USAID in Kenya: Development of the Client State

Rosa Klein-Baer

Abstract

This essay explores the workings of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kenya, focusing on the role of various global actors in development projects. To illustrate the variety of priorities at play in USAID programs, the paper has three sections, highlighting the agency’s role in military, political, and economic interests, respectively. Through examining various USAID initiatives in Kenya and their implications within larger global processes, this paper suggests that the agency is used as a tool to subordinate the Kenyan state to global capitalist interests. The organization thus promotes and perpetuates a client state relationship between Kenya and a powerful global network of financial institutions, corporations, and governments that consolidate their interests in U.S. development aid.

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