Kenya, with its central location, extensive road network and port, is the economic hub of East Africa. In recent years, Kenya experienced steady economic growth and an expanding entrepreneurial middle class. Agriculture is the main economic driver contributing to 25% of its GDP. Kenya boasts of a relatively mature financial system with the fintech sector among the fastest growing in Africa.   

Kenya is a youthful country, with 75% of its population below 35 years. For years, Kenya has played a critical role in supporting humanitarian activities in the region and today serves as the second biggest refugee-hosting country in Africa. Kenya's focus lies on eradicating poverty and growing the economy through the Big Four Agenda that creates jobs in the fastest growing industries - manufacturing, food security, housing, and healthcare.

facts and Figures

  • Area: 580,367 km²
  • Population: 47.6 million
  • Capital: Nairobi

Swisscontact in Kenya

  • since 1997


Labour market insertion, Initial vocational education and training
Promoting Life Skills and Livelihoods (S4L)
Turkana County, the second-largest county in Kenya boasts of an estimated population of 926,976 with young people below the age of 19 years, accounting for 60% of the population. Classified as the most impoverished county, 79% of its people are living in poverty with illiteracy levels rising to 82%.  Despite the high levels of marginalization,...


Initial vocational education and training
Lucy sews her way to independence
Lucy Amanikor grew up in Kakuma. She quit school early. Her parents could not pay the school fees, so she sold baked goods on the streets of Kakuma. One day she heard about the Skills for Life project. She received coaching and professional guidance, and after some time she decided to become a seamstress. She completed training from November 2016 to April 2017. She was optimistic and believed in herself. “I knew that if I give my best I will be successful. I love everything about tailoring. It gives me secure income and I always have enough work. I sew both women’s and men’s clothing, and I also make repairs.”
Initial vocational education and training
Cakes and scones for a better life
Kamal fled Sudan for Kenya in 2016 due to political unrest. Since then, the 32-year-old has been living in the Kakuma refugee camp. He learned about the Skills for Life project through a sensitisation campaign and settled on baking as his trade of choice since he wanted to have a marketable skill when he returned to his homeland. In South Sudan, there aren’t many bakeries nor a wide variety to select from. Sudanese bread is the most common. The Skills for Life project trained Kamal and 12 other group members for three months. They learnt how to bake a wide range of products, including different types of cakes, tea scones, and Congolese mandazi (fried bread).
Labour market insertion, Initial vocational education and training
Exploring professional opportunities in a refugee camp
In Kakuma, Kenya, very few refugees or members of the local population have a professional education under their belts. Having one would make it possible for them to earn a living wage. For this reason, since 2013, Swisscontact has been organising trainings to help integrate them into the local labour market.
Director Central, East and Southern Africa
Anirban Bhowmik


Swisscontact works in Kenya to reduce unemployment and improve the livelihoods of refugees, smallholders, MSMEs and the youth. Swisscontact strengthens their prospects of gainful employment by facilitating technical skills training, promoting financial literacy, and offering linkages to formal financial institutions.  

For over a decade, Swisscontact has played a role in alleviating poverty through implementing interventions that increase access to financial products and services. Through Inclusive Finance Programmes micro-enterprises, subsistence farmers and low-income households have increased their economic activities.  

In the Kakuma Refugee Camp Swisscontact supports refugees and the host community to move from humanitarian support to a lasting development pathway. Activities include income-generating capabilities and employability by facilitating technical skills training in addition to literacy, numeracy, financial and life skills, combining theoretical and hands-on techniques. 

10 Years Financial Services in East Africa
At the beginning of the 2000s, the financial sector in the region was evolving fast and mainstream institutions were beginning to consider changing their orientation to include previously excluded clients. Swisscontact understood that it was not only about inclusive products and services that were accessible and affordable but also about also about the capacity and capability of the workforce to deliver to these clients.
Skills for Life - project journey
The Promoting Life Skills and Livelihoods project commonly referred to as Skills for Life (S4L) was designed to strengthen the income-generating capabilities of youth (both refugee and from the host community) in Kakuma by enhancing their technical, financial, life and literacy skills to improve their chances of an enriched livelihood.
Transforming the lives of entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers through innovative financial solutions.

The Journey of Microleasing in Eastern Africa 2006 – 2017.


Swisscontact in Kenya
6th Floor, Victoria Plaza
11 Parklands Road, Westlands