Though upbeat about virtually all their experiences in their encore careers, Rick and Wendy don’t want to gloss over Africa’s debilitating poverty, dust and dirt, and stalled economies.  The data on this page helps balance their safaris, good dinners, time with friends and colleagues, etc.  They’ve provided facts and photos about the economies at the time they were living in Swaziland and Kenya.

Kenya from Studies as of 2007 

About 50% of Kenyans live on less than US$1.00 per day, with North Eastern Province highest at 73% and Nairobi lowest at 21.3%.

The Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey released in May 2007 by the Ministry of Planning and National

Development shows the hardcore poverty line:

Area of Kenya

Poverty Level in Kenya Shillings/Mo.

Poverty Level in US$/Mo

Poverty Level in US$/Day

1997 population at or below poverty level

2005/2006 population at or below poverty level


Ksh. 988






Ksh. 1,494





Also according to this report:

–         NATIONAL POVERTY LEVELS: improved 10%, declining from 56.8% in 2000 to 46% in 2005/2006.

·         CONSUMPTION TO MEET BASIC NEEDS: insufficientfor 46% of Kenyans.

·         ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER: 83% of urban households, 48% rural, and on average 57% of all Kenyan households.

·         LITERACY: 79% of Kenyans above 15 years can read AND 81% can write

·         CHILDREN NOT IN SCHOOL: 6.2% or 690,000 6 to 17 year old children are not in school.

Swaziland from Studies as of 2006

The good and bad news is that Swaziland is a youthful country.  It is good because youth tend to be more flexible and open-minded so are likely to seek new opportunities rather than only repeat the familiar.  However, it is bad because due to having in the mid-2000s the highest HIV/AIDS rate globally, Swaziland lost a generation in its most productive years, ages 25 – 55.

  • Median age in Swaziland is 19 and about 60% of the populations is 30 years old or under.
  • Average life expectancy of between 27 and 33. Deaths outnumber births.
  • As of 2006, 220,000 Swazis were living  with HIV/AIDS and limited futures.
  • It was expected that by 2010 there would be up to 120,000 HIV/AIDS orphans (Swaziland’s population at that time was approximate 1 million.

Among school age children:

  • Less than 48% complete 7th grade;
  • Less than 27% complete grade 10;
  • A little over 20% complete high school.
  • Due to limited government subsidies and scholarships, colleges are not at capacity.
  • Less than 5% matriculate into tertiary institutions of any kind and 1% might graduate.

For the annual 10,000 school-leavers—graduates and drop-outs from high school or less—only 2,000 new jobs were created each year, leading to at least 40% unemployment across the country and a much higher rate among youth.  Despite much government research into the need for Small and Medium Enterprises since the early 1980 and even establishment of many programs in literacy, “pre-vocational” and even distance learning, employment of all kinds continues to rapidly decline.  So Swazi youth must cope with a decrepit economy which offers less job opportunity despite higher levels of education. The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s 2006 Standard Bank Market Study predicted 1.2% growth in 2006 GDP and 1% in 2007.