Washington DC, 16 December 2022 (TDI): The United States (US) and Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation (NCMOU) on Thursday.

The agreement will deepen bilateral, commercial, and diplomatic ties between the countries. It lays the groundwork for future cooperation in the realm of peaceful nuclear energy.

Both countries can engage in this nuclear collaboration multilaterally through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international bodies.

The US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Bonnie Jenkins signed on behalf of the United States.

The Foreign Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of Kenya, Alfred Mutua, signed it on behalf of Kenya.

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What is NCMOU?

Nuclear Cooperation Memoranda of Understanding (NCMOU) are diplomatic procedures that deepen and expand strategic ties between the US and a partner country.

It establishes a framework for civil nuclear cooperation and participation among specialists from government, business, national laboratories, and university organizations.

The NCMOU can help strengthen nonproliferation protections in partner countries as well as provide access to new markets for American companies.

Notably, NCMOUs are considered to be especially appealing to states that do not currently have a nuclear power program but are actively exploring one.

US & Kenya bilateral ties

Following Kenya’s independence from the United Kingdom (UK) in December 1963, the United States established diplomatic ties with the country in 1964. Since then, the US and Kenya have maintained friendly relations and a long-standing alliance.

Relations improved further with Kenya’s democratic transition in 2002 and subsequent gains in civil liberties. The strategic trade and investment cooperation between the US and Kenya is a key pillar of the relationship.

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It is pertinent to note that both countries formally elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership in 2018. They formed an annual bilateral strategic dialogue.

The annual dialogue prioritizes five pillars of engagement including economic prosperity, defense cooperation, democracy, regional issues, and public health cooperation.