Democracy and Governance
USAID Kenya is working with the Government of Kenya to ensure elections are free, fair and peaceful. Significant milestones are being made in the reform and electoral processes. Supporting Kenyans to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions remains the U.S. Government’s top priority.
Citizens play an active role as candidates and voters. All Kenyans, no matter their gender, ethnicity or geographic affiliation, have a right and responsibility to participate in the elections process.
The failed 2007 presidential election, which resulted in violent civil unrest, highlighted weaknesses in Kenya’s democratic system. In order for democracy to flourish, critics and supporters alike agree that Kenya must reduce executive discretion through a system of stronger checks and balances while expanding meaningful, inclusive political participation. Failure to address these issues heralds a continuing erosion of Kenya’s democratic foundation.
U.S. Government support in the democracy arena focuses on two main themes: 1) supporting the reform agenda agreed to by the Grand Coalition Government and 2) enhancing the country’s system of checks and balances in the face of a strong executive branch. Activities are helping advance constitutional and electoral reform, supporting the oversight and legislative role of Parliament, strengthening the voice and advocacy capacity of civil society, and promoting peace building at national and local levels. Together, these efforts aim to bring greater transparency and accountability to government, while nurturing a new generation of leaders.