Political situation Ambitious goals, widespread corruption
The current constitution, which entered into force in 2010, includes a set of fundamental rights and provides for the restructuring of Kenya's centralist state into a decentralised republic. The decentralisation process has already produced results: medical care and public services have improved in many counties.
In 2008, the Kenyan government published its “Vision 2030” development strategy, the objective of which is to transform Kenya into “a newly industrialising, middle-income country” by the year 2030. The government is making efforts to dovetail its national strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
In the area of international climate policy, the Kenyan government is playing an increasingly active role. It wants to act as a model and encourage other countries in the region to step up their climate action efforts, and it wants to coordinate Africa's position in climate negotiations. An Africa Climate Summit is to be held in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, in September 2023, in order to draft shared positions for the UN climate conference in Dubai in December.
Development is hampered by rampant corruption. The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (External link) of the non-governmental organisation Transparency International ranks Kenya 123rd out of 180 countries assessed, with a score of 32 out of 100 (in 2017, its score was 28 and its rank was 143). It is encouraging to see how openly Kenya's media report about corruption and how actively the country's judicial authorities investigate the matter. Some progress has been made on this front in the last few years: high-ranking officials have been arrested and several millions worth of unlawfully accumulated wealth have been recovered.
The human rights situation in Kenya is comparatively good. However, human rights organisations criticise the excessive use of force by security forces. Violations of fundamental rights also occur in violent conflicts between ethnic communities.
Kenya has a comparatively open media landscape and an active and critical civil society. However, there have been repeated instances of intimidation. Journalists and bloggers who report on sensitive issues such as corruption, land distribution and security must fear arbitrary arrests and incidents of physical violence. Civil society organisations that take a critical stance find themselves facing restrictions placed on them by the authorities.
As at: 02/05/2023