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My countries of study are Kenya and Malaysia located in Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia respectively.
The Progress of Kenya towards Meeting the MDGS
Kenya is one of the fastest growing developing countries in Africa. It is located along the Indian Ocean in the Eastern parts of Africa and is boarded by Somalia to the East, Tanzania to the Southern West, Uganda to the West, Southern Sudan to the Northern West and Ethiopia to the North. Its location favors its economic growth and development because its port of Mombasa serves other landlocked countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia and Southern Sudan (International Monetary Fund, 87).
The government of Kenya is opportunistic of meeting the MDGs by 2015 and strategies have been put in place to see that the country realizes them. In 2008, the government of Kenya launched a development program dubbed Kenya Vision 2030 that is based on three pillars that include economic, social, and political pillars.
The objective of the program is to help the country in realizing the vision of the country becoming a fully industrialized, middle-income economy. Implementation process of the program has been taking place for the last fours and has facilitated in the realization of MDGs.
Fully realization of the MDGs seems to be a great challenge to the government of Kenya, especially now that there is a transition to a new government that was elected on March 4, 2013. There is a high optimism due to the ongoing implementation process of the Vision 2030.
The country targets to reduce child mortality to 33 per 1000 live births by 2015 from initial 111.1 in 2000. However, there is an alarm that the country could fail to achieve its goal after a 20% increase in child mortality recorded in 2011. The rate rose from 84.7 per 1000 live births in 2010 to 105 per 1000 live births in 2011. This inadequate performance is facilitated by poor investment in the health sector (LIGAMI, par 5).
The Progress of Malaysia towards Meeting the MDGS
Malaysia is located in the South East Asia and boarders Thailand, Brunei, and Indonesia. However, it is formed of two nearly equal lands whereby one is an island in the South China Sea that borders Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam. It is more developed than Kenya and, according to economic growth and development, it has reached to the level of a middle-income developed country. It had a GDP growth rate of 6.5% in 2011 indicating that it is yet to achieve its goal of a 10% annual GDP growth rate.
The government of Malaysia has put in place strategies that would see the country achieving the MDGs by 2015. Since the inception of the MDGs, the country focused on the implementation of strategies that would help the country to achieve high economic growth and development.
The government put effort in ensuring that the country does not rely only on the export of agricultural products as the major foreign earner but also manufactured products and oil. This has been achieved and the government introduced a policy whereby 6% of the GDP is allocated to the ministry of health. Consequently, under-5 child mortality rate has declined by two thirds since inception in 2000 and is at a stable rate of 7 per 1000 live births. Hence, Malaysia is at par with the MDGs unlike Kenya (The World Bank, par.8).
Kenya and Malaysia
Kenya has more economic challenges than Malaysia that is reflected by its slow economic growth and development. This implies that it is difficult to achieve the MDGs because all goals are capital intensive and therefore a challenge to undeveloped economy. Political environment is also a great factor that determines the ability of a country to achieve the MDGs. Malaysia has a stable political environment that attracts foreign direct investment and promotes other economic activities in the country (World Bank, par.5).
There are similarities in the implementation strategies for the MDGs in the two countries. At outset, the governments for two countries embarked on ensuring that stable economic growth rate is achieved in each country. This is because MDGs are capital intensive thus government ought to have reliable sources of money for funding the projects.
Malaysia achieved stable economic growth faster than its counterpart by strengthening manufacturing industry. However, Kenya has not achieved stable economic growth and relies heavily on agricultural products for export though it has oil that is yet to be commercialized (World Bank 76).
On the other hand, Kenya has had an unstable political environment for quite a long time and has deterred the economic growth. Unlike, Malaysia, Kenya does not have an established policy in place that allocates funds to health sector. Instead, donors contribute more funds than the government and majority of population do not have an access to improved health facilities. This implies that Kenya will not achieve the targeted MDG of reducing under-5 child mortality by two third by 2015 (World Bank 98).
International Monetary Fund. Kenya: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper – Progress Report. New York: International Monetary Fund, 2012.
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Ligami, Christabel. “Child mortality rate up by 20pc.” 2011. The East African,2013 <https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Child+mortality+rate+up+by+20pc/-/2558/1291038/-/jb0k00/-/index.html>.
United Nations: The Millenium Developement Goals at 2010. Kuala Lumpur: United Nations Country Team, Malaysia, 2012.
World Bank. World Development Indicators 2012. Washington D.C: World Bank Publications, 2012.
World Bank. Mortality rate, under-5 (per 1,000 live births). 2011. <https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.DYN.MORT>.