Kenya is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region and has a reputation for pioneering innovative business ideas in financial services, telecoms, digital and renewable energy. Kenya’s success in these areas has had a significant impact on the lives of millions of people across the region.
Despite progress, over 16 million Kenyans still live below the national poverty line. Whilst Kenya’s growth is positive, political, climatic and security shocks affect its ability to grow, and keep the poorest and most marginalised in extreme poverty. Inequality is growing: 750,000 young people enter the labour market each year with few job opportunities. More needs to be done to address the social and political causes of conflict and there are risks of radicalisation, especially in the north and along the coast. Regional instability has an impact within Kenya’s own borders and stirs up internal grievances.
These issues threaten Kenya’s own stability and risk undermining its ability to address regional and shared challenges, including migration and terrorism. They also threaten the UK’s global interests including the prospects of strengthening a modern development partnership based on shared goals.