Connect with us

News & Analysis

How to Eradicate Poverty for Inclusive Development in Kenya



By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), Winner of Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021*

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to inform the efforts of member states in achieving sustainable development, poverty eradication, and environmental conservation and protection. They offer an integrated approach, which is environmentally conscious, to combating the various problems that affect the human society as well as the environmental resources. It has rightly been argued that a development strategy anchored in inclusive growth can have two mutually reinforcing strategic focuses, namely: high, sustainable growth which can create and expand economic opportunities; and broader access to these opportunities which can ensure that members of society can participate in and benefit from growth. This is meant to ensure that growth reaches the impoverished who remain excluded by circumstance, poor governance, and other market-resistant obstacles.

Gender Sensitive Approaches to Poverty Eradication

Poverty affects males and females in varying ways and as such, any efforts geared towards its eradication should bring on board all the affected parties in order to come up with effective mechanisms that will not only reflect and address the needs of all sections of the society, but will also facilitate participation of all. This is also important as it helps generate social acceptance of the government’s policies while are geared towards addressing the real issues affecting its people. In most parts of the world, women comprise the largest group among those excluded from the benefits of economic expansion and thus ought to be closely involved in development agenda to address their unique needs and ensured that they are also empowered in all spheres of life. One of the main reasons why it is critical to empower women is the fact that women are considered as economic actors: they produce and process food for the family; they are the primary caretakers of children, the elderly and the sick; and their income and labour are directed toward children’s education, health and well-being.97 If both men and women are empowered, then households will get closer to eradicating poverty and focus on self-actualization and national development.

Eradicating Poverty for Environmental Sustainability

Poverty deprives people of the choice about whether or not to be environmentally sound in their activities. The 1987 Brundtland Commission Report stated: ‘those who are poor and hungry will often destroy their immediate environment in order to survive: They will cut down forests; their livestock will overgraze grasslands; they will overuse marginal land; and in growing numbers they will crowd into congested cities. The cumulative effect of these changes is so far-reaching as to make poverty itself a major global scourge.’ This may result in climate change, which again, has the reverse effect of contributing to poverty due to dwindling natural resources. Thus, poverty eradication should go hand in hand with climate mitigation measures. Notably, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development acknowledges this interrelationship as it seeks to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by the year 2030.

Value Addition Model versus Commodity Export Model for Africa

It has been pointed out that one of the greatest unresolved challenges facing Africa’s agribusiness sector is the lack of value addition. As a way of addressing poverty in Kenya and Africa in general, there is a need for governments to adopt and develop the value addition model as opposed to a commodity export model, as a way of promoting the use of the resources as anchors for regional growth clusters and consequently ensuring that they attract value-addition industries for job creation. Notably, most processing of cash crops in Africa is basic where the majority of cash crops go through the bare minimum required for export or sale to the next part of the value chain and the results are that while African farmers and processors put in all the work to make a fungible commodity that is easy to trade, all of the value add goes to those further down the chain.

There is a need to change this practice as way of ensuring that African farmers and processors get value for the African resources and also get an opportunity for job creation which will ultimately help in alleviation of poverty. The lack of an efficient marketing infrastructure in Africa which prevents farmers and processors from getting full value from their crop, even in its raw form ought to be addressed in order to reverse this trend. Such initiatives as the African Union’s African Commodity Strategy, a part of Agenda 2063, should be fully exploited in order to find strategic measures to address price volatility and to use Africa’s wealth of natural resources and absolute advantage in the commodities market to ensure that Africa’s commodities are used for its industrialisation.

