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The challenges facing poverty alleviation and financial inclusion in North-East Kenya Province (NEKP)

Abd Elrahman Ali ()

International Journal of Social Economics, 2017, vol. 44, issue 12, 2208-2223

Abstract: Purpose - Poverty alleviation is one of the most compelling challenges facing Kenya today. It is not only widespread but it is also steadily rising. This highlights the need for sustainable solutions to poverty particularly through microfinance. This research investigated the case of North Eastern Kenya Province. The purpose of this paper is to explore the unique micro-level challenges that are faced by poverty alleviation programs adopted by microfinance institutions operating in this region. Design/methodology/approach - The study used structured questionnaires to collect primary data. The sample covered 600 respondents randomly selected from three counties, namely, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit. Three focus group discussions comprising 24 participants held to facilitate a deeper understanding of the challenges of poverty among the North Eastern Province’s communities when alleviated through micro-finance. Findings - The results reveal that the illiteracy due to the weakness of education and the unfavorable basic and financial infrastructures such as roads, telecommunications network represents the most important challenges that may affect the success of micro-finance programs. Research limitations/implications - These results recommend that both conventional and Islamic micro-finance might contribute positively for poverty alleviation for the poorest Kenyan region if the challenges are mitigated. Practical implications - The study provides policy recommendations for the Kenya Government and the conventional and Islamic banks in Kenya to provide the expected support for the poorest area in the country. Social implications - The result of this research might help the government, micro-finance providers and the donors to assist in alleviating the poverty of the Northern Kenyan community. Originality/value - To overcome the challenges of alleviating poverty in the region of Northern Kenya.

Keywords: Poverty alleviation; Micro-finance; Financial inclusion; G21; O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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