Since independence, Kenya pursued a foreign policy based on fundamental principles of peaceful co-existence, preservation of national security, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, non-alignment, national interests and adherence to the Charters of the United Nations and the Africa Union. Kenya has now shifted its foreign policy orientation and currently the focus lies on five interlinked pillars of diplomacy namely: economic; peace; environmental; cultural and Diaspora. The foreign policy is anchored on the Kenya Vision 2030 and the second Medium Term Plan.
The economic diplomacy pillar aims to achieve robust and sustained economic transformation that will make Kenya a newly industrializing middle income country by the year 2030. The peace diplomacy pillar seeks to consolidate Kenya’s legacy in promoting peace and stability in the region. Environmental diplomacy pillar recognizes Kenya’s enormous stake in the management of its own resources, those of the region and the world and is designed to provide the link between the management of shared resources and issues of security, sustainability and prosperity especially within the Eastern African and Great Lakes region.
The cultural diplomacy pillar aims to use culture as a vital ingredient in international relations especially through the use of cultural heritage and endowments as the pedestals of our foreign engagement. The exchange of ideas, values, traditions and aspects of our diverse culture and identity will be used to strengthen relationships, enhance socio-cultural cooperation and promote our national interests.
The Diaspora diplomacy pillar recognizes the importance of harnessing the diverse skills, expertise and potential of Kenyans living abroad, and facilitating their integration into the national development agenda. These pillars inform the core priorities and strategies for bilateral and multilateral engagement so as to strengthen relationships, enhance social cultural cooperation and promote our national interests.
The guiding principles of the foreign policy are: sanctity of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kenya, peaceful co-existence with neighbours and other nations; resolution of conflicts by peaceful means; promotion of regional integration; respect for the equality, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and respect for international norms, customs and laws.
Given that foreign policy process is dynamic, Kenya’s Foreign Policy will continue to focus on immediate neighbours, the sub-region and Africa while recognizing Kenya’s role and responsibility in the international community. The Kenya Foreign Policy lays the foundation for achievement of the goals and aspirations of the Kenya Vision 2030 development blue print and the five Medium Term Plans.