Notably, increased participation in international trade can catalyse economic growth and foster sustainable development. As such, promoting value addition and enhancing domestic productive capacity is therefore of continuing importance in developing countries as they seek to participate beneficially in global trade.  There is also a need for diversification of economic activities in the country as this may cushion the communities and national economy generally from unforeseen disruptions or a decline in the agricultural sector production which is prone to climate change yet it is considered to be the backbone of Kenya’s economy. The need for diversification has been witnessed in rural areas where it was reported in 2019 that poverty declined considerably in rural areas, from about 50% in 2005-06 to 38.8% in 2015-16, largely attributed to the increasing importance of non-agricultural income (particularly commerce) to supplement agricultural income for rural households, which has been aided by the expansion of mobile money and the telecommunication revolution. There is therefore a need for the Government to work closely with stakeholders in different sectors to create opportunities for the Kenyan people, as a channel for diversification.

Population Control

Notably, while African economies are generating more income, that income has to be shared among an ever-increasing number of people, thus causing a slower rate in poverty reduction than population growth. The result has been that as more people leave the poverty class, others are joining that reducing the rate of poverty eradication in the continent. For instance, in Kenya, in 2009, it was estimated that Kenya had a population of 37.7 million people and the figure grew to about 47.6 million people in 2019. As already pointed out, high population growth comes with extra expenditure and stretched out incomes thus undoing all the gains made in eradication of poverty. There is a need for the Government to work closely with other stakeholders such as religious organizations, civil societies and NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs) to educate the communities on the need for birth control. This will not only ease strain on the particular households but also on the national economy.

Need for Increased Access to Finance for Communities Empowerment

It has been pointed out that eradicating deprivations, building capabilities and opening up opportunities require investment and as a result, governments should not only increase public spending towards empowerment programmes and measures but should also work closely with the private sector in order to help increase access and offer new approaches to provisioning. While there has been a number of Kenyan Government funded initiatives aimed at financing youth and women groups for empowerment, and commendably so, there is a need for the Government to also consider the men folk especially in the villages and informal urban settlements especially where the man is the head of the household. This will not only ensure that there is equity and equality but will also empower these households financially especially where the man has children and no wife or the wife is not in a position to work for gain for one reason or the other.

Empowered households are able to tackle poverty without waiting for government handouts and donations and this also safeguards their dignity as human beings. This is also likely to spur economic diversification through investments in non-agricultural sectors such as information technology and science and technology in general, in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The Government should thus continually work with financial institutions to ensure that financing is available to all those who need it. This should target both formal and informal sectors in both urban and rural areas for accelerated eradication of poverty in Kenya. However, the Government should also ensure that as these groups of people make their investment, there is a conducive tax regime to promote growth and development as well as ready markets both within the country and outside Kenya for the marketing of the end products, whichever the sector.

Promotion of Regional and International Trade

Trade is one of the most critical driving forces of economic development for all countries, usually aimed at development and the eradication of poverty. The World Bank asserts that countries that are open to international trade tend to grow faster, innovate, improve productivity and provide higher income and more opportunities to their people. In addition, open trade also benefits lower-income households by offering consumers more affordable goods and services. The Government of Kenya should continually take advantage of the regional and international trade agreements and deals that will ensure that they get markets for goods and services produced or offered in the country and also ensure that the market remains affordable for the average Kenyan especially for goods and services that may not be available locally. This has the twin effect of not only ensuring that Kenyans earn money but also ensuring that they get the best deals when making purchases. The increased disposable income and the potential savings by consumers from an expanded market has the potential to address poverty and ultimately contribute to national development.

*This article is an extract from the Article: “Eradicating Poverty for Inclusive Development in Kenya,” (2021) Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development Volume 7(3), p. 81  by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya). Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2022.


Muigua, K., “Eradicating Poverty for Inclusive Development in Kenya,” (2021) Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development Volume 7(3), p. 81.

News & Analysis

Why is THE LAWYER AFRICA Listing Top Law Firms and Top Lawyers?




The Litigation Hall of Fame | Kenya in 2023 (The Most Distinguished 50 Litigation Lawyers in Kenya).

We live in the age of information overload where too much information (TMI) is increasingly making it difficult to find actionable legal data about a good law firm or lawyer. At the same time, legal services are increasingly going digital and finding your next lawyer is a now a matter of a few clicks. Many existing, new and potential clients are interested to know more about the lawyer handling or likely to handle their next case or transaction as every HR Manager seeks to know how their In-house Lawyer or next hire compares to peers.

