Kenya, Sweden in Sh3.5b devt initiative

April 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The government has partnered with Sweden in a Sh3.5 billion initiative aimed at improving development cooperation between the two countries.

The five-year initiative is aimed at improving the living standards of the poor in the country.

Swedish Ambassador to Kenya Anna Brandt said on Tuesday that the sustenance of the initiative will depend to a large extent on the implementation of Agenda Item Four under the coalition agreement.

“This strategy that the Swedish government decided on is based on the Kenya Joint Assistance Strategy,” Ms Brandt said.

“Our support is going to be linked very closely to the implementation of last year’s national accord and reconciliation act and this means that our development cooperation will promote the reforms that were agreed under the act.”

She emphasised the Swedish government’s commitment to work together with Kenya to promote institutional reforms, adding that the support will be focused on democratic governance, human rights, natural resources and the environment.

Ms Brandt however recognised the challenges that would affect the implementation of the initiative, foremost being democratic governance and equitable distribution of government resources.

She said that the strategy stressed the need for a new constitution, electoral reforms, land reforms, justice, security and security sector reforms.

The ambassador further stated the need to address reconciliation and ethnic grievances for Kenya to heal and prosper.

A speech read by the Financial Secretary on behalf of the Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua affirmed the government’s commitment to fully implement the new strategy.

“It aims at reducing and eliminating of duplication of scarce development support effort and improved governance especially in monitoring and evaluation,” he pointed out.

Mr Kinyua expressed confidence that that under the initiative, the economic growth rate of the country will be increased by 10 percent.

Ms Brandt expressed that the overall goal of the Swedish Development Cooperation is to contribute to making it possible for poor people to improve their living conditions.

She pointed out that by reducing injustices, and poverty throughout the world, better opportunities are created for development, peace and security.



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