Amkeni Wakenya

Towards Human Rights-Centered and Transformational Governance in Kenya: Empowering Civil Society for Change

Introduction

Amkeni Wakenya is a Swahili word meaning ‘Kenyans let us arise’, and is espoused from the second stanza of the National Anthem, a clarion call to all Kenyans to actively participate in Nation building. It is a UNDP led Facility dedicated to empowering citizens to participate effectively in democratic Governance by providing support through Civil Society Organizations.

Amkeni Wakenya was established in 2008, then known as Civil Society Democratic Governance Facility (CSDG). It was meant to provide financial and technical support to CSOs to promote democracy, human rights, governance reforms, and the integration of a rights based approach in social and economic reforms in Kenya. The CSDG facility later rebranded as Amkeni Wakenya and it broadened its scope to include support for CSOs engaging in implementation of reforms within the context of the National Accord on Peace and Reconciliation that was adopted by the Kenya Government in addressing the calamitous post-election violence of 2007/8.

The Facility has managed to reach out and provide support to more than 220 civil society organizations (CSOs) across the country. This support has been in the form of grants, capacity building and learning and knowledge management. It has targeted, and benefited, small grassroots-based CBOs as well as medium size and bigger national-level CSOs/NGOs.

The long term outcomes of the project are to enable citizens to benefit from a more accountable, just, transparent and democratic society and to support civic engagement which empowers the citizens to influence public policies. The project supports activities to strengthen participatory democracy, social justice, the rule of law and protection of human rights and facilitate citizens’ active engagement in governance reforms and development processes.

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