Germany and Kenya traditionally have close relations based on partnership. The Federal Republic of Germany was the first country to recognise Kenya under international law after it gained independence in 1963. Germany regards Kenya as an important partner in a crisis-ridden region and its most important economic partner in East Africa. More than 100 German companies have a base in Kenya which many of them use to serve the East African region. Bilateral trade has developed positively in recent years. The COVID-19 crisis has hit Kenya hard, both due to the slump in global demand for Kenyan problem and transport capacity problems as well as due to the lack of tourism.
Kenya is an important partner of German development cooperation, the main priority and overarching aim being to promote youth employment, particularly in agriculture and sustainable economic development. German development cooperation also supports anti-corruption measures, the renewable energies sector and refugees. When it comes to climate, Germany is now Kenya’s most important development partner. The current portfolio for bilateral state development cooperation totals more than one billion euro.
Cultural collaboration focuses on education cooperation, scholarships, promotion of film and creative industry. The Goethe Institute in Nairobi has promoted the German language and culture in Kenya since 1963. The regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service in Nairobi was founded in 1974 and promotes academic exchange between Kenya and Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service runs a large number of programmes, awarding scholarships to especially gifted Kenyan students that enable them to study in both Germany and Kenya. Since 1 January 2020, German has been offered as an optional subject at Kenyan schools.