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

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The Ministry of foreign affairs is frequently the division of the government in charge of a nation’s foreign policy, diplomatic connections, bilateral and multilateral relations, as well as assistance to its nationals who are residing abroad. Foreign or foreign affairs ministers typically serve as the organization’s leaders. (the title may vary, such as secretary of state who has the same functions). Typically, the head of government is the foreign minister’s reporting line. (such as a prime minister or president)

Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya 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.

Here is a list of individuals who held the position of minister of foreign affairs.

1. Hon. Jomo Kenyatta, Prime Minister, 1963

The first Prime Minister of Kenya was Jomo Kenyatta, who became Prime Minister in 1963. In 1964, Kenya became a republic, the post of Prime Minister was abolished and Jomo Kenyatta became President.

2. Hon. Joseph Murumbi, 1964- 1966 (Reappointment 1965)

After Kenya became independent of British imperial rule in 1963, Murumbi participated in the writing of its first governmental constitution, and held the office of its Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1964 to 1966, touring the globe to set up numerous ambassadorial offices in foreign capitals for the newly created nation.

3. Hon. Mbiyu Koinange, 1966–1967

He was the Kiambaa Constituency MP from 1963 to 1979 when Njenga Karume was elected the Kiambaa MP. During this 16-year tenure, Mbiyu Koinange served in several roles including Minister of State for Pan-African Affairs, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Education. For the majority of his tenure, Peter Mbiyu served as Minister of State in the Office of the President (1966–79).

4. Hon. James Nyamweya, 1967–1968

James Nyamweya was a Kenyan politician who served in ministerial, parastatal, and political party leadership positions in both the Kenyatta and Moi governments from 1965 to 1995. He was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Assistant Minister in the Office of the President, Minister of State in charge of External Affairs Foreign Minister, Minister of State in charge of Provincial Administration, Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Minister for Works, Minister for Power and Communication, Minister for Labour, Chairman Electoral Boundaries Commission, and National Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party.

5. C.M.G. Argwings-Kodhek (1968–1969)

Argwigs Kodhek

He was the first Member of Parliament in the Gem constituency where he associated himself with KANU politics. Kodhek held various posts such as founder and president Nairobi District African Congress in 1956, Member of the Legislative Council 1961-3, and Minister of Lands, Surveys and Town Planning in 1962.

In the Kenyatta government, Kodhek served in various posts including Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Housing, in 1963, and Assistant Minister, to the Ministry of Internal Security and Defence, from 1964. He later became Minister of Natural Resources in 1966 and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1967, a post he held until his death.


6. Mbiyu Koinange (1969)

He was reappointed upon the death of Argwigs Kodhek.

7. Njoroge Mungai (1969–1974)

Magana Njoroge Mungai, M.D. EGH was a Kenyan Cabinet Minister, Member of Parliament, doctor, businessman, farmer, politician, nationalist and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Kenya.

He would gain fame during his term as Minister for Foreign Affairs. An astute diplomat, he successfully lobbied to have the United Nations Environmental Programme headquartered in Nairobi. He further successfully lobbied the OAU now called AU to supply arms to forces fighting the Apartheid regime in South Africa and the Portuguese colonial regime in Mozambique. Kenya also had a seat on the Security Council during his tenure and he was instrumental in pushing for sanctions against South Africa and Southern Rhodesia.

He was with Milton Obote at the Singapore Commonwealth meeting, pushing for the British to cease supplying arms to South Africa, when Idi Amin overthrew the Ugandan President. He famously restrained Obote from returning to Uganda where Obote would have been killed.

8. Munyua Waiyaki (1974–1979)

Dr Fredrick Lawrence Munyua Waiyaki was a Kenyan politician. He served as Minister for Agriculture, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a Member of Parliament for the Kasarani Constituency.

9. Robert Ouko (1979–1983)

Robert Ouko, US President Jimmy Carter and President Moi

The Honourable Dr John Robert Ouko was a Kenyan politician who served as Foreign Minister of Kenya from 1979 to 1983 and from 1988 to 1990. Robert Ouko served in the government of Kenya from the colonial period through the presidencies of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi.

He was a member of the National Assembly for Kisumu and a cabinet minister, rising to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation by 1990. He was murdered in Kenya on 13 February 1990. The murder case, perhaps the most intriguing in Kenyan history, remains unsolved.

10. Elijah Mwangale (1983–1987)

Elijah Wasike Mwangale was a Kenyan politician. He was a minister for Agriculture, a Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former member of parliament for the Kimilili Constituency. Attended West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, USA.

Read: Jomo Kenyatta Is Sentenced For Mau Mau Uprising, 1953

11. Zachary Onyonka (1987–1988)

Dr Zachary T. Onyonka was the foreign minister of his country from 1969 to 1996 under several other ministries up to and including Education, Economic Planning & Development and Trade and Foreign Affairs.

Onyonka was elected to parliament in the 1969 elections from Kitutu West Constituency when he trounced the first cabinet minister from Kisii, Lawrence Sagini Ndemo. He was the youngest MP at about 25 years. He retained his parliamentary seat until his death.

