Kenya’s Human Capital Development and Economic Growth: Best Practicesfrom South Korea and Singapore (2002-2014)
VolumeJASETD Volume 4 Issue 1 2020
IssnISSN 2309-0936
AuthorsGabriel Juma Okumu, Simmy M. Marwa and Anne W. Sang
Article TypeResearch article
Article Section
First PublishedOctober 2020


The study examined the role played by HCD in the economic development of Kenya between 2002 and 2014 by interrogating the development models adopted by South Korea and Singapore as a benchmark to determine the gaps in the model adopted by Kenya. Despite Kenya, Singapore and South Korea exhibiting similar income levels in the 1960s, the gap between Kenya’s economic growth and those of South Korea and Singapore has widened tremendously since independence in 1963. Kenya has recorded low Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to the two Asian countries. The researcher relied on secondary data sourced from national, regional and international websites and organizations. The data collected was corroborated with data sourced from government offices and websites. Data sets from the three countries was used to examine the extent to which HCD practices affect economic growth for the purposes of deriving the best HCD practices from South Korea and Singapore that influence economic growth. The design therefore necessitated causality analysis using the Granger Causality Test and correlational and regression analysis that facilitated the measurement, development and assessment of the statistical significance of the causal relationships among the study variables. The model variables included GDP as the response variable explained by six predictor variables; government expenditure on education, human development index, average years of schooling as a proxy for percentage of population that has attained education, patents filed by the countries, government effectiveness and government expenditure on research and development. Findings revealed that HCD had a great influence on economic development of a country. Findings further revealed that whereas human development index was found to be positively correlated to economic growth in South Korea and Singapore, it was negatively (inversely) correlated to economic growth in Kenya. To achieve sustained economic growth, the study recommends that the provision of education be strengthened to ensure successful implementation of Competency Based Curriculum with the government laying more emphasis on applied R&D.

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