A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Kenya


From 1895 until 1963, the area that later became modern Kenya was under British colonial rule as part of British East Africa. In 1998, the American Embassy in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi was the target of a terrorist bombing that killed 12 U.S. citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. Approximately 5,000 Kenyans, 6 U.S. citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured.

Modern Flag of Kenya


United States Recognition of Kenya, 1963.

The United States recognized Kenya when it gained its independence on December 12, 1963. On December 10, 1963, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, Personal Representative of the President with the rank of Special Ambassador, delivered a message from President Lyndon B. Johnson to Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta in which Johnson congratulated Kenya on its independence.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the American Embassy in Kenya, 1964.

Diplomatic relations and the American Embassy at Nairobi were established on March 2, 1964, when U.S. Ambassador William Attwood presented his credentials to the Kenyan government.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Kenya
  • Department of State Country Information: Kenya