One year after the agreement to hold regular political talks in future, the head of the FDFA’s Africa Division, Ambassador Philipp Stalder, travelled to Nairobi for political consultations. Talks revolved around bilateral issues, economic and trade relations, Switzerland’s role in the UN Security Council and climate change. The East African country is a key partner for Switzerland on account of its importance for the political stability of the region and its economic potential.
Kenya plays an important role in the political stability of East Africa and is an economic powerhouse in the region. Switzerland has maintained a diplomatic presence in Kenya since Kenya’s independence in 1963. Switzerland’s activities initially focused on development cooperation, but were later extended to cover economic affairs, anti-corruption efforts and human rights promotion. In spring 2022, Switzerland and Kenya agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to hold regular political talks. On 7 November 2023, Ambassador Philipp Stalder, head of the FDFA’s Africa Division, conducted political consultations in Nairobi for the first time.
The talks centred on various ongoing bilateral negotiations, efforts to strengthen economic and trade relations and Switzerland’s role in the UN Security Council. Other key topics included ways of dealing with climate change and Kenya’s stabilising role in a region beset by crises and conflicts.
Kenya is described as a lion economy in the Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24 due to its strong economic growth. The trade volume between Switzerland and Kenya totalled CHF 182 million in 2022. Switzerland imports almost exclusively agricultural products and exports mainly pharmaceutical and chemical products to Kenya. At the end of 2022, 826 Swiss citizens were living in Kenya.
Kenya is part of the Greater Horn of Africa, a geographical and thematic priority region of the Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24. The region is one of the most dynamic, but also one of the most fragile and conflict-stricken parts of the world. Due to its position as a link between the Middle East and Africa as well as a gateway for global trade, the Greater Horn of Africa is also important in geostrategic terms.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Federal Council, Switzerland.