Focus on Kenya
Leadership: Kenya is a Republic, becoming independent from Britain in 1963.
President: Uhuru Kenyatta became President in April 2013. Uhuru is the son of the first president of the state of Kenya (in 1963), Jomo Kenyatta. Uhuru chosen William Ruto as running mate for his campaign this year and named the alliance between them “the Jubilee Alliance”. Uhuru is from the largest tribe in Kenya the Kikuyu and William is from the Kalenjin tribe. Both were at the centre of December 2007 political violence that claimed over 1,500 lives. Their involvement remains under investigation by the International War Crimes Tribunal.
• Uhuru is recognised as one the wealthiest people in Kenya, benefitting from the huge business empire his father established. In spite of his wealth, the first televised election debate revealed a man who was able to joke and use every day colloquial jargon / language that the average Kenya would be able to associate with.
• The long awaited new constitution was voted in in 2010 with an overwhelming majority, indicating the longing from the Kenya people to see change for good.
• June 2013: the British government formally acknowledged the atrocities committed in the 1950’s against the Mau Mau uprising and apologies, committing to compensation.
Lord, so much political change is happening in Kenya. We thank you for the new constitution in 2010 and the peaceful elections this year. We pray Uhuru Kenyatta as he seeks to lead this nation through these challenging times. We are thankful for the recognition and apology extended by the British government to Kenya and pray that reconciliation and the healing of ethnic wounds would extend throughout the country. Lord we pray for a united and healing nation of Kenya. We pray for solidarity and love to seep deeply into each household. Thank you for the response of many who came to serve those affected by the recent attack in the Westgate Mall, those who gave blood, who reached out to one another.
Economy: It is estimated that about 50% of Kenya’s population live below the poverty line. The breakdown of GDP compositions in the country are roughly:
• Agriculture: 24%
• Industry: 15%
• Services: 61%
The country has been rocked by on-going corruption and fraud scandals which have left the country with chronic budget deficits. In 2006 there was a request from the World Bank and IMF to deal with this corruption and a temporary cessation for future loans, but these have resumed with little change in dealing with the corruption. Unemployment is currently at around 40%. Recent discoveries of oil in Kenya may help, but this will all depend on whether a small group of people hold all the money and keep Kenya locked in corruption and the struggle to get out of poverty.
Lord we pray for:
• The struggle for good harvests as droughts and food shortages impact many. We pray for good rains and productive harvests so that this nation not only supports itself but can care for the many refugees that survive on its borders.
• We pray for business investment that will create much needed jobs and support the development of Kenya. Lord, reveal those who would exploit and steal – may your light shine on their deeds so as to root out the corruption that holds this country back.
Social: Over 40% of the population are under 14 years of age. Education at primary school level has been improved but many children still cannot continue onto secondary school. Only 6% of Kenya’s GDP is invested back into education.
The urban slums are home to over 100,000 street children.
Let us take time to pray for the ministries for children in Kenya and for the all those involved in the education system.
Faith: Kenya has a remarkable number of Christian ministries and missions based there. The impact of the church can be seen and felt everywhere which we can thank God for. At the same time we want to stand with the church in its role to reflect Jesus to all, through love, integrity and grace.
Let us pray for the leaders of churches and Christian organisations, that they would lead by example and through service, demonstrating Kingdom values. Especially in their response to the growing fear of radical Islamic fundamentalism. May they be the ones to reach out to Muslims in genuine love and friendship, seeking to work towards a united Kenya that stands together in times of crisis.