Canada - Kenya Relations

Canada - Kenya 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, the empowerment of women and girls, supporting refugees, and regional security and stability. Reflecting these common goals, President Kenyatta attended the G7 Summit in Charlevoix (QC) in 2018, as well as the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver (BC) in 2019.

In November 2018, Canada co-hosted with Kenya 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.

Kenya is host to the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in Nairobi, with support from Canada which has a full-time Canadian Forces officer deployed there.. Kenya has been a member of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Programme since 1970, with over 440 Kenyan officers trained to date.

International assistance

In 2017-18, Canada provided $83.84 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:

  • increasing employment and economic opportunities, especially for women
  • improving access to quality health care for women and children
  • providing a safe, quality learning environment, and skills building, and technical and vocational training.

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

Commercial relations

Canada has a well-established trade relationship with Kenya. In 2018, two-way merchandise trade reached $174.5 million. This consisted of $141.4 million in exports to Kenya and $33.1 million in imports from Kenya. Exports to Kenya mainly include vehicles and equipment, vegetable products, and textile products. Imports from Kenya are primarily vegetable products and textile products.