Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Aden Bare Duale, arrived in New Delhi on August 28, 2023, embarking on a three-day visit to India. During his stay, he is scheduled to engage in talks with India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, on August 29th. As part of his itinerary, the esteemed guest will also tour Indian shipyards and defence industries located in Goa and Bengaluru.
This visit marks Cabinet Secretary Duale’s first visit to India and signifies the highest-level standalone political visit from Kenya since the new government took office in September 2022.
The visit underscores India’s profound commitment to its relationships with African nations, while spotlighting the burgeoning cooperation specifically between India and Kenya. It is anticipated that this visit will introduce fresh avenues for enhancing the defence collaboration between these two countries, further solidifying their partnership.
India and Kenya’s Multi-Faceted Partnership
India and Kenya are maritime neighbours with robust and multi-faceted partnership. Over time, the relationship between the two countries has transformed into a strong and diverse partnership, characterized by frequent high-level exchanges, growing trade and investments, and substantial interpersonal interactions among their people.
The two countries have established enduring ties in the realm of defence collaboration. India extends various training courses annually to personnel from the Kenya Defence Forces, hosted within its numerous military institutions.
During the second Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting, convened in Nairobi, Kenya on November 08-09, 2022, both parties evaluated advancements achieved in military-to-military interactions. This assessment encompassed Joint Exercises, Training, High-Level visits, Expert Exchanges, Industry Collaboration, and Research and Development Cooperation. The decision emerged to pinpoint fresh opportunities and assess shared spheres of interest, aiming to bolster defence industry cooperation. This would encompass exploring potential joint ventures as well.
The State visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kenya on July 10-11 in 2016, injected fresh momentum into the bilateral partnership between the two nations. During this visit, PM Modi engaged in discussions with President Uhuru Kenyatta, covering a wide spectrum of bilateral matters. The two leaders were present for the signing of seven MoUs and agreements, spanning the domains of defence, trade, and developmental assistance.
A notable highlight of the visit was Prime Minister Modi’s presentation of 30 field ambulances for the use of the Kenya Defence Forces. Additionally, both the Prime Minister and President Kenyatta jointly addressed the India-Kenya Business Forum, further underscoring the strong economic ties between the two countries.