Tuesday, December 19, 2023
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Kenya-UK relations have generally been positive and multifaceted, characterised by historical, political, economic, and cultural ties. The UK and Kenya Governments’ bilateral relations were elevated to strategic partnership following the launch of the UK–Kenya Strategic Partnership Framework for the period 2020 -2025 in January 2020 at the sidelines of the UK-Africa Summit held in January 2020 in London.

The Framework aims to enhance bilateral cooperation with a view to promoting mutual prosperity boosting economic growth and job creation through stronger trade and investment links to deliver mutual benefits to both countries. The Strategic Partnership has five pillars: Mutual Prosperity; Security and Stability; Sustainable Development; Climate Change; and People-To-People.

During the year 2023, we reflect on some of the momentous events that significantly shaped the relations between UK and Kenya and Kenya’s representation at the Multilateral frameworks based in London as follows:


60thJamhuri Day Celebrations, Lancaster House

An eventful week in London signaled by the return to the symbolic Lancaster House for the #Kenyaat60 Jamhuri Commemoration event hosted by Amb. Manoah Esipisu, High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to the Court of St. James that was attended by Kenyans and friends of Kenya and graced by H.E Dr. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH, Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Kenya and the Rt. Hon. Theo Clarke MP, UK Prime Minister Special Envoy for Trade to Kenya.

In his statement, the Prime Cabinet Secretary highlighted the significance of the venue as the place where Kenya’s constitution was negotiated. Also recognized the vibrant spirit of the Diaspora community and their positive contribution both in the United Kingdom and Kenya.

‘‘As we celebrate Jamhuri Day, we renew our commitment to the core principles that define us –democracy, equality, and justice as a Commonwealth Member state. The hoisting of our flag symbolizes our collective determination to build a Kenya where every citizen has the opportunity to prosper, regardless of background or circumstance, whether residing in Kenya or the Diaspora, here in the United Kingdom. We encourage Kenyans to invest in these spaces as much as they invest back home.’’ Prime Cabinet Secretary.

On his part, the High Commissioner commended the Diaspora community for their positive contributions in the United Kingdom and Kenya.

Lastly, as we reflect on the 60 years of Kenya’s independence, I cannot end my remarks without a special mention of Kenyans who embody and continue to emulate our freedom fighters. Their selfless service to humanity across the UK including during theCOVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the adage of being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  Huge applause to the frontline health workers, doctors, nurses, caregivers, lecturers, teachers, drivers, retail and supermarket workers, and those in fintech among others who continue to play individual roles to ensure that the UK society continues as normally as possible during this unprecedented time. They include Professor Veronica Moraa Pickering, appointed His Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire. First woman and first person of colour in the role. Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng at Imperial College who has launched the first scholarships in engineering targeting sub-Saharan Africa and finally, my friend Frederick Akandi who is channeling donations of ambulances and fire engines to Africa to help in forgotten crises there.’ 

The Rt. Hon Theo Clarke, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Kenya, spoke on the UK's government, recalling the extraordinary bond of friendship between the two countries. Ms. Clarke expressed anticipation for another year of significant advancements, pointing out that the upcoming UK-Africa summit in the Spring is expected to be the next platform for significant announcements on major developments.

Featuring in the celebrations, was the final, hosted by the Kenya High Commission in collaboration with Kenya Cultural Centre in London. The exhibition aimed at supporting professional careers of emerging Kenyan artists and engage communities in the arts and creativity industry. The show cased artists, all under the age of thirty-five (35), presented distinctive perspectives on a swiftly evolving era hailing from diverse backgrounds and employing innovative styles, techniques and materials compelling dialogue about the emerging visions and possibilities within the nation.

A unique opportunity to highlight the endeavours of companies based in Kenya and the UK, specifically those with a focus on Africa and Kenya. We express our sincere gratitude.

Official Visit by H.E Dr. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH, the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Kenya to the UK, 6th to 10th December 2023

During his official visit to the United Kingdom, H.E Dr. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH, the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary, engaged in a consultative meeting with the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell, UK’s Minister for Development and Africa at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office on matters of mutual interest to both the United Kingdom and Kenya.

HE Dr. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH also conducted a brainstorming session with senior scholars and representatives from the University of Manchester, driving the UK-Kenya Health Alliance, exploring avenues for expanding current healthcare and research initiatives.

