The cost of politics in Kenya: Implications for political participation and development

This study of the cost of politics in Kenya analyses the expenditure of individuals who contested for political office at Senate, National Assembly and County Assembly level in Kenya in 2017.

Drawing on data from a survey of 300 aspirants as well as focus group discussions and key informant interviews with prominent political participants and experts, this study uncovers the costs for aspirants at different stages of this process.

The report finds that the cost of getting elected to the Kenyan National Assembly is 245% of the average annual salary of an MP. It highlights a number of consequences of this high cost, including weak oversight and the exclusion of otherwise capable candidates.

The report also contains a number of recommendations to ensure more inclusive access to politics in Kenya.

The Kenya Cost of Politics reports is part of a series of studies into the cost of politics around the world, by NIMD and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). All the reports can be found on our joint cost of politics website.

This study was prepared by Prof. Karuti Kanyinga and Tom Mboya on behalf of South Consulting Africa Limited. It was funded by NIMD and WFD.