Africa - Eastern

Ongoing implementation of the 'European Joint Cooperation Strategy with Kenya 2018-2022'. 

European partners in Kenya endorsed the Joint Cooperation Strategy (JCS) with Kenya 2018-2022, which constitutes the second phase of EU Joint Programming in Kenya, and through which EPs support the priorities and objectives identified by the Government of Kenya in the Third Medium-Term Plan (MTP III) 2018-2022 and the Political Manifesto of the current government, the “Big Four Agenda”. 

The joint strategy 2018-2022 identifies four priority areas:

  1. Accountability and Governance
  2. Sustainable infrastructure
  3. Employment creation
  4. Resilience building

EU DPs will cooperate as regards interventions in other strategic areas of interest such as the environment, climate change, irregular migration, forced displacement, women’s empowerment, peace, stability and security. Tackling inequalities, particularly gender inequality and disability, is to be comprehensively integrated as a priority issue across all areas.

Operationalisation of the Joint Strategy will use a three-pronged approach focusing on 1) Joint implementation; 2) Joint communication and visibility; and 3) Monitoring and evaluation. 

The Joint Programming document also includes a joint monitoring process to report on the Strategy. It will enable the EU Development Partners to measure the progress made in terms of aid effectiveness commitments but also the have an assessment of the benefits of the Joint Programming process to the donors themselves.

The first European Joint Cooperation Strategy with Kenya covered the period 2014-2017 and was aligned with the country's Second Medium Term Plan and Vision 2030. The EU Joint Cooperation Strategy 2014-2017 defined four priority sectors laying out the focus of Joint Programming:

  1. Agriculture, Rural Development and ASAL (Arid and Semi-Arid Lands);
  2. Energy and Transport;
  3. Democratic governance, justice and the rule of law and
  4. Water and sanitation.

Challenges and opportunities for Joint Programming in the country


  • Kenya Long term Vision 2030: provides a long-term vision of the country's Development Plan
  • Existence of EU joint initiatives (see below)


  • ODA does not represent a substantial share of development financing of Kenya; therefore the Government buy-in for Joint Programming can be superficial
  • Importance influence of the USA, the World Bank and the African Development Bank as well as China and India, lowering the impact of EU partners;
  • Difficulties to reach synchronization of the different programming cycles.

Roles of EU+ Development Partners

European partners present in Kenya and engaged in Joint Programming are the European Investment Bank (EIB), Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Slovak Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In parallel, the Joint Cooperation Strategy is further supported by Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain, who do not have active cooperation portfolios but engage with Kenya on other levels and are actively involved in the different strands of the joint EU political and policy dialogue with the Government of Kenya.

The Joint Strategy foresees an adaptation of the Development Partners' programming cycles toward a full synchronization with the national cycle.

Joint implementation initiatives

The previous Joint Cooperation Strategy (2014-2017) led to the launch of a number of successful joint initiatives such as:

  • The development of a joint EU framework for the provision of water and sanitation in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya. Five EU partners (the EU, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden) agreed on using the same implementing collaborator for their interventions.

  • The agreement on dividing labour between EU, Germany (GIZ) and Sweden (SIDA) on the support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

  • The creation of the EU+ migration working group which aims at ensuring a coordinated EU approach to activities in the migration sector.

Links with CSO Roadmap, Democracy and HR profiles and the Gender Action Plan

References were made to the Gender Action Plan as well as the EU Civil Society Roadmap in the first Joint Programming Strategy. The present Joint Strategy aims to comprehensively integrate gender as a priority issue across all areas.

Missions & Meetings

Country Notes


About Kenya


Africa - Eastern

Country Classification

Income Status
Lower-Middle Income
Fragile Status
Fragile State (OECD)

Active in Joint Programming


Tracking Summary

NDP Period
EU MIPS Period
Joint Programming Start Date
Joint Programming Launch Date
Updated on 29/03/2020