European Union External Action

EU support for democracy in Kenya

17/01/2017 - 14:08
Democracy and human rights

The EU contributes to the UN "basket fund" to support the organisation of elections in Kenya, as well as sending an Election Observation Mission and funding efforts to promote women's representation and to discourage election-related violence

In its development blueprint Vision 2030, Kenya sets out how it plans to use good governance and democracy as a key pillar of the country's development.

Vision 2030 highlights the importance for ethics and integrity of civic education and of the building and strengthening of legislative, policy and institutional frameworks. It calls for an open and transparent electoral and political process, as well as for a politically aware society that embraces citizens' participation and involvement in governance processes.

To support Kenya's efforts, the EU is contributing to the UNDP-led "basket fund" to support the organisation of elections in Kenya, as well as funding efforts to promote women's representation and to discourage election-related violence. Representatives of the EU also observed the 2017 electoral process: officials from the EU Delegation to Kenya in Nairobi observed mass voter registration at the start of the year, and the main election process (including October's "re-run" of the Presidential election) was observed by a full EU Election Observation Mission.

Strengthening the Electoral Processes

The EU's funding for the Strengthening the Electoral Processes in Kenya programme aims to develop stronger legal and institutional structures, as well as leading to more informed participation in the electoral process. In particular, it supports:

  • a strengthened institutional and legal framework for the electoral processes;
  • a strengthened participation of voters, parties and candidates in the electoral process with emphasis on women, youth and disabled
  • the delivery of more efficient, transparent and peaceful elections
  • a strengthened electoral justice and increased compliance with the electoral framework

The programme supports activities that cover the whole country. Beneficiaries of it include the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which is the largest recipient of the programme’s assistance. Other beneficiaries include Kenyan institutions and organisations involved in the drafting of legislation, dispute resolution between political parties, media regulation, women's empowerment and security, including:

  • the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties
  • the Kenya Law Reform Commission
  • the judiciary and Political Parties Disputes Tribunal
  • the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • the police service
  • the National Cohesion and Integration Commission
  • the Parliament
  • other government agencies including county governments
  • civil society and media

The programme's implementing partner is UNDP, with support from UNWOMEN.

Promoting women's political representation in Kenya

The EU has also supports women's participation in Kenyan politics through four NGO-led programmes:

Discouraging political violence

The EU is also providing financial support to the national election conflict prevention and response strategy known as Uwiano.

Election observation

As a diplomatic mission, the EU Delegation to Kenya is involved in observing the electoral process. Members of its staff observed the first phase of voter registration in 2016, and visited Kiambu and Naivasha to help observe the second phase in early 2017.

In addition, the EU deployed an Election Observation Mission to observe Kenya's 2017 elections. The Election Observation Mission is independent of the EU Delegation to Kenya, and has a separate website, Facebook page and Twitter feed of its own.

EU Amb. Dejak presenting the EOMs Final Report to Rt.Hon. Ababu Namwamba
EU Amb. Dejak presenting the EOMs Final Report to Rt.Hon. Ababu Namwamba

EU Amb. Dejak presenting the EOM's Final Report to Rt.Hon. Ababu Namwamba of Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

You can download the EOM's final report here.

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