Election season has arrived as Kenyans across the nation prepare to elect their new government and President on August 9th, 2022. Polling from previous elections has resulted in Kenyans feeling apprehensive during every election season post the 2007 Kenyan Presidential Elections. In 2007, President Mwai Kibaki was re-elected as president leading to a series of protests and violent attacks on protestors by the police. Similar events took place during the previous elections in August, 2017, where Human Rights Watch stated that the violence and brutality observed led to several human rights violations.
Living expenses in Kenya have been increasing at vast rates over the past few months, as seen in Figure 1 below. The inflation rate reached a high of 7.9% in the month of June, surpassing the ceiling rate the Kenyan Central Bank had estimated of 7% (Wamugu, 2022) .
The high rates of inflation in Kenya have been attributed primarily to the increasing fuel prices which have hiked up transportation costs, consequently impacting business operational costs. For instance, gasoline prices increased from 134.34KSH (1.14USD) per litre in May 2022, to 159.12KSH (1.35USD) per litre in June 2022 (Global Petrol Prices, 2022).
Recently, we had a talk with Soulemane Diaoune, Mkono's Head of Tech. He shared with us his experience with Mkono and discussed his ambitions for his role within the team.
Microcredit is a prominent approach to supporting women’s entrepreneurship and has provided a means to tackle several economic and social hurdles women face which have hindered their economic progression over decades. Microfinance has been a well-known economic tool supporting women in Kenya since the 1990s, and has since spread across the nation with several established organizations, such as the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT), Faulu Microfinance Bank and Uwezo Microfinance Bank. Although Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) have existed in the nation for decades, their success in empowering women is greatly contested.
Anita is a full stack engineer at Mkono within the Technology Team. She helps in the development of Chombo, Mkono’s internal software used to assist the Operations Team to automate and keep track of business processes. She shared with us her experience so far.