Kenya became a lower-middle economic country in 2014 and has continued to perform well economically in 2016 with a GDP growth of 5.9%. However, the business climate continues to be challenged by corruption and red tape, among others. In the interests of Kenya’s long-term stability and security, which is potentially threatened by terrorism and political violence, the Netherlands has a targeted programme to enhance governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. This programme addresses inequalities and counters violent extremism. Under the Aid and Trade agenda, the Netherlands focuses on the transfer of knowledge and technology in the water and agricultural sectors, involving Dutch companies and knowledge institutions, which is showing promising results. In other sectors, trade and investment are also being promoted. Within the region, Kenya is an important host country to 600,000 refugees. In the long term, hosting so many refugees contributes to preventing the migration of refugees to Europe but, due to the large numbers and continued regional instability, also poses challenges to the country. The (presidential) elections held last August (2017), the Supreme Court’s judgement and the new presidential elections to be held on 17 October could influence the pace of further structural reforms, which are needed to ensure the sustainability of investment-driven inclusive growth.

Featured project

Dairy matters, inspiring stories on dairy development in Kenya

By the end of 2016, 100,000 dairy farmers (50% female), including their families, increased their income from dairy sales by at least 15%. Furthermore, the Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme has continued to stimulate increasing interest among youths in dairy farming and related businesses, especially the preparation of quality fodder for increased milk production. Eighteen success and struggle stories concerning participants in the Dairy Programme can be found in “Dairy matters, inspiring stories on dairy development in Kenya”. The collected stories highlight improvements in farm management practices, investments, achievements and results, but also the struggles and difficulties people encounter.
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Key results of the embassy in Kenya

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Number of farmers with increased productivity and income

127,057 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The decline in overall agricultural growth, from 7.2% in 2015 to 4.4% in 2016, is mainly due to insufficient rainfall. Nevertheless, Dutch food security projects continued to succeed in terms of improved farm production, increased farmer income and enterprise development in order to ultimately achieve sustainable growth. In 2016, production of fresh horticultural products and marketed milk increased by 9.4% and 5.6%, respectively.

Number of strategic Dutch investments in agribusiness and agrifinance

34 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Cumulative investments using Dutch technology or capital were made by 34 strategic agribusiness and agrifinance companies, five of which were new in 2016. The embassy played a brokerage, advisory or programmatic role. In addition, 32 new business inquiries were received and addressed by the embassy and several trade missions to Kenya were facilitated. The NL Business Hub (established at the end of 2015) also supported companies entering the Kenyan market, including the agricultural sector. No data on the results are yet available.


Indicator Score Progress

Number of people with access to improved water resources

211,200 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Overall, the percentage of the national population with access to safe and improved water supply increased from 56.9% in 2015 to 58.0% in 2016. In urban areas, water coverage increased by 1.3% to 68.3%, whereas in rural areas water coverage increased by 0.8% to 50.2%. The water operator partnerships between Vitens Evides from the Netherlands and the water companies in Naivasha and Mombasa increased access for an additional 211200 people in 2016 by extending the pipeline networks and opening new water kiosks in poor areas.

Number of people benefiting from improved river basin management

479,599 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

In 2016, the new Water Act was finally enacted with provisions for basin management and regulation of the management and use of water resources, water harvesting and storage, and ground water. This strengthened the legal frameworks for the embassy's water management projects. In 2016, the Integrated Water Resource Management Action Plan for Lake Naivasha, the Mau Mara Serengeti Sustainable Water Initiative, Smart Water for Agriculture and African Wildlife Foundation contributed to improved river basin management, benefiting households, farmers and businesses in these areas.

Security & Rule of Law

Indicator Score Progress

Number of people with increased access to justice

46,049 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Kituo cha Sheria and KNCHR (Kenya National Commission on Human Rights) innovatively used mobile phone technology to make justice more accessible in a cheaper and more expeditious manner. Legal aid and legal advice is offered via mobile phones, reducing the need for clients to travel to resolve their legal matters. At the same time, the judiciary reduced case backlog by 22.6% and improved its overall case clearance rate from 74% to 80% in 2016, thereby increasing the supply of justice in relation to demand.

Number of civil society organisations (CSOs) with stronger capacity to advance women's rights and gender equality

118 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The capacity of NGOs at a national level and in the counties was strengthened in terms of lobbying and advocacy, access to justice, human rights and women's participation in political processes. This is especially relevant in the context of space for civil society being under threat. In the run-up to the general elections in 2017, these NGOs have focused on activities to increase women's inclusion and to enable women to run for elected office, as well as advocating and lobbying for the enactment of legislation to implement the two-thirds gender rule.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

Overall, the embassy programmes are on track to achieve the planned results. In the agricultural sector, an embassy programme has started to identify and upscale best practices in the three sub-sectors of diary, horticulture and aquaculture. However, the business climate continues to pose challenges. Support to improve and speed up commercial justice will therefore be considered, along with continued support to reforms in procedures for doing business via IFC/WB (International Finance Corporation/World Bank).

Glimpse into the future

In 2016, the Dutch government agreed with the Kenyan government that the bilateral development co-operation programme for Kenya would be phased out in 2020. This means that current embassy projects in the water and food security sectors are being phased out by early 2020. However, the sustainability of these projects requires continuous and careful consideration, so that the development results already achieved will not be lost once support ends. Programmes in the area of human rights and countering violent extremism are likely to continue, as the governance and security situation is not expected to change remarkably in the medium term. After 2020, the relationship between Kenya and the Netherlands will focus on trade and investment, facilitated by Dutch business support instruments. It is expected that Kenya will remain an important political partner, given its role in the region, including the hosting of 600,000 refugees from the region.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 16,976,746

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel