According to the World Bank classification, Kenya and Vietnam are categorized as low income countries while India is placed in the lower middle income bracket.  These countries have unique physical geography, population trends, ICT levels, economic developments and poverty levels. Comparing and contrasting these areas or themes will provide insight into the statistics and the reasons for particular trends and thus at the end understand the rationale behind the classification of the countries chosen for this study. Data from organization like World Bank, United Nations among other well renowned institution will provide the basis for comparison.   

Physical Geography and environment,

Kenya is located in Eastern Africa and borders the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania. Vietnam is however found in Southeastern Asia and borders the Gulf of Thailand, South China, Gulf of Tonkin, and Sea, alongside Laos, China and Cambodia. India is however located in Southern Asia and borders the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea and lies between Pakistan and Burma. Kenya’s climate varies dry and arid climate at the inland and a tropical climate at the coast (Parkinson, Tom and Matt Phillips, 154).

Vietnam does experiences a monsoonal climate in north having hot, rainy season; tropical climate in the south; as well as warm dry season (Sparks, 359). India has a varied climate with tropical monsoon in south and temperate in north (Duggal, 58). As a result of the climatic condition of Vietnam, the county experiences floods and drought when dry. Kenya also experiences repeated drought and flooding on rainy seasons. India is well known for earthquake, droughts and flash floods especially during the occurrence of monsoonal rains (World fact book).

The three regions are therefore prone to similar hazards such as flood and drought due to the diverse climatic changes. Such phenomenon leads to a multiple events that include loss of death, destruction of food and property and displacement of households. The land use for the three countries varies since some are arid and not useful for farming but it can be noted that Kenya has agricultural base economy while India is more industrialized.

Land use: Source https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Category

Vietnam

Kenya

India

Arable land

20.14%

8.01%

48.83%

Permanent crops

6.93%

0.97%

2.8%

Other crops

72.93%

91.02%

48.37%

Population trend

The population of Kenya has been affected by death resulting from prevalence of AIDS scourge. However, the population has experienced a growth rate of 2.588% as estimated in 2010. However, this has caused unemployment, poverty and crime rate to increase (Lester and Sparrow, 137).For Vietnam, the population growth rate 1.096%, much lower than Kenya. This is attributed to the policies on child birth enforced in Vietnam (Mimura, 234).Presently; India has an estimated population growth rate of 1.376% in 2010 but despite this rate, it has a large population thus struggling with issues of poverty and employment.

Indian has not achieved much in controlling it huge population as compared with Vietnam due to failure of government initiatives to curb population growth. On the other hand, Kenya population is significantly low due to prevalence of AIDs, higher death rates and high infant mortality rate. However, according to Klerk, the death rates are predicted to decrease and thus accounting for the rise in population (p. 50).

Population trends for Vietnam, India and Kenya. Source: World Bank. Worldbank.org

From the above chart, it can be noted that India population continues to be on the high and on the rise. Despite, the population of Kenya and Vietnam being on the rise, there is a wide margin between then and that of India’s.

Economic development

Kenya acts as a regional hub for finance and trade in the East Africa though it is affected by corruption Kenya relies on a number of goods with low value. According to Agency, IMF suspended funding for Kenya in 1997, but resumed giving loans in 2000 to assist in drought but discontinued again in 2001 (p. 364). Kenya export mainly agricultural produce such as tea. Kenya’s GDP per capita has been on the rise. For Vietnam, the authorities have reaffirmed their dedication to liberalization of the economy and international integration. Vietnam has also increased it exports to with it joining of the WTO (Giroud et al, 43).

India is committed in developing an open market economy but despite this, it suffered an industrial retardation early in 2008 and this coupled with global financial crisis made the annual GDP growth rate to hit 6.5% in 2009 (Agency, 141).Taking look at the GDP per capita table below shows that the GDP values for the three countries have risen upward with India leading.

GDP per capita values for Vietnam, India and Kenya.

 Year

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Vietnam

370.0401

401.5245

415.3888

439.7261

480.4198

553.4982

635.3776

711.1658

805.8825

1051.434

Kenya

420.9861

403.6585

402.4407

397.0334

438.4504

461.3339

523.1604

611.946

718.4375

783.039

India

1440

1500

1600

1660

1810

1990

2220

2480

2740

2930

Source: World Bank. http://www.worldbank.org/

Poverty levels

The World Bank released major study in August 2008 that revealed despite the substantial gains in the Indian economy absolute poverty still prevailed in India. The study further identified that nearly 400 million Indians still live in poverty despite the decline in population living under $1.25 per day from 60% in to 42% in 1981 to 2005. This indicates that India’s poverty levels are still high (Gupta, 67).In Kenya, the poverty levels are known to be high and according to a Government survey conducted in 1997,  46 per cent of Kenya’s population of the 35.5 million citizens live under the poverty line. In Vietnam however, the government has instituted reforms aimed at fighting poverty at local and national levels (Muinul et al, 37). It can be noted that the GDP per person employed is on the rise for India and Vietnam but on decline for Kenya.

Information Communication and Technology

The application of ICT in any given country is crucial for the growth of other sectors as well as the generation of wealth through the creation of goods or services that can either be consumed locally or exported to other regions. Bidgoli asserts that ICT skills and the availableness of quality telecommunications framework in nations like as India keep improving (p. 604). India has developed itself as one of the region’s best ICT nation. In Vietnam, the ICT sector though still is developing rapidly and pulling increasing foreign investment. Subsequently, the Vietnamese ICT production rose by nearly 12% annually from the period of 2004 to 2007 (Development OECD, 97). Kenya on the other hand despite the slow adoption of ICT, immense growth has been experienced with the passing of ICT bills and development of infrastructure to assist in the development of ICT (UN, 245).

From the above graph, it can be seen that India has more development in ICT sector and thus can has huge ICT exports. The curve of India can be explained by it early venture in ICT field. Vietnams follows next with its ICT exports fluctuating due to its concentration on imports of software and hardware. For Kenya, the ICT exports are very low due to poor infrastructure.

Conclusion

From the comparisons of the three countries, it is clear that the countries face different challenges and environment that influence their performance and response towards challenges affecting them. The different themes explored in this paper also illustrate the many differences and similarities that exist in many of these countries as well as explaining why they are so. Indeed, India, Vietnam and Kenya share a few similarities in areas like poverty issues but also differ in areas like ICT development. Of great importance however, it how the countries engage their resources and skills to address the prevailing challenges in order to achieve growth and development in all the facets of their nation’s life.  

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