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Long-term development assistance
Kenya is the economic engine and key driver of stability in East Africa. Its strong private sector, infrastructure, and financial services contribute significantly to growth in the region. Kenya's diplomatic and peacekeeping efforts also reinforce its role as a regional stabilizer.
However, the country faces significant development challenges, such as cross-border insecurity, severe income inequalities, frequent droughts, and youth unemployment. The fallout from the disputed 2007 elections was devastating. Post-election violence had a particularly high impact on the educational system, as schools were destroyed or turned into camps for internally displaced persons. Students and teachers were themselves displaced, and many lost weeks or months of classes.
Following a power-sharing agreement brokered in 2008 that helped to end the crisis, Kenya has since embarked on an ambitious reform agenda. Most notably, a new constitution was passed in 2010 that promises to devolve power to new county governments and reform Kenya's legal and political institutions. Kenya's ability to achieve lasting prosperity depends on the country's commitment to improving governance and achieving the promise of its constitution. With Kenya's strong civil society and independent media, the country has great potential for progress. The country's vibrant private sector and growing middle class can also help to drive economic growth.
Kenya ranks 145 out of 187 countries in the United Nations Development Programme's 2012 Human Development Index. Although one out of five Kenyans is living on less than US$1.25 per day, the country has made significant progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals for universal primary education and gender parity in education.
Canada's international development program in Kenya is closely aligned with Kenya's long-term national planning strategy, officially known as Kenya Vision 2030.
The goal of Canada's program is to help Kenya secure a future for children and youth by improving primary education and strengthen democratic governance by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector.
Canada continues to improve the quality of education in Kenya by working with the Government of Kenya to train quality teachers and make schools child-friendly learning environments in which children—especially girls—feel safe and secure, healthy, and well nourished. Canada strives to work in the most disadvantaged areas of the country, where dropout rates are the highest, and supports initiatives that offer innovative solutions for the most marginalized communities, such as accelerated learning for refugee children and mobile schools for nomadic children.
Canada supports public sector accountability and citizens' engagement to improve the delivery of public services to Kenyans. By working with public institutions and grass-roots/civil society organizations, Canada is supporting good governance practices in areas such as basic education, women's political participation, conflict prevention, electoral systems, public financial management, and community participation.
Democratic governance is one of the Government of Canada's priority themes for international assistance.
Kenya adheres to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages). There has been considerable progress in implementing aid effectiveness principles, particularly donor harmonization through the Kenya Joint Assistance Strategy 2007–2012, which was signed by 17 bilateral donors, including Canada, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations. This strategy also aligns with the Government of Kenya's Vision 2030, indicating local ownership.
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