Peter Gutwa Oino, Felix Ngunzo Kioli
Abstract: Despite the persistent contribution of governments worldwide to ensure that there is a balanced socio-economic development in all regions in their countries, social inequality and ethnicity are still rife and embedded in all aspects of social development. However, it is worse in developing countries and in particular, Kenya. Social inequality and ethnicity are visible and noteworthy phenomena in Kenya. It is a product of ethnicity, which is a state intervention that directly affects social development of a country. It manifests itself in social welfare, health, education, social security and social institutions. It greatly affects equal distribution of national resources and provision of essential services to the people in promoting development. In most regions of the country ethnicity has brought about regional imbalance in terms of distribution of national resources, which has negatively affected socio-economic development of the country. Academic evidence from various studies done in other parts of the world and particularly in Kenya on social development, have consistently implied a dialectic connection between ethnicity and social inequality. This paper is a culmination of a critical review of various studies carried out by other researchers and the authors and seeks to specifically interrogate how social inequality is a manifestation of ethnicity in Kenya. Thus, leading to unequal distribution of the countrys resources, leaving some communities marginalised for the rest of their lives. The paper also analyses how ethnicity is perceptible in politics, impacting negatively on social development. The paper recommends that the concerned stakeholders should devise ways of reducing social inequality by balancing social development in all regions in the country. This can be done by employing a macro-policy redistributive framework to improve the distribution of resources and increasing the ability of the poor to access those resources, besides capacity building and strengthening the county governments on devolution to adequately address grassroots problems affecting people.
Keywords: Ethnicity, Social inequality, Education, Socio-economic, Health, Kenya