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This study analyzed Kenya‘s foreign policy towards Uganda, 1963-2014, with specific focus on commercial and economic foreign policies. It contends that until 2014 Uganda remained Kenya‘s leading trade partner, thereby necessitating an analysis of Kenya‘s foreign policy tools and instruments towards Uganda. Kenya‘s foreign policy generally aims at protecting Kenyan territorial integrity/ security and in maximizing wealth creation. Kenya has stayed up until late 2014 without a concrete foreign policy document in place; however, there was over- reliance on the executive through experts in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.


The study was guided by realism theory of foreign policy.



The goal of the gain knowledge of were to find out the contextual understanding of Kenya‘s foreign policy; to assess the role and effectiveness of Kenyan foreign policy towards Uganda; to ascertain the influence of Kenya‘s commercial and economic policies towards Uganda; to investigate the challenges faced by the administration of Kenya‘s foreign policy towards Uganda.


This study used explanatory research design. It assessed the causal relationships between foreign policy in Kenya towards Uganda and the achievement of Kenyan foreign policy goals. The  study  drew  heavily  from  secondary  sources  such  as  executive  orders,  foreign  and Diaspora policies, defence policies, Sessional papers, economic policies, and the Constitution of Kenya. The findings of the study were analysed qualitatively by establishing interrelationships between variables and reported in narrative form.


The study findings will contribute to knowledge towards understanding Kenyan relationship with  Uganda,  add  knowledge  to  regional  studies,  contribute  to  policy  debates  towards


harmonious co-existence in the region, and enhance economic and political cooperation with





The study found out that Kenya‘s commercial and economic foreign policy towards Uganda was meant to enhance the flow of capital into Kenya   and the East Africa Community; promote exportation of Kenyan products and encourage investments in enterprises in Kenya and East Africa; portray the good investment environment available in the country, conferencing and tourism; expand opportunities to tap markets locally and identify new markets for goods being exported by Kenya; develop better technologies by exploring the existing technologies; identify new sources of energy than can be used in industrial production; empower economic organizations and other groups to enhance the growth of both international and local markets; and spearhead  fair trade and the establishment of agreements that are beneficial to both parties.  In addition, the study found out that there are some challenges such as trade imbalance that hampered Kenya‘s foreign policy towards Uganda.




This study concluded that there is need for optimization of Kenya‘s foreign  regulations towards Uganda in order to maximize the nation‘s goals and interests. The study further recommended need to articulate Kenya‘s foreign policy properly and sensitize the citizens to work in line with it.

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