Kenya has been an independent state since 1963, after the decolonization of British East Africa. The country is crossed by the equator and is bordered to the north by Ethiopia, to the northwest by South Sudan, to the west by Uganda, to the south by Tanzania and to the east by Somalia. To the southeast it is bordered by the Indian Ocean. Its population is about 55 million and the official languages are Swahili and English.

Kenya has achieved a significant level of political stability and economic development, becoming the economic hub of the region. In addition, the country has played a valuable mediation role in crises in neighbouring countries, such as Somalia, Sudan and, more recently, Ethiopia.

The very complex situation in southern Somalia, where al-Shabaab carries out most of its terrorist activities, is the main source of concern for Kenya, which has been targeted by numerous terrorist attacks since three decades ago. Since 2012, Kenya has been a major contributor to AMISOM, the African Union stabilisation mission in Somalia.

Although still affected by severe poverty, Kenya's economy can be considered the largest and most developed in Eastern and Central Africa. In the past few years, overall trade between Kenya and Italy has been characterised by a high imbalance in favour of the latter. Italian exports to Kenya include: aircraft, industrial machinery, chemicals, food and household appliances. Kenya’s exports to Italy include: rawhide, skins and leather; fruits and vegetables; plants, bulbs and cut flowers. Italy has also heavily invested in the tourism sector.

Relations between Italy and Kenya are very good. The Italian community in Kenya is the second largest in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2006, Italy and Kenya signed a debt conversion agreement, under which several projects have been launched in support of vulnerable populations.


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