Are Kenyans more hardworking than Ugandans?

Are Kenyans more hardworking than Ugandans?

There is perceived exceptional work ethic Kenyans display over Ugandans, or any other nationality of the region for that matter, may be attributed to certain questions of economic, social, and historical contexts.

Three such scenarios that justify the labeling of Kenyans as being hardworking compared to their fellow East Africans are:

  1. The performance is somehow average to be the leading within the East African region. Kenya ensures her economy is pegged on the following sectors; agriculture, manufacturing industries, offering services and lastly technology. With such an economic diversity, it for sure calls for a lot of skills and work ethic; by all means, hard work is demanded.
  2. The culture of entrepreneurship in Kenya has moved to new heights with increased support for technology innovations. This has come to be a reality since this culture has found its way into the homes and hearts of Kenyans. The push by the technological and innovative nature of the so-called, “Silicon Savannah”, has driven people into the boom in technology startups. All these create a culture characterized by amplification, bravery, and hard work towards achievement.
  3. Kenyan education is highly leveled; its literacy standard also stands very high compared to most other countries. This, therefore, makes Kenyans struggle to pursue education much higher than the professional opportunities available. The result is a hardworking, and ambitious population. In 2012, I went to Kenya for my certified ethical hacking (CEH) certification training. I attended a class with over 310 other students, all of them Kenyans. At the time, the CEH course was yet to be offered in Uganda. It until I passed, and became a certified EC Council Instructor, that we started offering the CEH classes in Uganda in 2013. In other EA countries, many professionals are chasing few jobs, but they are not as highly exposed, trained, and qualified as their Kenyan counterparts.
  4. Other than the colonial legacies, there has been a historical trajectory that, by shaping workings and countries, ensured it to be unique to most East African countries. These historical factors may impact current attitudes to work and economic development. I would say, it also has to do with the fact that, as opposed to Uganda, urban Kenyans are like immigrants—most have no villages to call home. They have a town home and that’s it. It is a must to succeed, or one must succeed. If a Kenyan in Nairobi city fails to excel at the job, they have few alternatives. In Uganda, when things are tough, someone packs and goes back to the village to regroup or goes back to their family land where they can survive on free jack fruits etc. Also, the international media has been kind to Kenya, highlighting success stories in athletics, technology, and entrepreneurs that influence the global and regional attitude towards the work ethics of the Kenyans. It is not surprising that the top US and other global companies have a presence in Kenya as their headquarters. This gives Kenyans great opportunities, exposure, and skills.

The answer is some Kenyans are more hardworking than Ugandans just as there are some Ugandans more hardworking than Kenyans. As the Uganda government re-strategizes to prioritize education especially special fund for practical technology and innovation (including merit sponsorships of top brains to study at the best universities in the world), modern farming techniques, tourism, energy, and minerals, and of course manufacturing and industrialization, this debate will be settled.

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