The biggest dilemma especially for commercial consumers of legal services  is where to begin the journey in finding the law firm or the lawyer to meet their immediate legal need created by their new venture,  business, transaction or dispute. In-house counsel are also called upon to justify opting for one lawyer or law firm or over the other.  Hence, the rise in the popularity of international law directories rankings as an attempt to fill the yawning gap by listing a few dozen lawyers and law firms in esoteric categories that often don’t align with the legal needs of the domestic legal market.

But ranking two dozen elite lawyers or big law firms in a big jurisdiction like Kenya there are over 20,000 lawyers is merely a drop in the ocean. The result is the same candidates are listed year after year and an In-house Legal Team looking to infuse new blood in their external counsel panel is left very little discretion. At best, International legal ranking only succeed to tilt the scales in favour of few big firms and their lawyers and to aid the choice of International Legal buyers who are constrained for time in picking their External Counsel in jurisdictions where they cannot find referrals.

The questions that beg are: What about the other top law firms and lawyers who are equally good if not better but don’t have the time to fill the technical paperwork that comes with International Legal Directories rankings? What about Domestic Legal Buyers who simply want to justify why they prefer a lawyer or law firm not listed in the International Directory? Can increasing the number of listed lawyers or law firms from less 0.1% of the profession (as captured by International Law Directories) to at least 1% of the profession or higher for those specializing in the practice area help in enhancing access to justice in Africa? Can ranking law firms by number of fee earners help in the quest for a more accurate bird’s eye view of a country’s legal landscape?

At THE LAWYER AFRICA, we have set out to list Top Law Firms and Top Lawyers in the various practice areas in a way that democratizes law rankings and listings and brings this essential value add within reach of most lawyers and every law firms doing top legal work. We don’t promise to list all the top lawyers or law firms, but we commit to make sure every lawyer or law firm we list is at the top of the game in the listed practice area. We aim to help both little known and already known law firms and lawyers doing top legal work in their area of specialization get discovered by discerning clients and possibly get more opportunities to do great work.

THE LAWYER AFRICA is looking to list up to Top 200 Law Firms in every African Jurisdiction based on their reputation and number of fee earners headcount with a goal of listing at least Africa’s Top 1,000 Law Firms which are leaders in their respective countries. We also seek to list up to Top 1,000 Lawyers in every country in Africa in at least five main practice areas, namely, Litigation, Commercial Law, Property law, In-house and Private Sector or more.

THE LAWYER AFRICA categorizes law firms in large jurisdictions as Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 50 and Top 100 (and allow tying where number of counsel is equal). The Top Lawyers are listed in three categories, namely, Hall of Fame (the Distinguished Top 50 or 75 Practitioners in a Practice Area), Top 100 (the Leading Top 100 Practitioners in a Practice Area) and Up-and-Coming (the promising Top 50 or 75 Practitioners in a Practice Area).  The placing of a listings depends on a number of key factors including the number of key matters or transactions handled, years in practice and experience, size of team working under a counsel, reputation and opinion of peers (where available) as established by THE LAWYER AFRICA.

THE LAWYER AFRICA prefers to list a counsel in only one listing, as far as possible. The Team tries (as far as possible) not to contact listed law firms or lawyers before the listing is finalized in the first. However, a listed law firm or lawyer may be contacted at the pre-launch stage of a list for purposes of selling merchandise relating to the launch but such engagement will not affect the listing. In case of future listings, it is expected that interested lawyers or law firms who feel they were previously left out of the list may to provide information for consideration to determine if they qualify for the next listing but that will not guarantee any listing.

THE LAWYER AFRICA undertakes not to charge for listing any lawyer or law firm. However, upon publication of a listing, as part of recovering the sunk costs we incur in the research and publication of the listings, we shall charge a token for printing and shipping of Quality A3 Certificate for listed Law Firms and/or A4 Certificate for listed Lawyers who wish to have or display the branded souvenirs or to use our proprietary digital materials in their business  branding. We may also charge listed and unlisted law firms and lawyers an affordable fee for limited banner advertising or publishing of enhanced profiles next to the listings.

