Kenya has the largest, most diversified economy and the second largest population in East Africa. It plays a vital role as a transportation hub for much of sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya is home to a young, ambitious, and well-educated workforce eager to contribute to the country’s development, which has helped Kenya become a leader in mobile-money and communication technology.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is reorienting its strategies, partnership models, and program practices to achieve better results and increase sustainability. The U.S. Government through USAID supports Kenya’s national government, counties, civil societies, faith-based organizations and private sectors to realize locally-sustained results.
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, and improving private, small-scale farms is essential to a broad-based, poverty reduction strategy. Through the Feed the Future initiative, we increase agricultural productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers. USAID’s farming and pastoral programs focus on the entire value-chain: from seeds and soil to farming methods to linking farmers to markets.
Economic Growth and Trade
Through the support of the U.S. Government Feed the Future initiative, USAID builds more communities and improves access to clean water and adequate sanitation. We increase access to affordable financing for farmers, entrepreneurs, and businesses, and improve the overall business environment to attract private investment. Power Africa is supporting the development of the energy sector and helps Kenya reduce reliance on expensive diesel and other high-cost fossil resources. Prosper Africa seeks business connections between Kenya and the United States.
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
From the inclusive reform process that birthed a new Constitution in 2010, Kenya has achieved many democratic milestones. Among them was the creation of 47 new counties, effectively creating a new devolved system of political power. We support county governments as they strive to operate with greater transparency, accountability, and inclusivity, as well as provide better public services to residents. Pervasive corruption remains a constant struggle in all aspects of Kenyan life. On the horizon is the 2022 Kenya general elections. Prior elections have been marked by conflict and violence, which USAID works to prevent and mitigate.
To support the next generation of young leaders, we improve primary education, expand educational and employment opportunities, and provide life skills and leadership training to thousands of Kenyan school children and young men and women throughout East Africa. Through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), launched in 2010, we support young people's work to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. The YALI Regional Leadership Center for East Africa is based at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.
Arid and semi-arid lands account for 80 percent of the country’s land area and climate variability has led to significant economic losses and increased food insecurity. Other external factors such as wildlife crime, urban expansion, and population growth are threatening conservation efforts. Our activities address these challenges through the promotion of community-based natural resource management in biodiversity hotspots. With over 60 percent of the country's wildlife ranging outside state-protected areas, sustainable management of community and private lands has proved vital to protecting and conserving Kenya’s natural heritage.
We support the health sector with high-impact, evidence-based interventions. We work with the devolved county health sector as well as the national government, civil society, faith-based organizations and the private sector on: HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care; family planning and reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health; nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene; malaria prevention and treatment; and tuberculosis control and treatment.