Yesterday, UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Irish Ambassador Dr Vincent O’Neill joined fellow diplomats from the European Union (EU) and Kenya for a dialogue session on the EU-Kenya partnership.
This dialogue reviews all aspects of the EU-Kenya bilateral relations and reflects the long-standing relationship between the two, which is based on a common set of values and principles. Yesterday’s meeting cemented the unique relationship between the European Union, EU Member States and Kenya by agreeing to continue and deepen cooperation.
To mark the occasion, the EU and Kenya also launched the EU Joint Cooperation Strategy with Kenya, setting out a common approach for the EU, nineteen EU Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support Kenya with €4.5 billion from 2018 to 2022. This agreement not only harmonizes investment over a long period of time, it also aligns financial support with the priorities and objectives of the national government, such as the Government of Kenya’s Medium Term Plan III and the Big Four agenda.
“Kenya is at a turning point, marked by the need to consolidate and strengthen economic growth, the rule of law and democratic governance to fulfil its Vision 2030. The Joint Cooperation Strategy will adapt the EU’s approach to best reflect Kenya’s lower middle-income status while addressing the major inequalities and development challenges that persist across the country. The EU is among the biggest partners for Kenya in the political, trade and development sectors,” the European External Action Service said.
This €4.5 billion includes the indicative financial commitments of the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Slovak Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In parallel, this 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 parts of the political and policy dialogue of the EU with the Government of Kenya.
Commenting on the meeting Irish Ambassador Dr Vincent O’Neill said it was “excellent to participate in formal high level Kenya EU Partnership Dialogue,” describing it as “an opportunity for frank discussion on issues of key importance to the EU-Kenya relationship, including how we jointly cooperate for the achievement of the Big 4 Agenda.”
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Devolution as ASALs, Eugene L. Wamalwa said: “We appreciate the support of all development partners working towards the realization of the Big 4 Agenda through establishing Local Economic Development Projects that have enabled social economic transformation to locals.”