The United States established diplomatic relations with Kenya in 1964, following its December 1963 independence from the United Kingdom. The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations and an enduring strategic partnership since Kenya's independence. Relations became closer after Kenya's democratic transition of 2002 and subsequent improvements in civil liberties. In the wake of widespread violence following the disputed 2007 presidential election, the United States has supported the sweeping political and institutional reform agenda adopted by the coalition government, the centerpiece of which was constitutional reform. Kenyans adopted a new constitution in a national referendum in August 2010.
With frequent drought conditions due to climate changes, Kenya is facing economic, health, and environmental challenges that threaten progress made in these sectors. Corruption and insecurity are the two greatest impediments to Kenya achieving sustained, rapid economic growth, and the United States has urged the government to take effective action against them. Conflict and instability in neighboring Somalia pose serious security and humanitarian challenges for Kenya and the region. The United States provides equipment and training to Kenyan security forces, both civilian and military.