Amb. Manoah Esipisu, EBS joined H.E Dr. Musalia Mudavadi in addressing Chatham House on Kenya’s Foreign Policy Imperatives. Later, they met with Sir Clive Alderton, Private Secretary to King Charles III & Queen Camilla at Buckingham Palace, a follow up to the successful royal visit.

The Inaugural exhibition of the Contemporary Art in London themed ‘Kenya Artist: Visions & Possibilities’, 28th November to 8thDecember 2023, London

The Kenya High Commission in London in collaboration with Kenya Cultural Centre hosted the exhibition of the Contemporary Art in London themed ‘Kenya Artist: Visions and Possibilities’, from 28th November to 6th December at Bermondsey Project Space.

Prior to this, the High Commissioner, Amb. Manoah Esipisu, was present to interact with participants at the preview ahead of the final exhibition at the 60thJamhuri Celebrations in Lancaster House. The exhibition aimed at supporting professional careers of emerging Kenyan artists and engage communities in the arts and creativity industry.

The showcased artists, all under the age of 35, presented distinctive perspectives on a swiftly evolving era hailing from diverse backgrounds & employing innovative styles, techniques and materials compelling dialogue about the emerging visions and possibilities within the nation.

The artists included Anne Onyango, Brian Kimani, Chesta Nyamosi, Clinton Odhiambo, Cynthia Ngunjiri, Denis Cheruiyot, Eugene Kimotho, Henry Nyagudi, Lein Brian, Mark Maganga, Melissa Joe, Quinter Achieng, Ron Enoch, Sharon Ekonge, SimonMarui, Stephen Ogallo, Ted Mwaniki & Clara Chebet.

Building onto the success of this year’s exhibition, an annual art exhibition, will be held in the UK every October, that aims to contribute to the broader objective of sharing Kenya's rich diversity and stories through visual arts in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The event serves as a vibrant tapestry of art and culture, becoming a significant and recurring showcase of Kenya's creative talent on the international stage.


Kenya was amongst the forty country who were elected to the serve in International Maritime Organization Council for the biennium 2024 -2025 during the elections held on 1st December 2023 in London. The election took place at the 33rd IMO Assembly and Kenya was elected under category under “C” representing countries with special interest in maritime transport thereby ensuring representation of the major geographic areas of the world.

The continued re-election of Kenya to the IMO Council since 2001 is an affirmation of the confidence which international community have on Kenya on its ability to contribute positively in ensuring safe, secure, and sustainable maritime transport since western Indian ocean is a busy maritime route connecting Africa to the Middle East and Asia. Since joining IMO in 1972, Kenya has always actively participated in the IMO meeting and activities including spear heading the adoption of the IMO Guidelines on combating of illicit wildlife trade and corruption in maritime transport adopted by the IMO FAL Committee in June 2022.  

The re-election of Kenya to the IMO Council comes barely five months after the country celebrated its fifty years of membership to the IMO which was held on 20th July 2023 at the IMO building in London which was graced by Hon. Salim Mvurya, Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, Mr. Shadrack Mwadime, then Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs and Mr. John Omingo, Director General of Kenya Maritime Authority.

As a port, coastal and flag state, Kenya remains steadfast in fulfilling its obligations as an IMO member states and the country is determined to harness the full potential of blue economy to spur national economic development. Kenyans have benefited immensely from IMO technical cooperation with many Kenyans having pursued further studies with full scholarships at the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) based in Malta and World Maritime University based in Sweden.  

As the host of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa(MTCC-Africa) under the IMO Global Maritime Technologies Cooperation Centers which is aimed at assisting and enabling African countries decarbonize their maritime industry. Kenya remains steadfast in partnering towards the realization of the aspirations of the revised IMO greenhouse gas reduction strategy adopted in 2023.

On human element, Kenya is committed to the protection of the welfare of sea farers and Bandari Maritime Academy continues to serve as center of excellence in training of both Kenya and regional seafarers to the standards required by STCW.

Kenya is honored to have been given another opportunity to serve the global maritime community at the IMO Council and it will diligently execute its mandate as expected.  


The Kenya High Commission in London led by Amb. Manoah Esipisu, EBS was honoured to facilitate and accompany their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla for the Inaugural State Visit to Kenya at the invitation of H.E the President of the Republic of Kenya from 31stOctober to 3rd November 2023.

