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The Constitution of Kenya (2010) has provided the opportunity for resources to be transferred to a new level of government at the grassroots. While devolution has created a new reform space for more responsive, equitable, efficient and accountable local service delivery, converting this into actual transformation at the grassroots will depend on the quality of county institutions charged with this responsibility.
Since devolution entails the simultaneous transfer of power and resources to an entire new level of government, counties face unique challenges that demand innovative solutions. The EU is therefore working with the Government of Kenya to promote transparency and accountability in the management of county public finances. Sound economic and political governance will allow the residents of all counties to reap the benefits that devolution promises to bring to the people.
The EU together with its development partners, has committed to continue supporting Kenya in its infrastructure projects with a focus on energy, transport, water and sanitation and housing. This is in line with Vision 2030 (MTPII) and the government’s Big Four agenda.
The EU is also supporting the country towards the modernisation its energy infrastructure with a special focus on development of renewable, affordable and reliable energy sources. This support is also targeting access to energy in rural areas in Kenya in order to increase the economic and social development of communities, households, and to spur the creation and growth of energy-based and reliant small enterprises.
Through this support and partnership, the Government of Kenya will be able to achieve its aspirations in poverty reduction and accelerated and inclusive economic growth through more sustainable and efficient energy and transport infrastructure.
Employment creation, particularly among youth, is one of the top priorities of the Government of Kenyan. In addition, Vision 2030 through the Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III), highlights the need for institutional and economic reforms to accelerate growth for job creation, notably in the informal sector. The government is committed to create more new jobs annually to address the pressing problem of youth unemployment.
It is in line with these efforts that the EU will seek to promote growth and employment through identification of opportunities in sectors with great employment potential, such as agriculture and agri-business; sustainable housing; sustainable infrastructure; and the manufacturing sector.
These sectors are the backbone of the government’s Big Four agenda and contribute directly to the Vision 2030 goals of creating social-economic transformation, increasing job creation and improving quality of life for all Kenyans.
By aligning it support to these efforts, the EU’s work within the counties is seeking to improve the social and economic opportunities for youth in all counties.
Agriculture is the bedrock of Kenya’s economy and contributes to a large percentage of Kenya’s GDP. It is also the source of livelihood for a majority of Kenya’s population.
The EU in partnership with the government of Kenya are working towards more climate-resilient agricultural production and enhanced adaptation to climate change while following a low-carbon development pathway in light of the fact that Kenya’s agriculture is mostly rain-fed.
Specific EU investments will go towards improved food security at national and county level. This will be with the view to achieve sustainable drought management; increased food security and nutrition; livelihood diversification and value chains; and research and adoption of climate-smart agriculture.
The EU provides funding for a broad range of projects and programmes covering areas such as: regional & urban development; employment & social inclusion; agriculture & rural development; maritime & fisheries policies; research & innovation; humanitarian aid.
Funding is managed according to strict rules to ensure there is tight control over how funds are used and that the money is spent in a transparent, accountable manner.
In Kenya over 80% of the EU budget is managed in partnership with national and regional authorities through a system of “joint management”, largely through the European Development Fund implemented through the EU-GoK Country Strategy Paper.
Other funds are managed directly by the EU. These are provided in the form of:
Young people may access two main types of funding: