Kenya is the world’s eighth largest recipient of international aid, according to the Global Humanitarian Assistance. On an average year Kenya receives more than Shs55 billion (US$537 million) much of it passed through the non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The money is always attached to purpose – at least that is what the donors and their partner NGO say.. Of these purposes, only a few directly mention politics or political education as a key objective. But the Kenya Government – and President Uhuru Kenyatta in particular – are irked by the what they say is political interference by foreign countries. The donor NGO partners in Kenya are up in arms, complaining that the government wants to be opaque to create a climate in which forthcoming elections can be easily rigged.
The following are the top donor and the areas they say they spend their money on. You can decide for yourself which position to take.
- AGRA (founded by Bill and Melinda Foundation and Rockfeller Foundation)
AGRA works across Africa and is focused on improving the effectiveness of social initiatives such as extension services, while minimizing its own role in commercial activities to allow for growth of the private sector food production is in the hands of smallholder farmers.
AGRA supports improved access to credit, market information systems, strong agro-dealer networks, and relatively high use of inputs. Agriculture accounts for 23 percent of GDP, and has been one of the country’s fastest growing sectors, expanding at a rate of 7.6 percent in 2007. Only a few moths ago, Agra held a big conference in Nairobi,
- Ford Foundation (From USA)
The Foundation supports social change in Eastern Africa. According to the foundation, “Our work is rooted in the belief that East Africans can realize their own vision of a just, equitable, democratic and peaceful region. Grant making focuses on breaking down barriers that prevent many East Africans—particularly women and youth—from acting as engaged citizens and contributing to the region’s future.
“In particular, we support organizations across Eastern Africa that help poor farmers gain access to markets and enable communities dependent on natural resources to become recognized stewards of their lands, so they can expand their livelihoods and build assets, empower women—who dominate much of the agricultural sector but whose access to land, markets and other resources remains limited—so they can play a role in advancing progress in the region as a whole and Promote gender equality and human rights so that all East Africans can contribute to, and benefit from, society’s social and economic development.”
- SIDA (from Sweden)
According to Sida, its aim is to fight against poverty in Kenya. “By expanding our cooperation, we want to contribute to a fairer society for the many poor in East Africa’s most important economy.
“The overall goal of Swedish development cooperation with Kenya envisions a Kenya in which all poor people will have the opportunity to improve their lives and in which their human rights are respected.”
- Agence Francais Development (From France)
In Kenya, the support of AFD gives priority to establishing basic infrastructure, including energy and transport, with a significant impact on environmental issues (biodiversity, natural resource management and the fight against climate change).” We finance integrated urban programs and essential investment, in particular in the field of water and sanitation and economic growth through the promotion of the private sector as the engine of growth and job creator.”
USAID says it “stand by Kenya in their journey to achieve the goals outlined in Kenya’s Vision 2030, the country’s long-term development blueprint. This vision for change aims to transform the country into a middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens.” In line with these goals, USAID is working closely with government, private sector and civil society partners to: Make devolution work for the benefit of all Kenyans, develop sustainable systems to ensure that all citizens are healthy and educated and lay a foundation for long-term economic growth.
- European Union
The EU says of its work in Kenya, “Today, the European Union remains a steady and significant supporter of Kenya’s economic and social development, and a major partner in the country’s integration into the global marketplace.
The Cotonou Agreement signed in 2003 emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, including trade and political dialogue, also bringing non-state actors into the process. It is in this context that the Kenya Government and the EU are engaged in regular political dialogue covering areas such as economic reform, constitutional developments, human rights and regional affairs.”
- ACORD (from France)
The Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) says it has been working in Kenya since 2005 in response to the chronic droughts faced by pastoralist communities along the Kenya and Tanzania border and recently the northern regions of Marsabit and Mandera. This involves strengthening capacity of small-scale farmer and pastoralist organisations to engage in processes around the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and the Pastoralist Policy Framework of the African Union, agricultural pricy literacy and advocacy.
The ACORD Kenya Programme in partnership with UN Women, WIFIP and other CSOs Network have been working with women political aspirants in Kenya with a focus in Kisumu and Migori since January 2012. The initiative has been geared towards encouraging women to actively participate in leadership, in specific having women vie for legislative and governance positions through the electoral process. Through mentoring and training women were supported to gain better understanding of the political landscape in which they operate.
Australia’s strategic approach to Kenyan aid during 2011–15 is to help selected African countries progress the MDGs. The focus will be on areas where Australia has particular strengths, where progress is seriously off track and where strong frameworks exist for achieving effective results. One core strategy to tackle poverty and food insecurity is to increase agricultural productivity through farming systems intensification, diversification and improved market access.
The Norwegian Development Agency supports extensive election reforms and preparations for the national elections, including presidential elections, parliamentary elections and the new county parliament elections in 2013. A lot is at stake for Kenya and Norway is supporting a number of peace promoting measures through local partners. Important elements here are raising awareness about the legal system, human rights and mobilization of the people to observe implementation of the reforms required by the new constitution. Norwegian aid for follow-up of the dialogue and reconciliation agreement has caused the parties in the coalition government to stay focused on the political reform process. Dialogue with national and local authorities has also improved.
- UK Aid
UK Aid represents the British government in its relations with the Kenyan government and support British interests in Kenya. This stems from our shared history, enduring friendship and vital political, economic, commercial and cultural interests. UK Aid priorities in Kenya include helping Kenya to achieve the millennium development goals, supporting development in Kenya and creating a safer Kenya.