For any question or feedback on any list or listing, feel free to contact THE LAWYER AFRICA PUBLISHER at info[at]thelawyer[dot]africa.

Continue Reading

News & Analysis

The Roles of the Three Parts of the Permanent Court of Arbitration




H.E. Amb. Marcin Czepelak, the Fourteenth Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

Continue Reading

News & Analysis

Brief History of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)




By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, C.Arb, Current Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Representing the Republic of Kenya.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is a 124 Years Old Intergovernmental Organization currently with 122 contracting states. It was established at the turn of 20th Century during the first Hague Peace Conference held between 18th May and 29th July 1899. The conference was an initiative of then Russian Czar Nicholas II to discuss peace and disarmament and specifically with the object of “seeking the most effective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and, above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments.” The culmination of the conference was the adoption of a Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which dealt not only with arbitration but also with other methods of pacific settlement, such as good offices and mediation.

The aim of the conference was to “strengthen systems of international dispute resolution” especially international arbitration which in the last century had proven effective for the purpose with number of successful international arbitrations being concluded among Nations. The Alabama arbitration of 1871-1872 between the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) under the Treaty of Washington of 1871 culminating in the arbitral tribunal’s award that the UK pay the US compensation for breach of neutrality during American Civil War which it did had demonstrated the effectiveness of arbitration in settling of international disputes and piqued interest of many practitioners in it as a mode of dispute resolution during the latter years of the nineteenth century.

The Institut de Droit International adopted a code of procedure for arbitration in 1875 to answer the need for a general law of arbitration governing for countries and parties wishing to have recourse to international arbitration. The growth of arbitration as a mode of international dispute resolution formed the background of the 1899 conference and informed its most enduring achievement, namely, the establishment of the PCA as the first global mechanism for the settlement of disputes between states. Article 16 of the 1899 Convention recognized that “in questions of a legal nature, and especially in the interpretation or application of International Conventions” arbitration is the “most effective, and at the same time the most equitable, means of settling disputes which diplomacy has failed to settle.”

In turn, the 1899 Convention provided for the creation of permanent machinery to enable the setting up of arbitral tribunals as necessary and to facilitate their work under the auspices of the institution it named as the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). In particular, Article 20 of the 1899 Convention stated that “[w]ith the object of facilitating an immediate recourse to arbitration for international differences which it has not been possible to settle by diplomacy, the signatory Powers undertake to organize a Permanent Court of Arbitration, accessible at all times and operating, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, in accordance with the rules of procedure inserted in the present Convention.” In effect, the Convention set up a permanent system of international arbitration and institutionalized the law and practice of arbitration in a definite and acceptable way.

As a result, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) was established in 1900 and began operating in 1902. The PCA as established consisted of a panel of jurists designated by each country acceding to the Convention with each country being entitled to designate up to four from among whom the members of each arbitral tribunal might be chosen. In addition, the Convention created a permanent Bureau, located in The Hague, with functions similar to those of a court registry or secretariat. The 1899 Convention also laid down a set of rules of procedure to govern the conduct of arbitrations under the PCA framework.

The second Hague Peace Conference in 1907 saw a revision of the 1899 Convention and improvement of the rules governing arbitral proceedings. Today, the PCA has developed into a modern, multi-faceted arbitral institution perfectly situated to meet the evolving dispute resolution needs of the international community. The Permanent Court of Arbitration has also diversified its service offering alongside those contemplated by the Conventions. For instance, today the International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration serves as a registry in important international arbitrations. In 1993, the Permanent Court of Arbitration adopted new “Optional Rules for Arbitrating Disputes between Two Parties of Which Only One Is a State” and, in 2001, “Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and/or the Environment”.


PCA Website: (accessed on 25th May 2023).

Continue Reading