12. Robert Ouko (1988–1990)

(Reappointment. He served until his death in 1990)

13. Wilson Ndolo Ayah (1990–1993)

Ndolo Ayah was first elected to parliament in the general elections of December 1969 as MP for Kisumu Rural Constituency. He lost in 1974 but was elected MP in the neighbouring Kisumu Town Constituency in 1983.

In the 1988 elections, he switched constituencies with the late Dr Robert Ouko, becoming once again MP for Kisumu Rural until the year 1992. Ndolo Ayah then served as a nominated member of parliament from 1992-1997 when he retired from elective politics.

He served as Foreign Minister from 1990 to 1993 during Kenya’s return to a multi-party system of governance. He was also a beneficiary of the Kennedy Airlifts.

14. Kalonzo Musyoka (1993–1998)

Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka served under President Moi as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1993 until 1998 and subsequently, under the late President Mwai Kibaki, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs again from 2003 to 2004. He has served other ministries as well.

15. Bonaya Godana (1998–2001)

Bonaya Adhi Godana

Bonaya Adhi Godana was the foreign minister of Kenya from January 1998 until 2001. From 2002 to his death in 2006 he was the deputy leader of the opposition Kenya African National Union (KANU) party. He was the Member of Parliament for North Horr Constituency. He died on April 10, 2006, in a plane crash near Marsabit. The politicians and religious leaders were on a mission to secure peace along the Ethiopian border. A decade earlier, on July 28, 1996, he survived a helicopter crash at the same Marsabit airstrip.

16. Chris Obure (2001)

He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2001.

17. Marsden Madoka (2001–2003)

He was Aide de Camp (ADC) to Late President Kenyatta and held various military appointments. He joined parliament in 1998 as a Member of Parliament for Mwatate. He served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2001-2002.

18. Kalonzo Musyoka (2003–2004)

(Reappointment under Kibaki government)

19. Chirau Ali Mwakwere (2004–2005)

Chirau Ali Mwakwere served as the Foreign Minister of Kenya from June 2004 to December 2005 and then became transport minister in December 2005, when serious problems within the National Rainbow Coalition caused a cabinet reshuffle.

20. Raphael Tuju (2005–2007)

In 2002, after a career as a journalist, TV producer, and real estate investor, Tuju was elected to parliament and has served the Government of Kenya in various capacities since that time. He became foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle.

21. Moses Wetangula (2008–2012)

Moses Francis Masika Wetangula is the current Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, as well as the leader of the FORD-Kenya party. He served in the government of Kenya as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2010 and from 2011 to 2012, and he was Minister for Trade from 2012 to 2013.

22. George Saitoti (as Acting Minister) (2010–2011)

George Musengi Saitoti, E.G.H.  was a Kenyan politician, businessman and American- and British-trained economist, mathematician and development policy thinker.

Between October 2010 and August 2011, Saitoti was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs on an acting capacity after the incumbent, Moses Wetangula, stepped aside to allow investigations on alleged corruption

23. Sam Ongeri (2012–2013)

Ambassador Prof. Hon. Samson Kegengo Ongeri, EGH is a Kenyan politician. He is the former Senator for Kisii County.

He has served the people of Kenya in many capacities including being a Minister for Health, Local Government, and Technical Training and Applied Technology.  He served as Minister of foreign affairs from 2012 to 2013.

24. Amina Mohamed (2013–2018)

Amina Chawahir Mohamed born 5 October 1961, is a former Kenyan cabinet secretary, lawyer and diplomat of Somali descent. She served as Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs under a new devolved government system. She was later moved to the Ministry of Education and later the Ministry of Sports.

25. Monica Juma (2018–2020)

Amb. Dr Monica Kathina Juma, CBS, EGH, MBS, PhD (September 26, 1963) is a Kenyan diplomat who currently serves as National Security Advisor to President William Ruto.

Dr Juma served as the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) between January 2016 and February 2018.

She served as the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Interior, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. Prior to serving in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Juma served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence.

She previously served as the Cabinet Secretary for Defence in the cabinet of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

26. Raychelle Omamo (2020–2022)

Raychelle Awour Omamo

Raychelle Awour Omamo (born July 1962) is a Kenyan lawyer and politician and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. From 2020 to 2022, she was the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister.

Previously, she served as the Cabinet Secretary for Defence for 7 years in the Uhuru Kenyatta administration, the first female in the country to hold the post

27. Alfred Mutua (since 2022)

Alfred Nganga Mutua

Alfred Nganga Mutua (born 22 August 1970) is a Kenyan journalist and politician who has been serving as Cabinet Secretary of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs under President William Ruto since 27 October 2022.

Prior to joining the government, Mutua served as the 1st Governor of Machakos County for two terms, from 2013 to 2017 and from 2018 to 2022. He was the Kenyan government’s spokesman before resigning in 2012 to run for the Machakos County Gubernatorial race. He is the founder of the Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) Party which was established on 25 August 2016.

Barry Ipapo

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Barry Ipapo

Security professional || Law and Governance Enthusiast || Technologist
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