What happens if you give every adult in a village $22 a month, no strings attached, for 12 years? In rural Kenya, researchers are trying to find out. They’re conducting the world’s largest study of ‘universal basic income’ – giving ‘free money’ to nearly 200 villages, to see whether this could kick-start development and bring people out of poverty.
The BBC’s Africa correspondent Anne Soy visits western Kenya to meet some of the people involved in this giant economic experiment, and to find out what they make of this unexpected windfall in their lives. How will people spend the money? Will they try to start businesses, or stay in education longer? Or will people stop working, now they have a guaranteed income? What impact will this have on the villages?
The BBC intends to return to the same village over the course of the study, to continue to monitor and assess the impact of this ‘basic income’, and to see what difference it makes to peoples’ lives, the choices they make, and the dreams they hold.
Presenter: Anne Soy
Producer: Becky Lipscomb