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Kenyans don’t trust CEOs to do what is right for society


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Kenyans don’t trust CEOs to do what is right for society


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Summary

  • Kenyans trust in chief executives to do what is right for the society has declined by four percent from 52 percent in 2020, a new study shows.
  • The 21st annual Edelman Trust Barometer – which measures trust as a function of competence and ethics – lists CEOs and governments as the most distrusted when it comes to making decisions that augur well with the society.
  • According to the study, Kenyans are looking for CEOs to step in and take the lead on change.

Kenyans trust in chief executives to do what is right for the society has declined by four percent from 52 percent in 2020, a new study shows.

The 21st annual Edelman Trust Barometer – which measures trust as a function of competence and ethics – lists CEOs and governments as the most distrusted when it comes to making decisions that augur well with the society.

According to the study, Kenyans are looking for CEOs to step in and take the lead on change.

Respondents in the study also accused business leaders of misleading the public by “saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations”.

About 67 percent of Kenyans believe that business leaders lie for convenience. This is second to 74 percent who think of the same about political leaders.

The Edelman Trust Barometer says 97 percent of respondents in the country want CEOs to publicly speak out on issues such as automation and the impact of the pandemic.

Kenyans surveyed said that the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Nearly two-thirds of respondents say their workforce has shrunk amid the pandemic.

“Those with less education, less money and fewer resources are being unfairly burdened with most of the suffering, risk of illness, and need to sacrifice due to the pandemic,” the study notes.

Out of the 1,500 respondents interviewed, 65 percent noted that the pandemic had a huge impact on their economic wellbeing.

As normalcy resumes, Kenyans want their employers to offer upskilling and training opportunities, while also ensuring the safety of their workplaces.

“With the pandemic having put trust to the test, Kenyans are placing their trust in NGOs and business to help the country through the Covid-19 crisis and to drive positive change going forward,” says Jordan Rittenberry, Edelman Middle East and Africa chief executive.

Overall, the country has more trust in business than the global average. The study reckons that 68 percent of the study respondents in Kenya have trust in businesses, higher than South Africa and Nigeria in which the survey was also conducted.

While the government is distrusted by the citizens, the country fared better than Nigeria and South Africa which scored 24 percent and 27 percent respectively.

The nationally representative survey was conducted between October and November 2020.



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