Improving police structures in selected partner countries in Africa

Project description

Title: Programme to build and strengthen the police structures in selected partner countries in Africa - Country component Kenya
Commissioned by: Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Kenya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Kenya
Overall term: 2019 to 2022



Since 2009, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been promoting police reform processes in Africa on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office. The programme is currently implementing a total of eleven country and regional measures. All selected partner countries and regions show characteristics of fragile statehood to varying degrees.

Kenya has a high level of corruption by international standards. Notably, corrupt conduct by police officers in everyday routine negatively impacts the trust of the population in the police force. Cooperation between the police and the public needs to be improved. Government competencies for crime control are limited. This is evidenced by high crime rates and low clearance rates.

Kenya’s security is continually under threat. Threats range from terrorist attacks to organised crime. The Kenyan police have only a limited ability to prevent and respond to these activities. On the one hand, the skills and staffing of the authorities along the criminal justice chain are poor, particularly in terms of cooperation between the different authorities. On the other hand, corruption within the police force provides a hotbed for criminal and terrorist activities. This goes hand-in-hand with violent conflicts, some of which include human rights violations by police officers.

The police reform process in Kenya was started in 2010. The objective of the police reform is to transform the police force to provide more professional services, be closer to the communities they serve and better able to enforce the rule of law. Although the institutional reform process was started more than eight years ago, it is still far from being completed.


The Kenyan law enforcement authorities work in accordance with professional standards. Policing is community-oriented and the police’s actions are based on constitutional principles. Security and order are ensured and human rights respected.

Foto 4


The Kenya component of the programme and the respective activities are to achieve three results. 

  • Cooperation between law enforcement, judicial authorities and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is improved.

After an initial analysis of the current state of cooperation and its shortcomings, expert and organisational advice focuses on strengthening the collaboration between the public prosecutor’s office and the criminal investigation department. Joint training measures and the establishment of formats to promote regular exchange are intended to ensure the sustainability of the process.

  • The skills and staffing of the national police, in particular of the criminal investigation department, in the field of crime scene work and forensic investigation are improved.

Kenya’s forensic units are to be trained and educated and provided with the necessary equipment. Awareness will be raised among members of the national police as well as the general public with regard to correct conduct at crime scenes. Guidelines are to be developed and established with regard to the interaction of the police with victims and witnesses in the context of investigations. 

  • The efficiency of the forensic unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is improved. 

The establishment of a quality management system and the introduction of a laboratory manual are intended to contribute significantly to a more professional forensic technology. The Kenyan authorities are to be equipped with technology and their members trained in cooperation with the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). In addition, the Kenyan laboratory is to be networked in the region with the help of INTERPOL to allow for exchange as well as training in cooperation with other forensic institutions.

Additional information