Religious, Cultural and Social Burdens as Major Contributing Factors in the Level of Poverty in Africa


David H. Kodia


The paper seeks to stimulate a debate on the role of religion, culture and society in addressing poverty situation in Africa. The focus of this article however is restricted to the study area of Western Kenya where cultural practices have actually abetted various limitations which have perpetuated rather than alleviating poverty. Key areas of our concern in this article include but not limited to prudent management of resources whereby setting of top priority programs is accorded due recognition.  It is a call to review both national and community's cultural beliefs and practices to be in tandem with the prevailing context.

The main debate this article ignites is based on a recent research the author did. The research findings are based on the five case studies presented here. Death is a tragedy that lives with us. However, the way cases of death are being handled by various communities would have serious impact on their economic life.

This article also addresses policy issues regarding poverty alleviation. We wish to interrogate, the role of political class and religious institutions in this regard. Academic paper by a political scientist is also put on radar and its limitations highlighted.