NEW DELHI – Kenya’s Defence Minister Aden Duale on Monday arrived in New Delhi for a three-day visit in India to promote military ties.
A statement released by India’s Defence Ministry on Monday said Duale would on Tuesday hold talks with his counterpart Rajnath Singh and later visit Indian shipyards and defence industries in Goa and Bengaluru.
“This is the maiden visit of Cabinet Secretary Duale to India and the highest level stand-alone political visit from Kenya since the new government assumed office in September 2022,” the statement said.
It added that the visit is indicative of the importance India attaches to its relations with African nations and the growing cooperation between India and Kenya, in particular, and is expected to open new avenues for further strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.
India has in recent years intensified military cooperation with Kenya, with Duale in June announcing the two states are engaged in bilateral discussions to explore space collaboration opportunities.
Duale spoke when he hosted a delegation from the Indian Navy at the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi. The Indian team was led by Vice Admiral Sanjay Mahindru, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, and High Commissioner Namgya Khampa.
The visit aimed to strengthen the ties between Kenya and India in the defence sector and was a follow-up to a previous high-level visit by the Kenya-India Joint Defence Cooperation Committee in November 2022. The collaboration in the sector was to include various areas, such as satellite technology, remote sensing, space research, and exploration.
In the same month, India and Kenya’s naval forces undertook joint training to bolster maritime security and strengthen coordination.
The activity was undertaken during Mahindru’s visit to Kenya June 20-23 on invitation from the Kenya Defence Forces, which coincided with the port call by Indian Naval Ship Sunayna to Mombasa during the same period.
In July 2016, India and Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation, and during then President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to New Delhi in January 10-12, 2017, he discussed with PM Narendra Modi ways to enhance cooperation in defence and maritime security.
On August 18 this year, Duale met High Commissioner to Kenya Khampa at the Defence Headquarters, Nairobi, where they discussed areas of possible future partnerships and cooperation among them Defence industry, Telecommunication industry, border security, defence research and development.