Kenya bought Sh14.6 billion military equipment from the US last year, new data from the American government shows.
The amount, the largest spending on military acquisitions in the past decade, puts Kenya second among African states in military trade with Donald Trump’s administration.
Egypt was the highest spender at Sh57 billion last year, third was Tunisia with Sh5.4 billion and Morocco fourth having spent Sh5.3 billion.
Among Kenya’s key acquisitions from the US are six helicopters bought for Sh8.76 billion in a contract signed in September 2016.
In the deal, the US supplied Nairobi and Kampala with 13 helicopters and spares to boost their operations in Somalia where Amisom forces are fighting al Shabaab militants.
Kenya’s heavy military spending is informed by the need to secure its borders against al Shabaab attacks.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 2018 report puts Kenya’s defence budget as the largest among East African countries.