The United States established diplomatic relations with Kenya in 1964 following its December 1963 independence from the United Kingdom. The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations and an enduring strategic partnership since Kenya’s independence. 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.
Longstanding mutual interests in the region and wide-ranging cooperation on economic and security issues underpin a strong bilateral relationship. As one of East Africa’s largest economies, Kenya is a growing business, financial, and transportation hub for the region and U.S. investment in Kenya and bilateral trade are important elements of the U.S.-Kenya relationship. Ethnic-based political divisions, interference in key institutions, corruption, the credibility of democratic institutions and impunity pose challenges to Kenya’s democracy.
As an important developing partner in East Africa, Kenya is a significant recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. The United States seeks to advance its national security and economic prosperity interests by helping strengthen economic stability, security, health, education, environment, rule of law, and democratic governance in Kenya, as well as by countering violent extremism and combatting wildlife trafficking. Today the U.S. embassy is in Nairobi. There is also the U.S. Mission to UNEP and UN-HABITAT in Nairobi. For more information on our relationship with Kenya, please click here.
Source, United States Department of State, Office of the Historian and Bureau of African Affairs.