Kenya Korea Bilateral Relations

Kenya-Korea Relations

History of Bilateral Relations

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Korea were established in February 1964, soon after Kenya’s independence. Both countries have enjoyed warm cordial relations with resident diplomatic missions in their respective countries at Ambassadorial level.

The year 2021 marks 57 years of a strengthened friendship between Kenya and Korea. This friendship has been solidified by numerous collaborations in various sectors including human capital development and scholarships, health care, water development, education, ICT and rural development. One of our recent major collaborations is the development of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the Konza Technopolis which was launched in February 2019. Recently both countries signed a Framework Trade Agreement covering various Economic Development Cooperation worth USD 300 million.

High Level Exchange Visits

Our bilateral relations have also been strengthened by regular high-level exchange visits including the visits to Kenya in 2016 by the former Korean President, H.E. Park Geun-hye and in 2017 by the Korean Prime Minister, H.E. Lee Nak-yeon. Similarly, Amb. Monica Juma, former Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Betty Maina, CS Ministry of industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Education, have visited Korea in 2018 and 2021, respectively. We expect further high-level exchanges in various sectors in the near future.

Joint Economic Committees

To date, Kenya and Korea have had 5 Joint Economic Committees that seek to improve both countries trade and investment relations. These committees have strengthened partnerships between the public and private sectors thus creating conducive business environments. Negotiation by both countries on promotion and protection of investments and avoidance of double taxation aids in advancing a relatable business environment. Korea has opened its market to Kenyan produce and through these committees, various protocols have been signed to enable Kenyan products to access the Korean market. Both countries still continue to negotiate better terms and conditions for trade.

Government Related Organisations in Kenya

Our bilateral relations have also been strengthened by the establishment of four Korean government agencies in Kenya. The work done by these agencies is significant to the achievement of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda. The Korea Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA) was established in 1969 with the goal to develop and foster trade and business relationships between the two countries.

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) began its work in Kenya in 1991 with a mandate to aid in the achievement of sustainable socio-economic development in the country. The Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA), was established in 2009 to help partner countries cultivate sustainable agricultural practices that result in increased productivity. The Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation (KIND) was established in 2019 in Kenya to support global infrastructure and urban development for sustainable growth through global Public-Private Partnership (PPP) business.