President Biden Reveals Details of President Ruto's US Visit

President Biden Reveals Details of President Ruto’s US Visit

President Biden Reveals Details of President Ruto's US Visit
President William Ruto arriving in Washington D.C. IMAGE: State House

President William Ruto arrived in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. He was accompanied by First Lady Rachel Ruto and was received by the First Lady of the United States Jill Biden at the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

On the first the first phase of the U.S. State Visit, he pitched camp in Atlanta, for two days, where he marketed Kenya as a top investment destination in Africa.

Biden had a day full of meetings with Ruto – this included a 500-guest state dinner attended by former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

President Biden Reveals Details of President Ruto's US Visit

Kenya to be designated a major non-NATO Ally

Biden, on Thursday, said that he would designate Kenya as the first major non-NATO U.S. ally in sub-Saharan Africa. He said this new designation is a result of the close collaboration between the two nations on fighting terrorism in the volatile Horn of Africa.

This gives North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) non-members access to military and financial advantages NATO members enjoy. It is however without the mutual defense agreement that holds NATO together. The Congress will make the decision official in 30 days.

The visit represents America’s commitment to the African continent, something President Biden promised almost two years ago at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. 

According to the official White House website, the visit further seeks to deepen the ties between the 2 nations in the following areas:

  • Democracy
  • Human Rights
  • Governance
  • People-to-people Ties
  • Shared Climate Solutions
  • Debt
  • Emerging Technology Cooperation
  • Peace and Security Cooperation

President William Ruto has asked the United States of America to spearhead a plan that will get countries out of debt distress asking it to double its contribution to available concessional financing under the World Bank’s IDA programme. This will go a long way in tackling global challenges that divert resources from development to debt.

Building a Stronger United States-Kenya Partnership

President Biden added details on their engagement with President Ruto and their bilateral talks’ resolve through his Twitter account. The points were categorized as follows:

  • Working to designate Kenya a non-NATO ally: To strengthen the security of our countries and countries around the world.
  • Launching the Nairobi-Washington Vision: To mobilize resources for countries saddled by debt, open opportunities for private sector financing, and promote better lending services.
  • Kickstarting a new era of technology cooperation: To bolster AI, semiconductor, and Cybersecurity partnerships; and expand STEM education and internet access across East Africa.
  • Strengthening our people-to-people partnerships: To strengthen the longstanding bonds between our people and our conviction that democracy delivers to citizens.

“I know the responsibilities President Ruto and I have laid out will wake the best in us,” he wrote.

He spoke on Thursday during a joint press conference with his host President Joe Biden at the White House.

Meeting Former President Barack Obama

President Biden Reveals Details of President Ruto's US Visit
President William Ruto when he met former President Barack Obama IMAGE: State House

On Thursday, he held talks with Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. They exchanged views on democratic developments, climate and peace, and security challenges in Africa.

President Ruto termed it a “productive engagement”.

We reviewed opportunities available to Africa’s young and dynamic demographic in tech, innovation, higher and technical education,” said President Ruto.

They also exchanged ideas on how Kenya and Africa can leverage U.S. institutions and technological capacity to advance its interests.

He becomes the first African leader in more than 15 years to make an official state visit to the US.