Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Manoah Esipisu has been voted the 2024 Diplomat of the Year from Africa even as he readies to exit London after six years.

Esipisu emerged top at the 2024 Diplomat of the Year Awards held in London on Monday with the annual awards that celebrates African diplomats commemorating their 14th year.

The awards are hosted by the Diplomat Magazine to appreciate the outstanding work and achievements of London’s diplomats trying to improve the welfare of their countries.

The soft-spoken Esipisu was appointed the High Commissioner to the UK in July 2018 and he has played a key role in boosting trade and investment ties between Nairobi and London.

“Last year was great for Kenya-UK relations: The King was hosted by our President, the King hosted the Kenyan Community in the UK, bilateral trade continued to flourish, new climate smart projects kicked off, new jobs in agriculture in the UK came on stream, our health partnership strengthened, education partnerships and innovation flourished and Security and Defence Cooperation also strengthened,” Esipisu enumerated.

The Kenyan top diplomat was full of praise for the staff working at the Kenya High Commission in London for their support that saw him execute his mandate at his optimum.

“For me, performing at the highest level is only possible for the support I get every day, from my staff at the Kenya High Commission London who are represented here,” he stated.

Esipisu thanked President William Ruto and the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs team led by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi for always having his back abroad.

“As the global centre for diplomacy, London has become more important than ever. This is an award ceremony for diplomats, with winners chosen by diplomats. This evening is about hard work and technique. It’s about people and professionalism,” said Diplomat Magazine Editor Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler.

Diplomat magazine has settled on 10 categories to recognise and celebrate different levels of diplomacy, with the potential winners of the awards being nominated by their peers.

Here is the full list of the award winners:

1. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from Africa

 Manoah Esipisu - Kenya

2. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from Europe

Ms Simona Leskovar - Slovenia

3. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from Asia & Oceania

 Ms Saida Muna Tasneem - Bangladesh

4. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from the Middle East & North Africa

Sherif Kamel - Egypt

5. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from Eurasia & the Western Balkans

Osman Koray Ertaş – Turkey

6. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from North America & the Caribbean

Ms Josefa González-Blanco - Mexico

7. 2024 Diplomat of the Year from Central & South America

 Rafael Ortiz Fábrega - Costa Rica

8. 2024 Outstanding Contribution to Climate Diplomacy

Girish Nunkoo - Mauritius

9. 2024 Young Diplomat of the Year

 Perko Mijatovic - Second Secretary, Embassy of Montenegro & VP of YDL

10. 2024 Outstanding Contribution to Diplomacy in London

Pedro Serrano - Ambassador of the European Union