Germany’s guidelines for Africa
The Federal Government Policy Guidelines for Africa, developed by the Federal Foreign Office in 2017, sets out approaches for leveraging opportunities, tackling risks and overcoming crises. Developments such as the global migration movements of recent times is just one of many examples of the direct impact expansion in the African continent can have on Germany and Europe within short spaces of time.
Africa is a continent full of opportunities. Its demographic development, wealth of natural resources and growing middle class have the potential to give rise to gigantic growth markets in the near future. Democratic institutions have grown and been supported up in many countries. A considerable number of countries are assuming responsibility and are working to resolve conflicts peacefully within the framework of the African Union and other regional organizations. However, even with this progress many African nations continue to face great challenges and risks. Growing poverty, systematic human rights violations, violence, environmental degradation and corruption are some of the depravities threatening the development, security and stability of entire regions.
The Federal Government’s Africa strategy takes a comprehensive, networked approach in its response to rapid change and the risks and opportunities of these developments. The instruments of Germany’s policy on Africa, such as humanitarian assistance, peace missions and development projects, are closely coordinated to this end. In concert with its European partners, the Federal Government is acting in a decisive and substantive manner that is based on values and human rights and is geared towards mutual interests.
Political Relations with Kenya
The political relations between Germany and Kenya date back to 1963 when Germany was the first foreign nation to recognize the new state of the Republic of Kenya after its independence. Presently, the bilateral collaboration covers a wide range of areas such as political dialogue, partnership on external policy issues, support for Kenyan institutions, development cooperation as well as police cooperation. The German Embassy in Nairobi is the main point of communication between the Government of Kenya and the different German Federal Ministries. Its staff coordinates various project activities together with Kenyan and international partners on the spot, participates in the EU-Kenya political dialogue and interacts with several state and non-state actors such as religious institutions or non-governmental organizations. The Embassy also observes and reports on significant political developments in the country.
There is constant dialogue with the different political parties in the Kenyan Parliament. Part of maintaining agile political relations involves coordinating the position of both countries on international issues such as UN dossiers. The Embassy also facilitates high-level incoming visits from Germany and supports the exchange between Kenyan and German political institutions such as foundations or Members of Parliament.
Promoting Human Rights
The promotion of human rights is one of the pillars of German foreign policy around the globe. We believe that security, stability and, eventually, economic development and prosperity cannot flourish without the observance and respect for human rights. In this regard, it is right to say that the work for human rights is not only a moral and legal obligation, but it lies in Germany’s fundamental interests. With its Bill of Rights in Chapter 4, Kenya’s Constitution is one of the most progressive in the world. Germany partners with the Kenyan Government, religious institutions as well as the civil society to work for its realization. A crucial role in this regard is one of Human Rights Defenders. Based on the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (1999), support for human rights defenders is a long established policy objective of Germany and the European Union. Human rights defenders are those individuals, groups and organs of society that promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Humanitarian assistance supports those who were subject to natural disasters, epidemics or conflicts or are in danger to be so. The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the most important humanitarian partners and takes part in the main decision-making bodies in the UN. According to the principle of subsidiarity, the government of the affected state has the responsibility for the protection of their citizens. International aid takes over when the government is unable or unwilling to act upon their responsibility sufficiently.
The main focus of our humanitarian assistance in Kenya is the support of refugees, coming mostly from Somalia and South Sudan, who are situated in refugee camps in Dadaab (around 233,000) and Kakuma (around 160,000). The work of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was funded with 3.5 million Euros in 2017 for this cause, as well as the work of the World Food Program of the UN (WFP) with 11.5 million Euros. UNICEF was supported with 3 million Euros for its projects in Kenya. Furthermore, several non-government organizations and religious institutions received 2.6 million Euros. Some of the supported projects are conducted not only in Kenya, but also in Somalia.