordable housing.

The move however has faced legal battle with court suspending it at a time when World Bank has given the country a loan of $20 million to execute the program because the surging urban population cannot afford housing.

Whereas those living below poverty line (below US $3 per day) in China have access to clean water, good infrastructure, electricity and better healthcare as well as good housing where those in dilapidated status, are being renovated by the government, the reverse is true in Kenya.

But according to China’s government report released during the Two Sessions, 13.86 million people were lifted out of poverty. The outstanding achievement was partly attributed to the accelerating development of infrastructure in poverty-stricken rural areas, where some 208,000 kilometres of roads were constructed and renovated. There was also modernization of the internet networks in China’s rural areas, with 94 percent of poor villages covered including providing housing and renovating houses for the poor.

Kenya can expand its cooperation with Beijing from the current infrastructural which includes Mombasa-Nairobi railway to housing in order bridge the current 2 million housing deficit.

From early 1990s, Chinese people have carried out vigorous campaigns to eliminate corruption and reward those government officials who have used public money efficiently as a means of attracting investors for the economy to grow.

China has continued to enhance the spirit of devolution hence giving local governments greater powers that enable them to make swift and important decisions to attract and stabilize investments.

By 1981, 51 percent of Kenya’s population was living below the poverty line while China’s 80 percent of its population were extremely impoverished but in 2018, China’s poverty rate fell to less than 2 percent while Kenya’s rate has not changed so much.

For instance, China is still a developing country and has about 16 million poor people, according to government statistics. But the government is relentless in lifting its people out of poverty. In 2015, it launched a poverty reduction campaign and set a five-year target of becoming a free poverty nation by 2020.

Across the country, the government has stepped up several initiatives, including development of local industries and financial support for impoverished counties.

Statistics from China’s Poverty Alleviation and Development office showed that over 80 million people were lifted out of poverty in the past six years, slashing the poor population from 98.99 million at the end of 2012 to 16.6 million at the end of 2018.

At the opening of “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Poverty Reduction” held in Xi’an, last month, Hu Heping, CPC Secretary, Shaanxi Provincial Committee revolved out the province poverty reduction initiatives, which, he said had made outstanding progress.

In Xi’an, the city authorities launched what it called “Poverty Reduction Supermarkets” in January 2018 to address the sales challenge of agricultural produce in poverty-stricken areas.

The aim was to collect agricultural products from rural farmers in hard-to-reach villages through door-to-door purchase, build “green channel” to address challenges and leverage on sales big data to undertake “sales-based production”. The programme has effectively boosted the morale of poor villages and households to develop agricultural industry.

 As of April 2019, the supermarkets offered more than 200 single items in 13 categories with its supply system covering 10 cities with subordinate districts, more than 30 cooperatives and over 900 supply households in the province, Shaanxi poverty reduction report said.

Such initiatives are some of the moves Kenya’s government can learn in order to fight poverty like the case where people in poverty in China are being compensated for education and diseases such as cancer too.

Kenya is a leading tea production country in Africa but the proceeds of tea is not being witnessed in the well-being of those growing tea or working in tea plantations.

But in Ninggiang County tea farm in Shaanxi which around 600 families depend on, they earn 7560 RMB a month because of cooperatives strengthened by the government as more job opportunities are created contrary to what happen in counties like Kericho, Nandi, Kisii, Kiambu and Murang’a where tea farming is taking place in Kenya.

This means that what Kenya can learn from China is the anti-corruption policies, amend the constitution to have more resources taken to counties as a way of having powers to make decisions of fighting poverty. At the same time, empower farmers through cooperatives in a way to elevate their lives.

Currently, its 2018 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of US $ 13.4 trillion places it the second economic giant in the world after United State with $ 20.5 trillion.

With the guidance of President Xi Jinping, China has come up with comprehensive poverty eradication mechanism as it eyes to become a poverty-free nation by 2020.

Love for the country to prosper, quality policies and opening up, decentralization, anti-corruption and urbanization remains to be important tools in China’s roadmap for achieving its development goals and fighting poverty.

Yes some people might say that we cannot compare the strength of China’s economy to that of Kenya but government should use what is there to make some progress to fight poverty rather than leaving it in the hands of greedy government officials and politicians.

Kenya needs to remain firm and steady to whip out corruption and even cooperate with China as a member country of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in good governance as well as fight against corruption as suggested by President Xi during the second BRI forum in April that BRI countries need to come together to fight corruption.

However, Kenya needs to emulate its number trading partner to adopt some hard ways of transparency in that before budget is read, every Ministry holds a press conference to explain to the nation how it used its previous budget and with that, we might seal some loopholes in the fight against corruption just the way ministries in China do it every March. This gives the public golden opportunities to scrutinize how their money is used to curb more dam scandals from happening in future.

As an active member of BRI, Kenya needs to cooperate more with China and benchmark on the aspects of combating poverty as well as get more insights on how to handle housing deficit. It can even borrow from such programs because its economy is supported by agricultural sector.

Early this year, hundreds of people from counties like Turkana, Baringo, Isiolo, Garissa, Wajir, Kilifi, Baringo, Marsabit, Tana River and Samburu died from starvation complications as  drought took its toll. This is something which Kenyan government should handle through cooperating and benchmarking with Chinese provinces such as Shaanxi, Hainan among others to learn plus work jointly to fight poverty.

In conclusion, with the country’s natural resources like the discovered oil in Turkana, agricultural products and tourism strength, the government can tap all these with the aim of eradicating poverty notwithstanding confronting corruption and advocating for transparency in all government sectors.




文| 维克多·奥扬戈(Victor Onyango)  肯尼亚《民族日报》记者

编辑 | 张梅

设计 | 李玉丹