kibaki obama

Ally in the Region

Kenya/U.S. Relations

For decades, Kenya and the United States have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. Immediately following independence, the U.S.sought to establish diplomatic relations and soon after opened theU.S. Embassy in Nairobi on December 12, 1963. To date, Kenya’s relations with the United States remain warm.

Americans Living in Kenya

  • More than 9,000 U.S. citizens have taken residency in Kenya. Nearly two-thirds of the American residents are missionaries and their families.
  • More than 89,400 Americans visited Kenya in 2008.

American Assistance

  • The United States provides substantial assistance to Kenya, promoting broad-based economic development as the basis for continued progress in political and social areas.
  • Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Kenya received about $462 million in 2006/2007.
  • USAID has effectively supported a number of trade promotion activities through the East Africa Trade Hub in Nairobi.
  • The Overseas Private Investment Company (OPIC) is seeking a strategic partnership with the Kenyan private sector to undertake investment opportunities in the housing market.
  • The United States assistance strategy is founded on five main objectives:
  • Improving healthcare
  • Fighting poverty and promoting prosperity
  • Advancing democratic values, human rights and good governance
  • Fighting insecurity and terrorism
  • Collaborating to foster peace and stability in East Africa

Joining Forces in Somalia

  • For over a decade, Kenya has served as America’s ally against Islamic extremism spreading across the Horn of Africa.
  • The United States provides equipment and training to Kenyan security forces, both civilian and military to help combat terrorist threats.
  • The joint effort by the United States and Kenya has prevented clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading across the border and into other countries in the region.

Kenyan Embassy’s Role in Cordial Relationship:

The Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. provides economic support as the basis for continued political and social progress. U.S. assistance to Kenya is founded in five main objectives: 1) improving healthcare; 2) fighting poverty and promoting prosperity; 3) advancing democratic values, human right and good governance; 4) fighting insecurity and terrorism; and 5) collaborating to foster peace and stability in East Africa. A key component of U.S. assistance is The Peace Corps, with 150 volunteers in Kenya.3

Joint Efforts in Regional Conflict:


  • Kenya has prevented the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading across the border;
  • Currently, there are 173,702 Somalian refugees in Kenya.


  • Kenya provides shelter to almost a quarter million refugees, including Ugandans who flee across the border periodically to seek protectios from Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels;


  • Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan’s north-south separation in February 2005;
  • Currently, there are 73,004 Sudanese refugees in Kenya.


  • Ethiopia and Kenya concluded a mutual defense pact in 1964 in response to continued threats from Somalia, which has been renewed twice: in 1980 and again in 19874
  • Currently, there are 16,428 Ethiopian Refugees in Kenya.


1 CIA Factbook:
2 Department of State:
3 Wikipedia:
4 Global Security: