Developments in Kenya

Updated: 1 September 2014

The future belongs to Kenya. But for the country to fulfil its potential, the political elite must work for the people. The right economic conditions are in place, even though growth has slightly slowed down.

The capital Nairobi is the hub of the expansive East African region, and Africa is expected to become the next big growth market. Poverty rates in the country have been reduced, and the right conditions are in place under which even more poor people in Kenya will be able to ultimately lift themselves out of poverty. However, major challenges remain, particularly with regard to democratic governance, but also when it comes to fair distribution of state resources and a more balanced development of the country.

The economic development in Kenya was held back by the crisis that followed the last elections in 2007, a decline that was later exacerbated by the global financial crisis, with effects such as high oil and food prices and depreciation of Kenyan currency.

The Kenya Vision 2030 – for a globally competitive and healthier middle-income nation with a high quality of life by 2030 – is the basis of the country’s long-term plan to combat poverty. Sweden and Sida support Kenya’s development efforts to implement Kenya Vision 2030 and work to help the country’s own struggle to deliver visible results for its poor citizens.

Corruption – a major obstacle to development

Lack of democratic governance, including lack of public financial management, and corruption are a significant barrier to development and poverty reduction in Kenya. Inefficiency and corruption in the public sector undermine the state's position, and create barriers for new investments and development. Citizens' opportunities to make a change and demand accountability are limited. Although anti-corruption legislation has been strengthened and progress has been made in fight against corruption, the level of corruption in Kenya still remains high.

Sweden and Sida therefore identified battle against corruption as the key issue in the bilateral development cooperation. Together with other donor countries, Sida supports the Kenyan government’s reform efforts by supporting the country’s modern and progressive constitution, including the legal sector, public administration and police reform. Sida's focus areas in Kenya are democracy and human rights, urban development and environment and natural resources.

Page owner: Department for Africa

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