The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Kenya in 1964, following its December 1963 independence from the United Kingdom. The U.S. and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations and an enduring strategic partnership since Kenya's independence. Longstanding mutual interests in the region and wide-ranging cooperation on economic and security issues underpin a strong bilateral relationship. Ethnic-based political divisions, interference in key institutions, corruption, and impunity pose challenges to Kenya’s democracy.
U.S. Assistance to Kenya
As an important developing partner in East Africa, Kenya is a significant recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. The U.S. seeks to advance its national security and economic prosperity interests by helping strengthen economic stability, security, health, education, environment, rule of law, and democratic governance in Kenya, as well as by countering violent extremism and combating wildlife trafficking.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Kenya is East Africa’s largest and most important business, financial, and transportation hub. U.S. private sector interest in Kenya remains robust with numerous American companies engaged in Kenya, especially within the technology, consumer services, banking, and finance sectors. U.S. exports to Kenya include agricultural products, aircraft parts, and machinery. U.S. imports from Kenya include apparel, coffee, and tea.