Swedish Development Cooperation with Kenya

Sweden’s development cooperation with Kenya 2009-2015 is guided by a cooperation strategy based on Kenya’s Vision 2030, which seeks to establish Kenya as a middle-income country by 2030. Kenya has since developed the second Medium Term Plan (MTP II) which is the platform for development cooperation between 2014 and 2018.

Sweden has supported Kenya within its development cooperation for the last 50 years. While maintaining support during difficult periods Sweden has always tried to be an outspoken partner with regards to human rights violations, accountability and gender equality. The support to government increased after the successful elections in 2002 opening up for new possibilities for fundamental reforms.

The overall objective of the cooperation is a Kenya in which all poor people have the opportunity to improve their living conditions, and where their human rights are realised. The rights perspective and the perspectives of the poor as well as the aid effectiveness principles of ownership, coordination, harmonisation and management for results are at the core of the cooperation.

Sweden’s cooperation focuses on Democratic Governance and Human Rights, Natural Resources and Environment, and Urban Development. Swedish support over the current strategy period is approximately SEK 400 million (KES 4.4 billion) per year, provided as grants. In 2014 the total Swedish support to Kenya amounted to 484 million SEK (KES 5.3 billion). Sweden works with government authorities at the national and county-level, as well as with the UN, the private sector and civil society organisations.

The support to democratic governance and human rights focuses on institutional development, judicial reforms, public financial management, results-oriented public administration and gender equality. Sweden’s support in the field of natural resources includes support to land reforms, access to water and sanitation, agriculture sector development and strengthened environmental management. In the urban sector, Sweden supports improvement of living conditions and strengthening of the urban poor. Human rights, including gender equality, and anti-corruption measures are part of all projects and programmes.

In addition, Sweden provides humanitarian assistance to Kenya. In 2014 this amounted to approximately SEK 46 million (KES 500 million).

Major challenges remain in Kenya in a number of areas, foremost democratic governance and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. The situation that followed the 2007 elections highlighted issues which, though crucial to Kenya's development, have remained unresolved since independence. The Constitution that was promulgated in August 2010 creates a crucial platform for a new beginning in Kenya. Sweden is giving high priority to support and promote the implementation of the Constitution. There are many challenges to the implementation including the fragmented ownership, the comprehensiveness of the task and the ambitious time schedule, the financing demands and the need to manage expectations. There is also a need to address reconciliation and ethnic grievances for the Kenyan nation to heal and prosper.

Sweden is attaching high importance to the coordination of development cooperation between Kenyan authorities and the civil society as well as the among the development partners. Sweden is leading sector groups and is active in the Development Partners Group (DPG) and the Aid Effectiveness Group (AEG). The Kenyan Government and the development partners meet every six months in the Development Partnership Forum (DPF) for political dialogue and joint commitments.