Their Majesties choice of Kenya among the 57 Commonwealth member countries for his first visit after ascending to the throne is a testament to the depth of the relations and the mutual beneficial nature of the UK- Kenya strategic partnership. Kenya also happens to be the country in which Queen Elizabeth II’s reign began, further to her ascension to the throne in Kenya in February 1952. 

‘‘Kenya’s status as a cornerstone of UK foreign policy in Africa will be further cemented by King Charles’s state visit this week,’’ wrote Fergus Kell, Projects Manager and Research Analyst, Africa Programme at Chatham House

The visit showcased the collaborative efforts between Kenya and the United Kingdom, particularly in enhancing shared prosperity, addressing climate change, fostering youth opportunities and employment, promoting sustainable development, and contributing to a more stable and secure region.

The King and Queen’s programme included:

Nairobi County:

Mombasa County:



Their Majesties the King and Queen hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, to mark the 60th Anniversary of our Independence ahead of their State Visit to Kenya, the first to a Commonwealth country since King Charles III ascended to the throne.

It is one of the rare times a Head of State or Government has held an event to honour and celebrate Kenya’s Diaspora anywhere on the planet.

Ms. Roseline Njogu, CBS Principal Secretary for Diaspora Affairs, who represented the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Minister, joined by Amb. Manoah Esipisu, High Commissioner of Kenya to the UK, at the glittering high-profile event honouring Kenya's diaspora and their contribution to the UK.

Some 400 Kenyans and Friends of Kenya attended the event. They were drawn from charities active in Kenya, Pharmaceuticals, the Arts and entertainment, education and research, fintech, health and care, hospitality and tourism, investors focused on East Africa and particularly Kenya, and diplomats.

"We commend Their Majesties the King and Queen for recognising and honouring Kenya's diaspora community for their positive contributions in a first-of-its-kind event. We are also proud of the exemplary and trend-setting work and effort in fostering people-to-people relations between the two countries by Kenyans in the United Kingdom," said PS Njogu.

"This was a huge moment for Kenyans in the UK ahead of the Royal Visit, a moment that attests to Kenya's significant influence with the UK and our strong bilateral relations," commented High Commissioner Esipisu.

Their Majesties' gesture is a reaffirmation of the bond of friendship that exists between the peoples of the United Kingdom and Kenya, and the bond between the Royal Family and the Commonwealth family.



In 2023, the High Commission in collaboration with the State Department for Diaspora Affairs facilitated a pilot recruitment exercise resulting to the successful placement of 78 candidates on farms across the UK to meet the workforce needs for seasonal agricultural labor. This initiative was prompted by the announcement made by the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in May 2023. He declared that the UK government would permit an additional 10,000 seasonal agricultural workers to enter the country the following year, addressing the demands expressed by farmers. 

The Seasonal Workers Scheme Visa in the United Kingdom (UK) enables individuals to engage in horticulture work for a maximum period of 6 months. The Mission is actively encouraging Kenya's youth to seize these job opportunities.

Collaborating with HOPs Labour Solutions, the initiative specifically target students from Agricultural and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions. The primary goal is not only to ensure that students earn a substantial income but also to enable them to acquire invaluable skills. These experiences are intended to contribute to Kenya's bottom-up transformation agenda. 

For the year 2024, the Mission anticipates that more than one thousand(1000) candidates from Kenya will arrive in the UK, commencing from February throughout the year. There is optimism that this number will further increase, considering the high quality of the Kenyan workforce.



The consular team provided services at more than 12 locations across the United Kingdom in 2023, successfully processing over 500 applications for various services, including passports, IDs, emergency travel documents, birth certificates, citizenship restoration, dual citizenship declaration, certificates of no impediment, and other related services.

The Consular team was able to reach out to Kenyans on tight shift schedules, those who would need to travel long distances and others with expired documents and are not able to travel to London for renewal. The team served school children during weekends, new born children had birth certificates and passport processed and Kenyans with special needs were served with ease.

