The Promise of Kenya’s Experiment With Universal Basic Income

Informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, November 24, 2016 (dpa photo by Miro May via AP images).
Informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, November 24, 2016 (dpa photo by Miro May via AP images).

A village in Kenya is the only one in Africa known to be receiving a monthly universal basic income, or UBI, stipend. The experiment is intended to encourage countries with high poverty levels to rethink their approach to social welfare, but not everyone is convinced the UBI trial will yield the answers researchers seek. Makanga is a village like many others in rural Kenya. Farmsteads with walls made of clay and roofs of corrugated iron sit on plots separated by bush. Dusty footpaths cross fields that bear signs of the latest drought to hit East Africa—the effects of which are […]

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