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Canada-Kenya relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada established diplomatic relations with Kenya at the time of its independence in 1963. Canada’s High Commission in Nairobi is our largest mission in Africa, accredited to Kenya as well as Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda, and the United Nations Environment Programme and UN-Habitat. Kenya is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Ottawa.

Canada and Kenya have an excellent relationship founded on a range of shared interests including poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, trade diversification, the empowerment of women and girls, supporting refugees, and regional security and stability.

Canadian Ministers enjoy good relationships with their Kenyan counterparts. In May 2023, responding to the crisis in Sudan, Minister Joly met with President Ruto in Nairobi demonstrating Canada’s commitment to the region. Minister Ahmed Hussen visited Kenya to attend the Africa Climate Summit in November 2023 and met with President Ruto and Principal Secretary for Diaspora Affairs Roseline Njogu. Minister Mary Ng met with Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industry Rebecca Miano on the margins of the G7 Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting in Osaka in October 2023.

In November 2018, Canada co-hosted with Kenya and Japan a Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi that addressed challenges such as growing the maritime economies of developing countries, the role of women in the Blue Economy, marine security, and the impact of climate change.

Canada’s Directorate of Military Training and Cooperation offers military training at the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC), which is hosted by Kenya, in Nairobi. Kenya has been a member of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Programme since 1970, with approximately 500 Kenyan officers trained to date.

Canada and Kenya established a Binational Commission in September 2018 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Foreign Ministers. The MOU provides a framework of cooperation for regular dialogue to discuss political and economic issues. The first meeting of the Canada-Kenya Binational Commission took place in March 2019 (hosted by Canada), followed by a second meeting in April 2021 (hosted by Kenya), and a third in May 2024 (hosted by Canada).

Trade relations

Canada has a well-established trade relationship with Kenya. In 2023, Canadian exports to Kenya reached $110.7M and imports were $46.4M. Exports to Kenya mainly include wheat, newsprint, and worn clothing, and aerospace products. Imports from Kenya are primarily coffee, tea, and plants. The Canadian direct investment in Kenya was $90M in 2022.

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International assistance

In 2020-21, Canada provided $99.4 million in international assistance to Kenya. Canada’s international assistance is well aligned with Kenya’s overarching Vision 2030 strategy, and our support is helping Kenyans by:

Canada’s support to Kenya also includes humanitarian assistance, regional programming, and civil society initiatives. The humanitarian assistance is directed to refugees from neighbouring countries as well as Kenyan communities impacted by cyclical drought and flooding.

Through the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program, Canada has allocated approximately $6 million to reduce threats from terrorism in Kenya through provision of training, equipment, technical and legal assistance, as well as through support to community level resilience.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Kenya work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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