Development cooperation: the Netherlands and Kenya

The Netherlands is your partner in development cooperation.

Dutch development cooperation policy

The Netherlands' approach to development cooperation is all about people's rights and opportunities. Everyone should be able to stand on their own feet and have opportunities to develop successful lives. The Netherlands also wants governments in developing countries to provide stability and protect their population.


The Dutch government's three ambitions for development cooperation are:

  • eradicating extreme poverty in a single generation
  • promoting sustainable, inclusive growth that also benefits the poorest and most vulnerable populations around the world
  • enabling Dutch companies to succeed abroad.

Doing what the Netherlands is good at

To achieve results the Netherlands invests in the themes where its expertise lies:

Within these themes, particular attention is paid to women's rights, climate change and promoting entrepreneurship.

Aid, trade and investment

Where possible the Netherlands links aid to trade. This contributes to sustainable economic growth worldwide, which benefits people in developing countries – including the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society. And it also provides opportunities for Dutch businesses.

The Netherlands' activities focus on:

  • more and better access to international markets
  • strengthening the private sector in low- and lower middle-income countries
  • promoting trade and investment
  • fair taxation
  • making production and marketing chains more sustainable.

Development cooperation: the Netherlands and your country or region

Aid to Trade

Kenya is categorized as a ‘transitional country’ in the Dutch development cooperation policy. This means that the focus will shift from aid to trade and that bilateral development cooperation will gradually be phased out. At the same time, trade and investment promotion will be intensified. The focus will be on the promotion of sustainable trade and investment via private sector development and private sector engagement. Dutch companies are already actively involved in our development activities, unlocking the potential of Dutch expertise and technologies for the Kenyan context in order to boost inclusive growth.

The Netherlands believes that (lower) middle-income countries like Kenya should become primarily trade partners. The Netherlands and Kenya will therefore move away from a traditional donor-recipient relationship to a more equal bilateral partnership. But even though Kenya has become a lower middle-income country, Official Development Assistance (ODA) will remain important for some time. Dutch aid flows managed in The Hague will continue to support Kenya. Our bilateral political cooperation in the areas of human rights, democratic development, security and stability will also continue.


  • Food Security and Agriculture - the Netherlands contributes to unlocking Kenya’s agricultural potential for economic growth and food security, benefitting both Kenya and the Netherlands. We believe that medium sized, family farms producing for the market are the most sustainable answer to feeding Kenya - and the world.
  • Water - the Netherlands is an excellent partner when it comes to providing knowledge, technology and expertise in support of Kenya’s sustainable management of water resources.
  • Trade and Investment - Kenya’s fast growing economy offers opportunities for investment and increased trade that will benefit the citizens of both Kenya and the Netherlands. At the same time, the Dutch private sector has comparative advantages in a number of key sectors and sustainable business practices that will contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Kenya and the region.
  • Security and Rule of Law (SRL) - political, social and economic stability are necessary conditions for further development of a vibrant economic relationship between Kenya and the Netherlands. The Security and Rule of Law program addresses some of the inherent causes and triggers of instability in the Kenyan socio-political and economic system (impunity, corruption, slow legal and institutional reforms, unequal access to justice, and challenges in the democratic process).

Multi–Annual Strategic Plan 2014-2017

The Multi Annual Strategic Plan (MASP) sets out the priorities for the Netherlands embassy in Nairobi for the period 2014-2017, you can receive this document by sending an email to