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K B Shai, T Nyawasha


This article uses African critical theory (also known as Afrocentricity) to appraise US-Kenya inter-state relations. It does this first by contemporaneously historicising the relationship between the two countries and also looking at the current state of the US-Kenyan affair. Largely, the study carries a historical sensibility as it traces the relationship between Kenya and the US from as far as 1963. Our interest in this study is to highlight the peculiarity of the relationship between Kenya and the US. Put yet in another way, we seek to look at the nuances of the relationship. To achieve this, we rely methodologically on both primary and secondary sources to generate data. The data are analysed through the use of interdisciplinary critical discourse in its widest form. Overall, the central question we grapple with here is why the US sees in Kenya an indispensable political ally amidst all struggles and moments; some which have become part of the Kenyan political history, as this article will show. Three underlying currents shaping the relationship between Kenya and the US are identified in this article: 1) the consolidation of democracy; 2) the 2007 Kenyan election; and 3) the strategic importance of Kenya to the US’s overall political mission and objective. Lastly, this article makes its contribution to the existing body of literature in International Public Affairs (IPA) by implicitly and rigorously employing Afrocentricity as a new contextual lens to study US-Africa affairs.


Afrocentricity, Foreign Policy, Inter-state Relations, Interdisciplinary Critical Discourse, United States of America, Kenya

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