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Kenya

Kenya is one of the 36 countries where we do research work in agriculture. Kenya is in our Eastern and Southern Africa region.
Man and woman with a bowl of maize in Kenya

Kenya is the second largest economy in East Africa after Ethiopia and the economic and transport hub of East Africa.

The World Bank believes Kenya could become one of Africa’s great success stories but the country ranks 146 of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index  It suffers from poverty, inequality, and inadequate infrastructure, and is vulnerable to terrorism and climate change.

The capital Nairobi is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa, and home to more than 3.8 million people.  Nairobi is also a major regional hub for the United Nations, multilateral organisations, and domestic missions.   Mombasa Port, located on the South Coast, is a gateway to East African trade.

Kenya’s wildlife and scenery make it a popular tourist destination.  The fertile lands of the Rift Valley provide much potential for agricultural production.  Agriculture makes up 25% of the Kenyan GDP , and most Kenyans work at least part-time in agriculture, including livestock and pastoralism.  Small-scale, rain-fed farming and livestock production dominate agriculture.

Kenya is a member of the Commonwealth, having been independent as a republic in 1963.  It plays an increasingly critical regional role on broader humanitarian, maritime and regional security issues in the Horn of Africa; it hosts a large refugee population and plays an intermediary role in Somalia and South Sudan. It hosts the headquarters of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), UN Human Settlements Programme (UN- Habitat), and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and is a member of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

In 2015, Australia and Kenya celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations.  We have collaborated on agriculture and food security, counter-terrorism and piracy, mining exploration and education.  The Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) opened an office in Nairobi in October 2012.  The AIFSC is funding applied research and capacity building activities to help ten countries in Eastern and Southern Africa adopt agricultural technology faster.

COUNTRY PRIORITIES

  • Intensification and increased resilience in maize–legume–livestock-based mixed farming systems, to improve dietary energy and nutritional quality, and increase household income