Amazing History of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established in 1963 after independence, as the External Affairs Department under the office of the Prime Minister operating from the then Government House. The Prime Minister was the First was the First Minister for Foreign Affairs in Kenya. The Ministry was later renamed the Ministry of State for Foreign Affairs still under the Office of the President.

Full Ministry

In 1969, the department became a fully-fledged Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a first Minister for Foreign Affairs and only three divisions namely; the Political/Economic Division, Protocol Division, and Administration Division.

Hon. Dr. Njoroge Mungai became the first minister of Foreign affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) after it was fully fledged, however, other ministers had served before him, including Mbiyu Koinange and Argwigs Kodhek.

Opening of Missions

Immediately after independence, the Government established Diplomatic Missions in London, Moscow, Bonn (Germany) Peking (currently Beijing), Cairo, Washington/New York (UN), and Paris. By 1969, other diplomatic missions were established in Addis Ababa, Lusaka, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Expansion of Diplomatic Footprint

From 1978 onwards, more Missions were opened in different parts of the world.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs relocated to its present Headquarters, the Old Treasury building, in 1980 and has since expanded to its current state.


Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs oversees 56 Diplomatic Missions Abroad, 2 Missions in Nairobi, and 31 Honorary Consuls spread across the globe.

The Ministry also serves more than 70 Foreign Diplomatic Missions residents in Nairobi and 148 Inter-Governmental and International Organizations hosted in the country.

Alfred Mutua, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs

The Mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya

The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya identifies Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy as a function of the National Government. The broad mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to manage Kenya’s Foreign Policy.

The functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are outlined in Executive Order No. 1 of June 2018 as indicated.

  1. Management of Kenya’s Foreign Policy
  2. Projection, Promotion, and Protection of Kenya’s Interest and Image Globally.
  3. Management of Kenya’s Missions and Embassies Abroad.
  4. Ratification/Accession to, Depository and Custodian of all International Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions where Kenya is a Party.
  5. Liaison with Foreign Missions in Kenya.
  6. Administration of Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities.
  7. Coordination of State and Official Visits.
  8. Official Communications on Global Foreign Relations.
  9. Management of Bilateral and Multi-lateral Relations
  10. Protocol and State Courtesy.
  11. Official Communications on Global Foreign Relations.
  12. Coordination of Matters Relating to IGAD and the Association of Regional Co-operation (ARC).
  13. Liaising and Co-ordinating with World Trade Bodies and UN Agencies
  14. Promotion of Nairobi as a Hub for Multilateral Diplomacy.
  15. Coordinating Regional Peace Initiatives.
  16. Lobbying for Kenyan Candidature in the International Governance System.
  17. Negotiation and Conclusion of Headquarters and Host Country Agreements with International Organizations and Agencies.
  18. Liaison with International and Regional Organizations.
  19. Management of Joint Commissions with Other Countries.
  20. Champion of Kenya’s Diaspora Issues.
  21. Provision of Consular Services.

Department of Diaspora Affairs

The Kenyan Diaspora consists of people of Kenya origin and non-resident Kenyans residing outside the country. The newly created State Department for Diaspora Affairs was formed in 2022 as a directive from H.E President Dr. William Ruto to address issues that concern Kenya’s Diaspora community which forms an integral part of the Kenyan economy and social fabric. The Government of Kenya, therefore, intends to engage the Kenyan Diaspora in a more constructive and productive manner to unlock and unleash their full potential.

Also Read: List Of Kenya’s Ministers For Foreign Affairs Since Independence (new 2023)

The mandate of the Department of Diaspora Affairs

  1. Promotion of continuous dialogue with Kenyans abroad.
  2. Champion the Protection of Kenya’s Diaspora rights and welfare.
  3. Support Kenyans in the Diaspora in harnessing more opportunities for employment and enterprise development.
  4. Develop an Incentive framework for Diaspora Remittances.
  5. Harness Diaspora savings, facilitate FDI and Technology transfers; and
  6. Mainstreaming the Kenyan Diaspora into the national development process.

Source: Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs

Barry Ipapo

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Barry Ipapo

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