Country Nutrition Situation

The Global Nutrition Report states that Kenya is on-track to meet four of its nutrition targets. This includes the number of children under the age of five experiencing stunting or wasting, at 26.2% and 4.2% respectively – both under the average rates for the overall Africa region. The amount of infants being exclusively breast-fed in the first five months of their lives has also risen, to 61.4%. In other areas – such as the amount of infants being born with a low weight and women of reproductive age experiencing anaemia – some progress has been made, but more work needs to be done. However, the country shows little to no progress with regard to some other nutrition-focused goals. For instance, 14% of adults in the country are obese (although this figure is lower than the African average), and diabetes affects 12% of the adult population.


Charles Opiyo

SBN Kenya Network Coordinator Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Governance structure

In Kenya, the SUN Focal point in the Ministry of Health guides the formation and functioning of six country networks, including the SBN. At a national level, the network is co-convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

It also comprises an independent secretariat with representees from member businesses, the Government, and several United Nations (UN) organisations. This meets once a quarter, and is responsible for:

  1. Providing overall collective strategic guidance and oversight.
  2. Supporting SBN in the development and implementation of projects, proposals, business models, and partnerships that can deliver sustainable nutrition impact in the private sector.
  3. Championing the role of business in multi-stakeholder approaches to scaling up nutrition at both national and sub-national level within the country.
  4. Coordinating SBN activities and advocating for business engagement in scaling-up nutrition.
  5. Identifying new opportunities for business contributions to nutrition and recruiting new members to the network.
  6. Mobilising resources and managing funds.
  7. Advocating, developing, and managing partnerships with the network stakeholders, including government, donors, and others.

What is SBN doing in Kenya

The SBN Kenya strategy (2019-2023) is aligned with the Kenya Nutrition Action Plan (KNAP 2018-2022), the Vision 2030, the National Policy on Gender and Development 2019, the Kenyan Constitution, and the BIG4 Agenda. It was developed through extensive multi-stakeholder consultations with businesses, including women-owned enterprises and other SUN networks in the country.

The network has a vision of “contributing to the reduction of malnutrition in Kenya”, and a mission to “enable businesses to supply consistent, safe and nutritious foods to consumers in Kenya”. With five strategic pillars as their foundation, the network aims to create partnerships that will support business operations and develop an enabling business environment (focusing on women-owned businesses) through specific intervention areas and key activities.
The five pillars are:

To facilitate partnerships and linkages between small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and financial investors, civil society organisations, government, donors, and prizes/grants (such as the SUN Pitch Competition).

To educate businesses on the importance of workplace nutrition and how they can encourage this, to enhance the wellbeing of employees and support the wider socio-economic climate.

To help create awareness around existing and/or future nutrition-related policies through sensitisation forums.

To assist in driving forward the market for nutritious and fortified foods and increasing demand for these.

To provide technical assistance so that businesses can upskill and grow.