The Regional Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics) in Nairobi is responsible for Kenya, Somalia (both AICS priority countries), Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It is an area with great potential, where countries which are experiencing sound economic growth coexist with countries affected by instability and humanitarian crises.
In Kenya, the Italian Cooperation operates in key sectors such as agricultural development, environment, access to basic services, promotion of human rights, private sector development, women empowerment. The cooperation activity is aligned with Kenya's agenda outlined in the "Kenya Vision 2030" and the "Big Four Agenda for Development". A joint programming exercise was promoted together with EU member states which resulted in a "EU Joint Cooperation Strategy 2018-2022".
Alongside the infrastructural initiatives, mainly realized through loans and realized through the governmental institutions of Kenya, there are key interventions where the contribution of Italian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) is essential also thanks to their presence on the territory. Other important partners for the action of the Italian Cooperation are the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) for the support to the Statistical Office of Kenya, the University of Pavia for the "Master In Economics Cooperation And Human Development" at the Kenyatta University, the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore in Milan and its E4Impact Foundation: the collaboration between Aics and the Foundation led to the creation of an incubator and accelerator of innovative local companies. Recently, an MoU has been signed with the Global Health Centre of Tuscany Region for the realization of an important regional initiative to enhance the health systems in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with particular reference to maternal and child health. Finally, synergies have been created also with the private sector, and namely with ENI, with whom a MoU has been signed in 2021.
In Somalia the presence of the Italian Cooperation has historically been concentrated on the health sector, a sector where Aics is still active today in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the efforts of the Somali government in reaching universal health coverage. An additional significant effort has been made to support the Demartino hospital in Mogadishu, which is considered a center of excellence in Somalia. The Italian support also focus on one of the key sectors for the reconstruction of the country, that of infrastructures, which have been largely destroyed or damaged during the civil war. Efforts underway include the upgrade of Bosaso aqueduct. Finally, it is important to mention the support to higher education, which is considered as a fundamental component of human development and therefore a priority for the Italian Cooperation in Somalia. Collaboration at the university level is historic, especially with the Somali National University, a strategic partner for strengthening skills and training the new political class.
In the other countries of competence, cooperation activities focus on the development of professional training and support for the statistics sector (Tanzania), the health sector (Uganda), and emergency humanitarian aid (Democratic Republic of the Congo) also in collaboration with a strong and consolidated presence of Italian civil society organizations.