Germany and Kenya: Bilateral relations

07.03.2024 - Article

Germany and Kenya traditionally have close relations based on partnership. The Federal Republic of Germany was the first country to recognise Kenya under international law after it gained independence in 1963. Several high-level bilateral visits have taken place in 2023: in March Kenyan President Ruto visited Germany and in May Federal Chancellor Scholz visited Kenya. During her visit to Kenya in February 2024, Foreign Minister Baerbock had a meeting with president Ruto.

Germany regards Kenya as an important partner in a crisis-ridden region and one of its most important economic partners in East Africa. More than 100 German companies have a base in Kenya which some of them use to serve the East African region. Kenya and Germany have common interests, including the promotion of stability, peace and security and environmental protection.

Recently, bilateral relations have intensified considerably. Kenya is an important partner, especially in the fight against climate change and in supporting youth employment. This is also reflected in the climate and development partnership signed in late 2022. The partnership is designed to facilitate even closer cooperation with a view to cutting CO2 emissions, accelerating climate-friendly growth and adapting agriculture to climate change. German development cooperation supports Kenya in its efforts to combat corruption and take in refugees in order to strengthen the country as a regional anchor of stability. The current portfolio for bilateral development cooperation totals more than 1.5 billion euro. Cultural collaboration focuses on education cooperation, scholarships, and promotion of the film and creative industry. The Goethe-Institut in Nairobi promotes the German language and culture in Kenya. The regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service in Nairobi fosters academic exchange between Kenya and Germany, not least by funding scholarships. Since 2020, German has been offered as an optional subject at Kenyan schools. Moreover, political foundations, university cooperation programmes and a large number of German institutions bolster cultural ties and civil society contacts.

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