The conduct of foreign policy in Kenya is a prerogative of the Head of State the Chief Executive (President). These powers are rested in the Presidency by section 16 of the Constitution of Kenya, Amendment Act No. 28 and in Section 23 of the Constitution. Consequently, the Chief Executive is the initiator, articulator and director of foreign policy. This applies universally and is not unique to Kenya. The Foreign Ministry's responsibility is that of advice and execution in consultation with the President
Several individuals, institutions and organizations participate in the foreign policy formulation and decision-making. From this perspective, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is only a facilitator, co-ordinator and a steward of the country’s foreign policy; the various government agencies are complementary actors in the conduct of foreign policy. Kenya’s Foreign Policy Orientation
Kenya’s foreign policy has, since independence been designed and guided by the following basic and universally recognized norms: •
Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states and preservation of national security. •
Good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence.
Peaceful settlement of disputes
Non-interference in the internal affairs of other states •
Non-alignment and national self-interest
Adherence to the Charters of the UN and OAU/AU
Factors Influencing Kenya’s Foreign Policy
Kenya’s foreign policy has since independence been guided and shaped by its own national interest. This self-interest could be grouped into three main categories:- 1.Security/Political
Peace and stability are a pre-requisite to social and economic development. The governments commitment to guarantee the security of its people, and the preservation of national integrity and sovereignty within secure borders underlies the desire to advance national interests by guaranteeing a secure political environment for development.
Economic Advancement or Development
Economic development has played a dominant role in shaping Kenya’s foreign policy. The need to pursue an open economic policy and the demand for foreign capital and investment flows, inter-alia FDI and ODA, has influenced Kenya’s approach to foreign policy. 2.Geo-Political Factors
Kenya’s foreign policy in the region has been shaped by factors such as the presence of overlapping ethnic community across borders and the fact that Kenya is a littoral state of the Indian Ocean and which influences relations with landlocked neighbors. 3. Kenya and Regional Integration
Kenya and Regional Integration
International and Regional Co-operation form a major component of the foreign policy of any country. Kenya participates actively in several regional initiatives. She is a member of East African Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), ACP-EU, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation, amongst others.
This co-operation is borne out of the realization that the development and prosperity of Kenya are intimately tied with her neighbors in the region. With the advent of globalization and liberalization, the country’s external relations are being governed more and more by the need to promote a favorable environment for trade and investment.The Sessional Paper No. 2 of 1997 on “Industrial Transformation to the year 2020 clearly defines Kenya’s approach to regional integration arrangements. It identifies institutional and legal framework as pre-requisites to fostering international and regional trade which could benefit Kenya. This pro-active and participatory role in the economic and trade dynamics in the region is geared towards fighting poverty and improving the welfare of the citizens of Kenya... COMESA
Kenya attaches great significance to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, as it provides a market for its manufactured product. The COMESA region is a vibrant...
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