NAIROBI, 29 August 2018 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected back in the country tonight from his successful US visit ahead of the much anticipated visit by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday.
President Kenyatta returns from the pioneering visit to the White House triumphantly having witnessed the signing of investment deals worth USD 238 million as well as securing several others running into billions of shillings mostly for Big 4 leaning projects in housing and agro-progressing.
According to Kenya's ambassador to the US Njeru Githae, American companies have shown increasing interest in Kenya's affordable housing market, one of the four pillars of President Kenyatta's Big 4 development agenda.
Already a number of American companies and investors have sent representatives to Kenya to study the investment environment with a view of either scaling up their already existing investments or taking up new opportunities provided by the Big 4 agenda.
Besides his much-publicized meeting with President Trump in the famous Oval Office at the White House, President Kenyatta spared time from his tight schedule to give media interviews.
Speaking to the Voice of America (VOA) ahead of his meeting with President Trump, President Kenyatta bemoaned the vice of corruption, which has slowed down Kenya's socioeconomic transformation and vowed to intensify the on-going crackdown even as he warned his critics to keep politics out of the war against graft.
“Corruption destroys our economy. It wastes public resources, resources that could be used to buy drugs for our hospitals, construct roads, supply electricity and other essential services that Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta said it was disappointing to see politicians linking the war against graft to politics.
“There is no politics in the war against corruption and I urge people not to bring in politics in this. We have to fight this vice so that we stop the pilferage of public resources,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State pointed out that unless Kenya defeats graft and sheds of the “corruption label”, no foreign investor will want to establish business in the country.
He added that the fight against corruption is not about him but about Kenyans wanting to restore order in the management of public resources.
The President said the priority for genuine leaders should be to use their positions to serve Kenyans and not to use the same to enrich themselves through corruption.
“As a leader, you must bear in mind that you are not there to enrich yourself but to you are there because of your commitment prosper the people you lead,” the President said.
The war against corruption and creation of an enabling environment for business and investments have been constant themes throughout President Kenyatta’s brief tour of duty in Washington DC.
Therefore, as President Kenyatta welcomes the British Prime Minister in Nairobi on Thursday, the two issues are most likely to top the agenda during the two leaders private talks as well as in the bilateral discussions at State House Nairobi.
Being one of Kenya's top trading partners, Britain has in the past repeatedly voiced its discomfort with the state of corruption in Kenya and has historically been at the forefront in supporting Kenya in the war against the vice.
Just before he left the US, President Kenyatta spoke to the BBC in an interview in which the Head of State sought to assure the world that Kenya and indeed Africa had come of age and that it is no longer looking to the world for aid as was in the past but was instead focused on fostering win-win partnerships that benefit all parties involved.
“There has been dramatic change across the African continent where people are beginning to get a better understanding of themselves, who they are and where they want to be,” President Kenyatta noted.
The Head of State added: “We are looking at how we can partner with countries across the globe in a partnerships that are not patronising but those that are anchored on win-win positions.”
In the BBC interview, President Kenyatta termed his meeting with President Trump as a big success, saying it cemented a relationship that was already strong between Kenya and the US.
“The meeting with President Trump was fruitful. We discussed security, especially the fight against terrorism. We also discussed how to increase trade and investments between our two countries and how US companies can help create jobs for our youth,” President Kenyatta concluded.
The successful US visit by President Kenyatta is a major boost for the government's Big 4 development agenda especially since it comes just weeks before the much anticipated direct flights between Nairobi and the US.
With the meetings with PM Theresa May in Nairobi and the President of China Xi Jinping in Beijing scheduled in the next few days, Kenyans should expect more discussions on how to improve Kenya's business environment, the renewed fight against corruption as well as other matters of national and regional importance such as peace and security.