Why Wellness Is Elusive In Kenya

AzimaWellness Talk 06/2018

What Ails Our Economy!

Why Wellness is elusive in Kenya

Last week we had a conversation on how the Chinese are taking over poor countries assets for a song due to their inability to service loans. I hope you opened the link I copied at the tail end of the newsletter. The story of Sri Lanka ceding to China  70% of their Hambantota port for 99 years is chilling considering the level of debts we have taken from China and more are still being signed as I write this. My worry is our economy is not generating enough revenue to support our borrowing. Why is this the case?

We are more of commodity traders and pushers not entrepreneurs. We do little to nil production. We are even worse off when it comes to innovations. We are a consumer society. Most of the business transacted in Kenya go to enrich economies that produce the items we push. They give us loans to build infrastructure which they use to extend their distribution networks and increase their turnovers in Kenya .  When they setup their regional office in Kenya, they come with their own staff and machinery. Samsung comes in with Koreans. Oppo and Huawei come with Chinese. So does Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and others.

Where does this leave us? As spectators instead of active players.  Business is about competition. I like what Trump is doing in America to protect their interests. America first is not too bad for his people no matter what people would say about him. I do not support how he is going about it but I find the intentions logical.

What keep us playing small despite our good connection to the world economy?  Our problem is we are programmed to consume not to produce. We have a propensity to import not to export. We are not part of the global economy but it operates right in front of our eyes. We are spectators not players.

Where do we go from here?

We need new thinking. We need change agents to transform our relationship with other players in the economic realm. Political independence is useless without economic benefits. In a country like ours where the majority live from hand to mouth (the hand at most times has nothing to put in the mouth) we can hardly sustain a robust economy. We need to learn from other countries which we are similar in numbers or smaller but have a robust economy. South Korea has a population similar to Kenya. Its GDP is more than 15 times ours. Its land size is 1/5th of Kenya. What makes them so successful?


They upgraded their economy to the world stage. They manufacture products for the international market not just for their local population. They have empowered their people economically to earn a wage that support business growth. On the world stage, they target the people with purchasing power to afford their products. They use big data to determine the right mix of products to manufacture for specific market segments.

They started by partnering with Japanese , Americans and Chinese companies to make parts for them. This is how they became experts in manufacturing before they upgraded to make their own global  brands like Hyundai and Samsung.. one single section of Samsung has an annual turnover greater than Kenya’s GDP.  Their 2016 turnover was 7.2 trillion higher than Kenya GDP.
We need to learn from them. Sometimes, I wonder why we have failed to seize opportunities to do business with the mighty China. All the containers that come with goods to Kenya leave empty because they have nothing to carry back on the return trip. This is an opportunity waiting to be exploited.

It is sad that the Chinese are looking for companies they can contract to manufacture parts for their companies as South Korea does to no avail. They have even gone looking at the capacity of of our technical institutes to make these parts for construction  industry.

Anyone who can seize this opportunity?  To be continued. ….

With profound regards,
Maina Azimio
Founder and CEO
Azima Wellness Consultants LTD
Conference Speaker & Corporate Trainer in Total Wellness.

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