The United States recognized Kenya when it gained its independence from Great Britain in 1963, opening an embassy in Nairobi the next year. However, on August 7, 1998 a terrorist truck bomb reduced the concrete embassy building to a shell, killing roughly 290 people and wounding as many as 5,000. A simultaneous attack struck the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Both incidents were claimed by the terrorist group Al-Qaeda as its first major terror attacks. In the aftermath the United States embarked on a building and renovation program to make its embassies safer, upgrading security on both chanceries and residences significantly. In Kenya a new U.S. Embassy—north of downtown and set back from the street—was completed in 2003.
- Funding a new dam, a reforestation program, and other improvements at the Kayo Fungo World Heritage Site
- Aiding the African Development Foundation’s Turkana Food Security Program to provide economic development assistance to the people of Kenya’s Turkana District
- Supporting the Global Health Initiative in Kenya to protect women, infants, and children from preventable, treatable health conditions and reducing illness and death from neglected tropical diseases
- Helping to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through PEPFAR programs
- Fostering exchange programs for U.S. and Kenyan students, researchers, academics, businesspeople, and professionals