Together, the European Union and its Member States are the biggest suppliers of development assistance to Kenya. European Union development assistance supports devolution and access to justice, road and energy infrastructure, and better access to affordable food and clean water.
Based on Kenya’s development strategy Vision 2030, the following sectors of concentration have been identified as priorities for European Commission funding:
- Food security and resilience to climatic shocks
- Sustainable infrastructure
- Accountability of public institutions
In addition the EU provides some funding to Kenya for other cross-cutting activities, such as support to strengthen the National Treasury's role as the national authorising officer of development funding for the country. And Kenya also receives funding from various other EU programmes that address particular topics at a regional (multiple-country) or global level.
Food security and resilience to climatic shocks
Food and nutrition security is about ensuring that everybody is able to access sufficient, affordable and nutritious food. Through its support, the EU seeks to build resilience to food crises and help ensure that no one is left hungry. Fighting under-nutrition is vital to give the world's poorest children a chance to lead healthier lives, learn better and thus improve their future income opportunities.
The EU is a strong international supporter of sustainable development. To address climate change challenges in this context, it backs a wide variety of activities dealing with issues such as adaptation, mitigation, disaster risk reduction and desertification. An example of this in Kenya is the EU's support for Kenya's efforts to protect its forest cover.
Support to transport infrastructure in Kenya
Kenya’s Vision 2030 identifies transport infrastructure as one of its priorities. Roads remain the dominant mode of transport, carrying 80% of passengers and freight; they are also the only means of access for rural communities.
The European Union has supported the development of transport infrastructure in Kenya for more than 25 years. The current portfolio includes support for the following projects:
- Upgrading the road from Merille river to Marsabit (works on-going)
- Reconstruction of the road from Eldoret to Malaba road (works on-going)
- Building road links and cycle/footpaths in Nairobi to ease traffic congestion (works on-going)
- Building a bridge over the Galana river and upgrading roads to improve access to national parks and game reserves(works on-going)
- Repairing rural roads to improve access to economic and social services (works on-going)
- Supporting policy development and institutional reforms in the road sector (support on-going)
- Supporting the Bus Rapid Transit scheme in Nairobi, including building bus lanes (study on-going)
Kenya's relatively new constitution (of 2010) that came with a raft of changes in the country’s political and economic governance envisages a democratic political system that is issue-based, people-centred, result-oriented and accountable to the public. The 2013 elections paved the way for a devolved system of government and a bi-cameral parliament. The priorities for EU support for governance are jointly set by Kenya and the EU, and include:
- Support for issue-based and credible elections,
- Support for more transparent management of public funds at central and county level,
- Support for increased equality in access to and delivery of justice
The EU’s commitment to democracy is a key component of its foreign policy and support to Kenya. Through the Long-term Electoral Assistance Programme (LEAP), which consists of a 5 million contribution to the UNDP led election donor basket fund, the EU aspires to contribute to fair and credible 2017 elections.
The EU is also working with Kenya to strengthen the capacities of the state and non-state actors for effective devolved governance. The EU has supported the devolution process in Kenya through the implementation of various projects and programmes since 2010.Currently the EU is has committed € 28.6 million to the Instrument for Devolution Advice and Support (IDEAS) programme.
Access to Justice
A key support area for the EU continues to be access to justice. After years of support to the Department of Justice to pilot initiatives on legal aid and to draft the Legal Aid Bill, the preparation are ongoing for a programme supporting the implementation of the new legal aid bill and addressing different bottlenecks of the judicial chain
The EU is supporting the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) implementing a project which focusses on Human Rights Defenders (HRD) capacity building, helping them in particular to better deal with the law enforcement apparatus, to better document their work, and offering them increased assistance in case of imprisonment. Targeted counties are Kwale, Marsabit and Busia.
The EU is also funding the NGO CEFA for a project that aims at preventing and reporting human rights violations within 20 detention facilities across Kenya.
Globally, EU has identified three priorities for its support to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
- Enhancing efforts to promote a conducive environment for CSOs in partner countries;
- Promoting meaningful and structured participation of CSOs in domestic policies of partner countries;
- Increasing local CSOs' capacity to perform their roles more effectively as independent development actors.
In August 2014, the EU Heads of Mission in Kenya adopted the first EU CSO Roadmap for Kenya, in which priorities for engagement with CSOs are defined.