Terrorism in all acts and forms is always wrong and evil. It is the calculated use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population. Violence destroys what has taken so much pain and sacrifice to build. It violates the duty of nation-states to protect its own citizens from harm and violation of their human rights. Terrorist attacks affect the political economy of a country by directly harming human capital through loss of life, injuries and/or forced migration of the people as they flee to more secure areas; as well as the destruction of physical capital by destroying infrastructure.
Terrorism has risen as a major setback to the advancement of the human race. Kenya, specifically, has been hard hit by terrorist attacks during the past twenty years or so; the first major attack being in 1998 when the US Embassy in Nairobi was attacked and more than 200 lives were lost. Not only were lives lost, but some people got out paralysed never to be able to fend for themselves or their families again, others were left without limbs, others blind and everyone was traumatized by the whole experience leading to depression and general mental health issues.
When a country is hit by terrorism, it loses its citizens, both young and old, people who work in building a nation economically. The country loses businesses, whereby in Kenya the tourism industry has been worst hit due to tourists citing insecurity and this destabilizes income from the tourism and hospitality sector. The population lives in fear leading to low productivity which affects general production and distribution and in the long run, this causes job losses. The disruption caused by terrorist attacks results in loss of jobs, low incomes, decreased household purchase power, scarcity of commodities and business losses; cumulatively causing devastating harm to household economies. The fear that acts of terrorism can damage one’s assets and business premises, leads to investors withholding from investing in areas and countries affected by terrorism and this negatively affects a country’s economy and fight against poverty in general.
Terrorism leads to a country’s vulnerability and this in turn causes a nation to re-allocate meaningful resources necessary for major development projects to the fight against terrorism. A country ends up allocating a huge part of its budget towards military training and resources so as to increase its security. Besides the loss of life, injuries and forced migration of labour, this sense of vulnerability is particularly damaging to trade, investment and the economic environment as economic activities are relocated to less-terror-prone areas or nations. The decline in investments and trade normally leads to difficulties as nations incur numerous economic costs.