Kenya and Britain Diplomatic Relations, 1963 To 2017
Kamau, Michael Mubea
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Countries across the world establish diplomatic relations as a means of maintaining essential ties. The concept of diplomacy entails the employment of tact in order to gain a strategic benefit and find a suitable solution to a common challenge which is shared in a mutually and acceptable manner. This study sought to establish the continuity and change in the diplomatic relations between Kenya and Britain from 1963 to 2017. Specifically, the study examined the factors that motivated Britain to establish diplomatic relations with Kenya; analyzed the nature of the diplomatic relations which existed between Britain and Kenya in the period 1979 to 2002; and examined changes in the diplomatic relations between Britain and Kenya in the period 2003 to 2017 and challenges encountered during this period.. The study employed descriptive research design.The study targeted the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the British High Commission offices in Nairobi where oral interviews were carried out. A purposive sampling technique was used to draw up the list of knowledgeable informants on Kenya-Britain diplomatic relations for the study. The instrument used to collect data from the field was an interview schedule. Content analysis was employed to analyze the qualitative data. This study relied on two thematic theories; classical realism and neo-realism. These two theories argue that states pursue self-interest to the extent that Britain had investments including its citizens who had decided to stay in independent Kenya. On the other hand, Kenya needed financial inflows and investors to assist it generate economic resources more specifically taxes to fund its programmes for example, education, health and eradication of poverty. Neo-realism however, takes into account the place of legality and morality in the dealings between states. The aforementioned theoretical context in applied in the study to determine whether commercial and power interests have been overriding any other interests in Kenya-Britain diplomatic relations The study concludes that Britain established diplomatic relations with Kenya to protect and promote its investments, protect its citizens who opted to remain in independent Kenya, promote trade particularly exportation of tea and coffee from Kenya. The study also concludes that Kenya and Britain have been able to maintain diplomatic relations since the colonial days to date. It recommends that Kenya should strengthen its relations with Britain especially in the areas of economic development for it to realize vision 2030; Kenya should also ensure the British military base in Laikipia trains even the Kenyan soldiers on the military tactics utilized by Britain to ensure they improve the security within the country and across the borders; and that political relations should be used as a bench mark to ensure that Kenya has the best governance structure that will eliminate sources of corruption and ensure that leaders are accountable towards their action.