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President Ruto leaves for US State Visit

The is the first state visit by a Kenyan President in two decades and the first by an African head of state since 2008

Ruto was seen off by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua

President William Ruto left the country Sunday evening for the United States of America on a four-day State Visit.

This visit is a historic milestone as the first state visit by a Kenyan Head of State in two decades and the first by an African head of state since 2008.

State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said the visit demonstrates the robust partnership between Kenya and the United States, and is a fitting tribute to 60 years of diplomatic ties.

“During this period, Kenya and the United States of America have enjoyed deepening and mutually beneficial cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels, resulting in the elevation of the relationship in 2018 to a Strategic Partnership,” said Mr Mohamed.

This Strategic partnership, Mr Mohamed said, establishes a structure for continued inter-state Kenya-US Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, anchored on five main themes

The themes include; Economic Prosperity, Trade, and Investment; Defense Cooperation; Democracy, Governance, and Civilian Security; Multilateral and Regional Issues; and Health Cooperation.

“It is in the context of pursuing tangible outcomes in each of these critical result areas that accelerated cooperation has led to the gracious invitation of President Ruto by his counterpart, President Joe Biden Jr., President of the United States of America,”

The visit is themed “partnership for prosperity” and aims to bolster shared commitments to economic growth, democratic values, peace and security, and reflects the strategic importance of Kenya to the US as a leading regional anchor and the main commercial gateway to Eastern Africa.

The thematic areas of focus include; shared values including democratic governance, security cooperation for peace, security, and sustainable development; trade & Investment for shared prosperity; Digital technology cooperation, delivers innovation, progress, and inclusion.

Mr Mohamed said Kenya and the United States of America share a strong bond of friendship, evidenced by the exchange of high-level visits between the two countries.

While in the US, President Ruto will be attending a number of meetings.

Monday, May 20

On, Monday,  President Ruto’s visit will commence in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Head of State will visit the Carter Presidential Library and Museum to emphasize our shared commitment to governance, democratic values, and anti-corruption efforts.

President Ruto’s remarks here will underline the importance of democracies working collaboratively to tackle global challenges.

The President will then visit Ebenezer Baptist Church, to pay homage to the civil rights struggle and emphasize how religion can be a force for good.

Mr Mohammed while addressing the press at Harambee House, Nairobi, said the visit will underscore the respect for historical struggles for equality and justice.

The third area of engagement for the president on day 1 will focus on the U.S.-Kenya Health Partnership at the Center disease Control Headquarters.

Among key announcements will include the new CDC-KEMRI partnership, and more details will be shared to that effect.

The President and First Lady will then be hosted by Kenya’s strong diaspora in the Atlanta area, with a focus on the diaspora as a force multiplier in national transformation as envisioned in the Bottom-up Transformation Agenda.

Tuesday, May 21

On Tuesday,  the President commences his second day at Spelman College where he will discuss the critical role of higher education, particularly, science and technology, in enhancing Kenya’s human capital development which is critical to attracting investment that solidifies Kenya as an appealing destination for tech jobs for both present and future needs.

At Tyler Perry Studios which he will also visit, President Ruto, will explore opportunities within the creative economy, highlighting it as a potential job creator and area for robust partnership between Kenya and the United States.

The Head of State will then shift attention to trade and investment with visit a to Coca-Cola, where new investment partnerships will be announced;

Later, the President will then launch VIVO’s inaugural store in America, a leading Kenyan retail fashion enterprise,  showcasing the power of Kenyan women entrepreneurs.

Mayor Andre Dickens of Atlanta and the Atlanta CEO’s Council will then host the President who will seek to position Kenya as an important regional manufacturing hub.

Wednesday, May 22

President and the First Lady later travel to Washington, D.C., on the morning of Wednesday – arriving at Andrews Airforce Base- where they will be officially received with full ceremonial state honours.

The President will have extensive engagements at the Hill, where he will meet a bipartisan congressional delegation under the chairmanship of the speaker of the House, meet with the Black Congressional Caucus and hold discussions with a Bipartisan Caucus of the Senate led by Senators Schumer (Majority) and Senator McConnel (Minority).

In his meetings at the Hill, President Ruto will appraise the legislators on the challenges faced by democracies on the continent and the urgent need for America’s tangible and practical engagement with the continent.

He will brief the legislators on the dual crises of climate change and conflicts in the region and Kenya’s leadership in dealing with these challenges.

In urging congress to be cognisant of the need for African goods to continue accessing the US markets on preferential basis, the President will implore congress to extend the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

Thursday, May 23

On Thursday,  at Washington D.C will be the main day of the President’s State Visit to the United States.

The President and First Lady will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the sacrifices of American soldiers as well as historic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and John F. Kennedy, who have had profound impacts on Kenya’s history.

Dr Ruto will hold the main bilateral meetings with his host President Biden, and delve deeper into Kenya-US Economic, health, and security partnership, and discuss regional developments on the continent highlighting the fragilities and opportunities on the continent.

Mr Mohamed said multilateral issues will equally feature in the talks including MDB reform and Security Council Reform to enable the world cope with the evolving polycrisis of climate, debt, pandemics and a multitude of security threats.

“The two leaders will hold a joint press conference at the White House,” said Mr Mohamed.

President Ruto will thereafter deliver a keynote speech on shared climate solutions at the Smithsonian, discussing global environmental challenges and collaborative efforts to address them.

The day concludes with a State Dinner at the White House, celebrating the enduring friendship between Kenya and the United States.

Friday, May 24

On Friday, at Washington, D.C, the visit concludes with strategic engagements focusing on trade, investment, and digital cooperation, including; a breakfast meeting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where President Ruto will make the case for Kenya as a prime destination for U.S. investments.

A digital roundtable discussion hosted by Vice President Harris, exploring the potential for expanding the U.S.-Kenya digital partnership.

There will also be a visit to the Pentagon where President Ruto will highlight Kenya-US defence partnership in the fight against terrorism, extremism and other emerging threats including cyber security.


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