As the economic centre of East Africa, Kenya is a powerful region for innovation, and several international companies have established themselves there. The ICT sector is gaining increasing importance and prominence, and in many ways people are looking to Estonia to keep this progress going.

Kenya remains one of the most highly developed countries in the African region and is the economic centre of East Africa. The country continues its growth through a carefully chosen set of Sustainable Development Goals. Its focus on digitalisation and the alignment of its education practices have been catalysts in its long-term goals of bringing about systemic, lasting change and contributing to the eradication of poverty.

The mutual relationship between Kenya and Estonia has grown since 2017. At that time, Estonia held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. As an international partner, ESTDEV concentrates its efforts in areas where Estonia has specific added value to offer, including innovation and expertise in digital issues and e-governance. In Kenya, this expertise is directed toward education, digital development, and entrepreneurship. Additional EU Member States and local public sector organisations are an integral part to ESTDEV’s work in ensuring that these changes are sustainable.

Beginning in 2022, ESTDEV operates in Kenya in cooperation with other EU member states, conducting larger-scale projects from the Team Europe Initiative. These projects focus on human-centred digitalisation within the country. In addition, ESTDEV is increasingly committed to Kenya’s education sector, framed by the memorandum of understanding between Estonia and Kenya, which concluded in 2022. Estonia has proven to be a strong partner in Kenya’s journey toward digital and education reform, owing to its strong digital skills, versatile digital solutions, and high-quality contemporary teacher education.

In cooperation with Lithuanian and Latvian partners, ESTDEV launched the Digital Explorers II project in March 2023, enabling talent migration between Estonia and Kenya and allowing young Kenyan ICT talent to gain practical work experience and further their education.

Between 2013 and 2021, Estonia invested €2 million in development cooperation projects in Kenya. During this period, 26 projects were initiated in Kenya in support of refugee welfare, humanitarian missions, education, digital development, and resource and environmental sustainability. As of September 1, 2023, there were nine ongoing projects in Kenya that support, among other things, the deployment of e-learning solutions, digital literacy, sustainable forestry, agricultural practices, and the establishment of national registers.

Global Sustainable Development Goals in Kenya

Priority Areas of Estonian Development Cooperation in Kenya

  • Digital transformation – assessing national digital maturity and providing a corresponding roadmap that includes the development of existing and new e-services and e-government tools as well as raising digital competences.
  • Entrepreneurship – developing a start-up ecosystem and increasing 21st-century skills among young people, increasing the ability of young people and women to compete in the labor market, and introducing digital opportunities through evolving skill sets.
  • Education – providing e-learning solutions, making e-learning materials more accessible, and contributing to the reform of teacher education.

Important Documents

Ongoing Projects in Kenya

Project Project dates Project implementer
Providing eKool Services in Kenya, follow-up project 16.08.2021–31.12.2022 eKool AS
Supporting Refugees Hosted by Kenya in Sustainable Livelihoods Through Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Agriculture and Resilience Building 01.09.2021–31.12.2022 NGO Estonian Refugee Council 
Transfer of Know-How for Digitization of Curriculum- Based Learning Materials to Educational Publishers and Schools in Kenya 15.01.2021–14.01.2023 Star Cloud OÜ
Mitigating the Effects of COVID-19 in Education: Enhancing Digital Competencies in East Africa 01.01.2021–28.02.2022 NGO Mondo
Supporting Kenya Education Sector: Digital Competencies and Creative Industry Trainings to Youth in Nairobi Informal Settlement (Estonian language only) 01.09.2021–30.04.2023 NGO Mondo
Strengthening the Sustainable Forestry Practices in Kenya: The Introduction and Implementation of Timbeter’s Innovative Timber Measurement Technology 01.07.2021–30.06.2023 Timbeter OÜ
State Registry for Kenyan Coffee Sector for Digital Data Capture and Parameter Based Search Utilisation 15.07.2021–15.01.2024 Reach-U
Initiative for Digital Government and Cybersecurity in Horn of Africa Countries 01.04.2022 – 31.03.2024 ESTDEV
Counselling on e-Gov Master´s Programme Development and Raising Awareness of e-Governance to Implement ICT Solutions in Kenya 01.09.2021–30.04.2024 Tallinn University of Technology