Kenya's Regional Diplomacy: Peripheral or Adaptive Pragmatism?
"Kenya maintains close bilateral and multilateral relations with all its neighbouring states. However, analysts have argued that Kenya lags behind in taking up strong positions at the regional and international levels, unlike some other key states in the region. With the most competitive economy in the region, a relatively well-educated population and a well-trained workforce, the question is why the country has not consistently converted these comparative advantages into a pivotal political influence in the region. Kenya has been faced with disparate challenges amounting to varying levels of regional engagement throughout the administrations of Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki, as well as the current regime of Uhuru Kenyatta. Despite its economic and military power, Kenya’s foreign relations have been characterised as moderately and passively engaging, with the exception of Moi, who more actively became involved in resolving regional conflicts and tensions. The country has in many respects behaved in a way that some analysts describe as ‘punching below its weight’ in a region in need of more robust leadership."