  1.   Tuesday 27th June 2023 – Edinburgh, Scotland.
  2.    Saturday 29th July 2023- London, Kenyans in the Park. 41 applications processed.
  3.   Saturday 22nd July 2023 – Bristol. 31 applications processed.
  4.   Sunday March 5th March 2023 reading Stoke, England. 14 applications processed.
  5.   Thursday, March 16th to Saturday, 18th March 2023 Glasgow, Scotland. 41 applications processed.
  6.   Saturday, 25th March 2023 Wrexham, Wales. 10 applications processed.
  7.   Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th April 2023 Belfast, Northern Ireland. 40 applications processed.
  8.   Friday, 9th June 2023 – Leicester. 33 applications processed.
  9.   Monday 19th to Friday 23rd June 2023 – Dublin, republic of Ireland. 120 applications processed.
  10.   Sunday 25th June 2023 – Leeds. 43 applications processed.
  11.   Tuesday 27th June 2023 – Edinburgh, Scotland. 48 applications processed.
  12.   Thursday 29th June 2023 – Jersey. 24 applications processed.


The Kenya High Commission in London led by Amb. Manoah Esipisu, EBS was honoured to welcome H.E The President and First Lady of the Republic of Kenya who joined world leaders in the United Kingdom for the Coronation of HRM King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey under the direction of Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the course of their visit, H.E the President engaged with business executives and investors based in the UK during a High Tea organised by the Mission after the Coronation. The purpose of the meeting was to explore potential collaborations that could be mutually beneficial, fostering trust in Kenya. The investors represented a diverse range of industries, all expressing a keen interest in developing and strengthening business relationships in areas such as energy, infrastructure, technology, security, hospitality, financial services, entertainment, and sports.



Over the past 60 years, Kenya and the United Kingdom have maintained a significant defence relationship, which has evolved through various phases. In the early years following Kenya's independence in 1963, the Defence relationship between the two nations was characterized by close ties due to historical connections and military cooperation. The UK played a crucial role in training Kenyan military personnel and providing support in establishing the Kenyan Defence Forces.

Kenya and the UK collaborated closely on security matters, with the UK offering military training and equipment to Kenya. This collaborative effort was underpinned by shared security interests, particularly in the context of regional stability and counteracting external influences in East Africa.

Through the years, Kenya and the UK signed multiple agreements intended to cement the relations between the respective Defense departments. Most importantly, the British military has been particularly involved in training units of the Kenyan military besides supplying them with teaching equipment and arms. The most recent Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between the United Kingdom and Kenya was consented to in 2021. In the agreement between the Kenya government and the British government, a memorandum of understanding that oversees the involvement of the British army in advancing training services to the Kenyan counterparts for five years ending 2026 was established. It would also spell out other benefits such as joint operations between the two Defense systems  In subsequent years, the defence ties between Kenya and the UK continued to encompass extensive training programs, military exercises, and capacity-building initiatives. The UK has supported Kenya in enhancing its defence capabilities, including modernization of equipment, professional military education, and counter-terrorism efforts.

Some key training collaborations include:

  1. Joint BATUK (British Army Training Unit-Kenya) and KDF bilateral training exercises.
  2. Kenya Air Force pilots training at Royal Air Force college Cranwell.
  3. Kenya Navy training at the Britannica Royal Navy Training College and Marine Commandos training both in UK and Kenya.
  4. Cadet exchange program at Royal Military Academy Sandhurstt


The defence relations has seen a significant cooperation in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Kenyan military personnel have participated in various international peacekeeping missions supported by the UK, reflecting the shared commitment to global security and stability.

Through British Peace Support Team Kenya, the UK government has extensively supported Kenya and the region through collaboration with International Peace Support Training Centre and the Humanitarian Peace Support School establishing The Counter IED (improvised Explosive Devices) Centre. The only Centre of its kind in the region.

In recent times, the defence partnership has expanded to encompass broader security collaboration, including counter-terrorism, maritime security, and joint military exercises. Additionally, there has been a focus on cyber security, education and research in defence and security and defence industry cooperation between the two nations.

Overall, the Defense Relations between Kenya and the United Kingdom have been characterized by along-standing partnership, marked by mutual cooperation, training, and support. Both countries have consistently recognized the importance of fostering a strong defense alliance to address regional and global security challenges. 

’He Tangata He Tangata He Tangata

The Maori have this saying, it is people, it is people, it is people’’

The High Commissioner thanks all staff at the Kenya High Commission London for an exemplary shift. It is thus extraordinary performance, going above and beyond, that delivers top results.




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