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The Revolutionary Wave: 7 Forces Driving Gen Z’s Political Uprising in Kenya.

Kenya is witnessing a remarkable shift in political activism, driven largely by the fervent engagement of Generation Z. Born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, this generation is coming of age amid significant socio-economic challenges and rapid technological advancements. Gen Z in Kenya has become increasingly vocal and active in the political discourse, driven by a unique set of factors compelling them to demand change.


1. High Taxation.
High taxation has galvanised Gen Z in Kenya. The burden on individuals and businesses is a significant point of contention. Young professionals and entrepreneurs find themselves overburdened by taxes that eat into their earnings and profits, hindering their ability to save, invest, or expand their businesses. They advocate for tax reforms to ensure a more equitable distribution of the tax burden, stimulate economic activity, and create jobs.

2. Limited Employment Opportunities.
The severe shortage of employment opportunities is a primary catalyst for political activism among Gen Z. Despite high education levels, many young Kenyans are unemployed or underemployed. The slow growth of the formal sector has failed to keep pace with the burgeoning youth population, leading to frustration and disillusionment among young people.

3. High Costs of Doing Business.
High business costs and barriers to entrepreneurship drive Gen Z’s political engagement. Young entrepreneurs face bureaucratic red tape, exorbitant licensing fees, and inadequate access to financing, stifling innovation and economic growth. This has led many young Kenyans to advocate for policies that simplify business processes, reduce costs, and support startups.

4. Economic Inequality and Cost of Living.
Economic inequality and the rising cost of living mobilise Gen Z. The gap between rich and poor has widened, with many living below the poverty line. Inflation and high prices for essentials strain the finances of young people, leading to dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policies. Gen Z uses digital tools and social media to demand greater economic justice and accountability.
5. Corruption and Governance Issues.
Widespread corruption and poor governance fuel Gen Z’s political activism. Mismanagement of public funds has eroded trust in government institutions. Young people demand greater transparency, accountability, and ethical leadership, leveraging social media to expose corruption and mobilize collective action.

6. Environmental Concerns.
Environmental issues significantly concern Gen Z in Kenya. Climate change, deforestation, pollution, and wildlife conservation impact their lives and prospects. Young activists demand stronger policies and actions to protect the environment and ensure sustainable development.

7. Mental Health Challenges.
Mental health is another pressing issue driving political activism. The pressures of unemployment, economic instability, and social challenges take a toll on Gen Z’s mental well-being, prompting calls for better mental health support and resources.



In summary, the political awakening of Gen Z in Kenya is driven by a combination of high taxation, limited employment opportunities, high costs of doing business, economic inequality, corruption, environmental concerns, and mental health challenges. This generation’s activism is reshaping the political landscape, pushing for reforms and accountability. As Gen Z continues to harness the power of digital tools and social media, their influence is likely to grow, potentially leading to significant socio-political changes in Kenya. The demands and actions of these young activists signal a critical shift towards a more engaged and informed electorate, eager to shape a better future for their country.


Article By Suzy Nyongesa.


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