Demonetization Gets Rid of Black Money is a Fallacy

Kwame Owino
Post Date: 30 April 2021

This fad captured the imagination not only of policymakers but also of many citizens. In essence, demonetization is the policy choice of ensuring the obsolescence of state-issued currency denomination against a tight timeline of a few months or less. The literature shows that three main reasons are often cited for this policy measure. 

The Delusion That Was and Is COVID 19 Measures in the Matatu Sector

Fiona Okadia
Post Date: 26 April 2021

Regulating the public service transport (PSV) system, particularly the matatu sector in Kenya, which is a quasi-formal sector has been problematic. A case in point is the well documented resistance of the Legal Notice No. 161 of October 2003 rules and regulation (Often referred to as Michuki rules 2003). The policy objective of this regulations was to institute improved organization of the sector through SACCOs by among things phasing out 14-seater matatus in preference to bigger capacity matatus.

Fast forward to mid-March 2020, after the outbreak of COVID pandemic, the government intervened in regulating the PSV sector, in the fight in reducing transmission of COVID given its importance and the role it plays in enabling mobility of people. To this end, supportive policies to enable it to assist in curbing the spread of the pandemic were then put in place. In particular, the COVID-19 regulations anticipate that every matatu should provide hand-sanitizers for all passengers before boarding the vehicle. In addition to this, the vehicles need to be cleaned twice a day and long-distance operators are required to keep a detailed list of all their passengers. Furthermore, to prevent contamination, Kenyan officials have stated that 14-seater matatus will carry only eight passengers, and vehicles that carry more than 30 passengers will carry not more than 60 percent of their capacity. These are guidelines that hoped that as the matatu industry ferries thousands of people every day from one destination to the other, these people will be protected. 

Is Education Technology the great equalizer? Lessons from Kenya

Oscar Ochieng and Winnie Ogejo
Post Date: 21 April 2021

In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic plunged the world into an unprecedented education crisis that left 1.6 billion learners out of the classroom, from pre-primary to college. This situation forced countries to find alternative modes of delivering education. The World Bank estimates that 53% of learners in Low-Income-Countries have no reading proficiency by age 10. Prolonged school closures are likely to magnify the already existing inequalities. Literacy, digital, and general skills gaps widen and further threaten the academic and professional prospects for young people. According to a Save the Children report, over 9 million children could miss out on education permanently due to the pandemic.

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