Relations with Kenya
Diplomatic relations between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and the Sovereign Order of Malta were established in 2008. H.E. Count Gianfranco Cicogna Mozzoni presented his credentials to His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, on 9th July 2008.
In 2010 the Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, came on an official visit to Kenya. On that occasion he held talks with the country’s leading authorities, focusing on the numerous cooperation projects that the Order of Malta had launched in Kenya since 2001 through Malteser International. The Grand Master stated that the aim of the Order’s presence in Kenya was “to teach the population to become more aware of healthcare issues, especially in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and TB and children’s health. This would not only help to reduce health costs for the Kenyan government but would also foster the Order’s cooperation in achieving the Millennium goals”. The Grand Master announced that the Order intended “to continue and, where possible, to expand this work in the future”.
The Head of State expressed his gratitude for the medicines and emergency food aid supplied to inhabitants of the drought-affected north-eastern province.
The Grand Master also visited food and healthcare programs for destitute children, launched in informal settlements and he was updated on the work and projects of Malteser International, active since 2001 in Kenya.
In October 2011 the Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Kenya and the Order of Malta was signed in mid September by the Hon Moses Wetangula, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador Cicogna Mozzoni. This agreement has assisted both governments by developing and diversifying their relations in the area of social, humanitarian and health cooperation. Ultimately it enabled the Order of Malta and Malteser International greater ease in achieving their goals to improve health and medical conditions in the Republic of Kenya. Additionally, it also allowed free transit of medical goods and equipment for official use in other countries in the sub-region like Uganda and South Sudan.
It was with deep sadness that the death of Ambassador Gianfranco Mozzoni was announced subsequent to an accident on 30th June 2012 whilst flying his plane in an air display in South Africa. He was passionate about Kenya and when he became a Knight of the Order of Malta he saw that he could do more for the welfare of the Kenyan people by negotiating a bilateral relation between the two governments. For the 4 years he was serving as Ambassador, he worked tirelessly and with tremendous ambition and determination to improve the conditions of the poor and sick in Kenya.
H.E. Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria was appointed and became the second Ambassador of the Order to Kenya. He presented his credentials to President Mwai Kibaki on 15th February 2013.H.E. Ambassador Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria served as Ambassador to Kenya from February 2013 to May 2017.
On 8th December 2017, the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, received the credentials from the newly appointed Ambassador, H.E. Dr. Wilhelm von Trott zu Solz.
During the ceremony both parties emphasized the excellent relations existing between Kenya and the Sovereign Order of Malta and expressed their will for the continuation of the friendly cooperation.
To quote Ambassador Wilhelm von Trott zu Solz “Our presence in Kenya is a living expression of the good diplomatic relations that exist between the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Republic of Kenya. The Order of Malta is engaged in constantly improving the livelihood of men, women and children. Our activities in all countries throughout the world are especially centred on the needs of the poor and handicapped people, regardless of race, religion or gender.”
From the time the Order of Malta established an Embassy in Kenya, the following major projects were carried out:
- Malteser International intervening in slum areas to fight against TB & HIV in 2010, 2012;
- Malteser International, active in the Marsabit and Isiolo region of Northern Kenya since the worst of the food shortage and drought began in July 2011 providing 100 tons of general food like rice, oil and beans and then in August and September, 130 and 220 tons respectively targeting 10,700 people;
- Wamba Water Project (drilling of borehole) to supply water to the village of Wamba (situated in northern Kenya on the border with Ethiopia) and to the local hospital and neighbouring school run by the Consolata Mission, in 2013 – 2014;
- Blankets4Africa project started in 2015 consisting in receiving used airline cabin blankets and bedding (British Airways and Etihad Airlines) to distribute to charitable institutions, slum communities and needy children;
- Feeding programs in 2020 during Covid-19 pandemic
- Malteser International – 2019- 2020 -Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care Project – Kakuma Mission Hospital for refugees and host communities in Kakuma and Kalobeyei, Turkana West