Trust in government and business dips on the back of challenging 2017


Kenyans’ trust in the government and businesses took a serious dent last year according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer released last.

The barometer which was released by Gina Din Group in partnership with Edelman Group-South Africa illustrates that Kenyans faith in both institutions are at 61% and 73% respectively compared to the rest of Africa.

“Kenya’s economy is driven by the price of commodities such as oil and minerals. When prices of these essential commodities begin to fluctuate, naturally the trust in businesses starts to dip,” said Edelman account manager Alex Scharf.

Edelman is a global communications marketing firm. It partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organisations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer is Edelman’s 18th annual trust and credibility survey. The survey was done by research firm Edelman Intelligence and consisted of 25-minute online interviews conducted on October 28th– November 20th, 2017. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled more than 33,000 respondents consisting of 1,150 general population respondents ages 18 and over and 500 informed public respondents in the U.S. and China and 200 informed public respondents in all other countries across 28 markets. All informed publics met the following criteria: ages 25-64, college-educated; household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watch business/news media at least several times a week; follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week

Despite bearing the brunt of a sluggish economy and heightened political tension caused by the extended political period, Ms Scharf highlighted the fact that Kenyans quickly put this event behind them as they set out to make up for losses sustained within the campaign season.

“Surprisingly the government is still being trusted which paints a resilient picture of Kenyans who were ready to move on once the elections had passed. People were still being taken care of in regards to healthcare, access to water and infrastructure,” said Ms. Scharf.

Trust in non-government organisations generally increased across the continent standing at 71% in Kenya.

This was attributed to the willingness of global institutions investing large sums of money to worthy causes across Africa.

“We see organisations like USAID focusing a lot on health, agriculture and education, companies like Mastercard partnering with Equity Bank on the Wings to Fly program and the Kenya Red Cross who have made a huge difference in building trust amongst Kenyans,” said Ms. Scharf.

The survey carried out in 10 African markets further indicate that 70% of people believe that businesses should be the force of positive change and drive economic prosperity while 78% of interviewees think companies that only think about their bottom line are bound to fail.

“Edelman’s Trust Barometer is the benchmark for institutional credibility around the world. Without a frame of reference for how a public trusts business, or the knowledge of the tools to build trust, companies risk losing customers and revenue,” said Edelman South Africa managing director Jordan Rittenberry.