Kenya got a new and progressive constitution in 2010. Sweden contributes to the country's reform efforts through, among other things, support to the justice sector and the work of the institutional reforms that can provide citizens access to justice and effective management.
Photo: Trupti Shah
Our work in Kenya
The foremost causes of poverty in Kenya are structural. Political institutions that have long been controlled by elite interests have slowed democratic development. Corruption and immunity from prosecution in Kenya are major obstacles to the country’s development.
In Kenya, work is under way to decentralise political power and move closer to the residents, and the support of decentralisation is an important part of Sweden’s development cooperation in the country.
Environment and climate
Kenya is dependent on its natural resources for the country’s incomes and the resident’s survival. The effects of the climate changes, such as recurring droughts and disasters, cause costs of around USD 500 million per year, which is equivalent to 2.6 per cent of the GDP. It is therefore important to increase the country’s resilience to climate-related crises.
Among other things, Sweden supports a programme that is carried out by the World Food Programme to build capacity of the national government, local governments and households to handle the crises that regularly strike dry and semi-dry areas. Among other things, it concerns cash transfers to vulnerable people, projects to increase the supply of water and find new agricultural methods, and support for local governments so that they will be able to reduce the negative effects of the drought.
Greater access to water is a prioritised issue in Kenya and, for decades, Sweden has been involved in the work for people to have good access to clean water. At present, Sweden supports the Water Sector Trust Fund, which should improve access to water and sanitation, both in the countryside and in urban areas.
Democracy, gender equality and human rights
Sweden supports and cooperate with reform-friendly government institutions. Sweden supports the tax, audit and statistics authorities and police and correctional care with training and capacity building, as well as long-term advising envoys from corresponding Swedish authorities. For many years, Sweden has also provided support for reforms in the judicial system.
Growing pressure and threats to the work of civil society increase the need to support civil society. Sida supports efforts to strengthen civil society’s voice, increase accountability and increase the respect of human rights. The support mainly goes through Diakonia and Forum Syd, which strengthen civil society in their work to monitor the work of the authorities. This take place through education that increases the understanding of both authorities’ and civil society’s rights and obligations. Forum Syd also supports alternative media and “artivism”, activism through artistic activities.
Inclusive economic development.
Despite strong economic growth in Kenya in recent decades, the gap between the rich and poor population continues to grow. Sweden’s work is therefore focused on people who live in poverty being able to partake of the financial growth.
Agriculture accounts for the majority of the jobs in the country and a large part of Kenya’s export income. Among other things, Sweden provides support to a national agricultural programme that works so that small-scale farmers will be able to increase their harvests and obtain better access to markets to sell their products. The programme will also strengthen women farmers’ position so that they get better incomes, and make farming more attractive to young people and thereby reduce the migration to the cities. Sweden also works with guarantees to enable loans to small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs, mainly in agriculture and energy, who would otherwise have had difficulty obtaining access to capital and support.
In cooperation with Tetra Laval, among others, Sweden works to strengthen the position and incomes of dairy farmers by giving the farmers the possibility of selling their products in new markets, training the farmers in product development and giving the possibility of financing. The cooperation is a Public Private Development Partnership (PPDP) and is expected to lead to improved incomes for 30,000 poor dairy farmers, half men and half women.