The development cooperation programme has three key areas of focus: agriculture, education and support to business and trade development between Ireland and Kenya. The Embassy also works closely with NGO, UN and Missionary organisations working in Kenya and Somalia which are funded by Irish Aid. Between 2012 and 2017, over €33 million of Irish Aid funding was channelled through civil society organisations for long-term development interventions in Kenya and €2 million for humanitarian assistance. Irish Aid humanitarian assistance to Somalia has totalled almost €40 million from 2012 to 2018.
During his visit to Kenya in November 2017, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade launched Our Shared Interest: Ireland Kenya Agri-Food strategy 2017-2021. The strategy’s main focus is on deepening trade and investment links between Ireland and Kenya in agri-business; supporting Kenyan-Irish institutional and policy linkages and specific support to potato and dairy value chains, and fisheries, based on Irish expertise and experience in these areas. The Embassy’s support to the potato sector has included provision of low-cost storage and capacity building of smallholder farmers to increase revenues and improve food and nutrition security. The impact of small levels of support can have far-reaching effects. For example, through Irish Aid support, 15 storage facilities were constructed for farmers that reduced post-harvest losses and increased yields by 10% for over 2,500 farmers.
Kenyan Government official visiting Tops Potato Propagation Centre in Donegal in June 2018, facilitated by Embassy Nairobi
The Embassy of Ireland has also led the introduction of the Young Scientists Kenya initiative, which is based on the hugely successful BT Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition in Ireland. In partnership with the Government of Kenya, the Young Scientists Kenya inaugural National Exhibition took place on 5-6 July 2018. It is intended that Young Scientists Kenya will become the premier event for inter-schools science competition in Kenya.
Young Scientists Kenya students prepare for the inaugural YSK National Exhibition in July 2018
Support to business and trade development
Ireland has been fully engaged with, and supportive of, the Business Ireland Kenya network. The network was established in 2013 to increase the visibility of Ireland in Kenya and promote business and investment links between our two countries. The network has over 70 registered members comprising Irish and Kenyan businesses and individuals, arranges thematic and social event throughout the year and has developed a Doing Business Guide for Kenya for companies interesting in working in Kenya.
The Embassy is also working to improve the business environment for both international and domestic investors through support to the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) to establish a One Stop Centre service for investors; and through support to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to advance to strengthen private sector engagement between Irish and Kenyan businesses. This also includes specific support to women in business in Kenya. The Embassy facilitates annual outward trade missions to Ireland and a number of institutional partnerships and learning exchanges between Irish organisations and their Kenyan equivalents.
The Tánaiste addresses the Business Ireland Kenya network during his visit to Kenya in November 2017