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International Partnerships


We have a long-standing partnership with Kenya and cooperate in the country’s economic, security, and development policies. Despite being a lower middle-income country, Kenya still faces challenges in ensuring that the majority of its population is living in good conditions.

Our priorities

The EU is the leading donor of development aid in Kenya. Together with EU countries, we are committed to support the country’s main objectives and its development manifesto - the ‘Big Four Agenda’ - which sets out 4 development priorities to tackle by 2022:

  • expansion of manufacturing
  • universal healthcare
  • affordable housing
  • food security and nutrition

Immediate stability

We help Kenya deal with pressures directly threatening its immediate stability and arising mainly from:

  • its fragile north-eastern and coastal regions
  • the large number of refugees it hosts

Long-term stability

We support the Kenyan government’s own efforts towards good governance, democracy, and the rule of law, including anti-corruption policies, a dialogue on human rights, and better planning and mobilisation of domestic resources.

In 2013, Kenya initiated a devolution process: 47 new county governments were created and received significant powers, especially regarding health services and road infrastructure. While devolution has created a new reform space for more responsive, equitable, efficient, and accountable local services, actual improvements on the ground will depend on the quality of the counties’ institutions and the incentives driving the changes. The EU is particularly supportive of this process.

Job creation

Given its young population (most people are younger than 35 years old), any strategy that Kenya undertakes must focus on reinforcing young people’s socioeconomic rights.

We therefore want to help Kenya build a viable future for young people through an inclusive and equitable job market. We support job creation, promote actions along the 3 pillars of the European External Investment Plan (The European Fund for Sustainable Development, Technical Assistance and Investment Climate) across the region, and encourage regional economic integration as well as enhanced trade and investment relations with Europe.

Green economy

Kenya has already taken steps to transform its economy and we support the continuation of these efforts to reach a clean and competitive low-carbon economy, based on renewable energy production.

Our programmes

European development aid to Kenya is supported via the European Development Fund (EDF). The funding cycle for 2014-2020 amounted to € 435 million and focused on:

  • job creation
  • food security and resilience to natural disasters, especially in arid and semi-arid lands
  • sustainable infrastructure, transport, and energy
  • increasing accountability, as part of the devolution process

In addition, we channel additional support to Kenya through other EU initiatives, especially for:

  • democracy, good governance, and human rights support
  • gender equality and equity
  • environmental sustainability
  • health issues, such as mother and child health, and HIV/AIDS prevention
  • conflict management and peacebuilding

Kenya also benefits from our actions under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which fosters stability and addresses root causes of displacement and irregular migration, while providing support and creating economic opportunities for long-term refugees and their host communities.