Expectations are high following a meeting between President William Ruto and US president Joe Biden on Friday, September 23. The meeting followed Ruto’s address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Ruto, who was accompanied by the first lady Rachel Ruto, stated that Biden expressed interest in fostering bilateral relations with Kenya and working with his administration.
“Kenya will continue expanding its strategic partnership with the United States of America to advance peace and prosperity in Africa. With Rachel at a reception hosted by the POTUS during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York,” read Ruto’s statement in part.
US President Biden’s commitment to work and support the Ruto administration is a boost to Kenya’s global and economic interest, given Kenya’s recent shift to increasing trade with China, a fierce competitor of the US in Africa relations.
Already, reports have indicated that the US has overtaken Uganda in buying Kenyan goods and improved relations between the two countries could signal a step further in deepening economic ties to the benefit of Kenya.
Ruto’s meeting with Biden was his first as Kenya’s head of state. He had earlier met US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who assured him that the US government would continue partnering with Kenya in various sectors.
“Good meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto to discuss our countries’ ongoing efforts to address food insecurity and regional peace and security. I look forward to strengthening our strategic partnership, especially on trade and investment,” Blinken stated.
“I pledged to advance our strategic partnership at both bilateral and multilateral levels,” Ruto echoed.
Ruto made his inaugural speech at UNGA on Wednesday, September 21. In his speech, Ruto delved into the bottom-up economic model, Kenya’s debt and the effects of climate change on food security in the country and Africa.
The head of state was accompanied by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro, Ababu Namwamba, Economist David Ndii and journalist Hussein Mohamed.