Speeches Shim

Office of Transition Initiatives, OTI, Kenya
KENYA, Nairobi : A man walks past a large screen in Central Nairobi broadcasting the last televised debate for the 2013 Kenya elections on February 25, 2013.
AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza

2008 - 2014


USAID/OTI launched its Kenya program in June 2008, four months after Kenya's competing political parties adopted a peace accord and power-sharing agreement to stem devastating interethnic violence that followed contested December 2007 national elections. The agreement opened a window of opportunity for USAID/OTI to support national and local-level stabilization and transition efforts targeted at recovery and reducing political and social volatility and vulnerability to violence. In August 2009, USAID/OTI retargeted its objectives to give greater focus to a two-pronged effort supporting the institutional and grassroots reforms outlined in the February 2008 National Accord, including a constitutional review, youth employment, police reform and land reform.


USAID/OTI sought to support key U.S. Government policy goals and contribute to a stable Kenyan polity that mobilized citizens' participation around a national identity and political party platforms rather than ethnic identities. In pursuit of this goal, the program assisted Kenyan state and non-state actors to more fully exercise their capacities and, thereby, supported the following broad objectives:

  • Enable public institutions to undertake fundamental reforms and to manage instability and uncertainty; and
  • Mobilize the public, especially the youth and key change agents, to demand accountability and reform.


  • In the run-up to the August 2010 constitutional referendum on a proposed new constitution, USAID/OTI-supported partners worked with youth to support peaceful participation in the event. USAID/OTI also sought to enhance the legitimacy and transparency of the Kenyan parliament by providing live broadcast equipment and training to facilitate the broadcast of parliamentary proceedings via television and radio.
  • The program aimed particularly to support youth, many of whom were unemployed and easy targets for ethnicity-based manipulation by politicians. Activities focused on mobilizing youth to call for reform and an end to impunity by politicians who exacerbated and capitalized on ethnic tensions during and after elections.
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