After extensive research and a scoping trip undertaken in October 2013, CDE identified the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) as a potential Kenyan partner. We then held a series of events in Nairobi in March 2014. During a week-long stay in Nairobi, engagements included a lunch with interested and influential Kenyans, where Ann Bernstein presented the findings on democracy and inclusive growth based on the experiences of India, Brazil and South Africa. We also co-hosted a day-long workshop on the middle class and a series of smaller dinner meetings. Rajiv Kumar, a senior associate of CDE’s Indian think tank partner, CPR, attended the engagements in Kenya, as did Adrian Wooldridge, one of the project’s senior international advisors. Ann Bernstein met a number of influential Kenyans, such as Tom Mboya, a former advisor to the current Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, and Jeph Olende, the managing director of a major Kenyan insurance company. Our message was well received and many of the Kenyans we met spoke about the importance of finding new ways to talk about and strengthen democracy in Kenya, especially as both the influence of China and anti-democratic tendencies within the Uhuru Kenyatta government were on the rise.

As a result of this engagement CDE was able to establish a strong relationship with IEA, which has led us to explore possibilities for future joint work. Our visit also received media attention in the form of an article, titled’Kenya’s middle class, academia faulted for shunning politics,’, in The Standard newspaper, which has a circulation of 54 000.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Workshop on the middle classes in India, Kenya, and South Africa. This was hosted by our Kenyan partner, the Institute for Economic Affairs.

Wednesday 19 March

Workshop on the Democratic Alternative with an audience of influential Kenyans. Ann Bernstein presented our findings and the discussion focused on how they resonated with Kenyans.



How is the South African middle class doing in comparison to other developing democracies? What are the different definitions of the middle classes in South Africa and India, Brazil and Kenya?  The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) has been finding out by commissioning research and hosting discussions with experts and stakeholders in India and Kenya. This Round Table report is based on a high-level workshop with Indian and Kenyan think tank partners that took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The report confirms that successful democratic societies of the future will be those that achieve sustained economic growth which consolidates and improves the hard-won status of this demanding and newly empowered constituency.