Uhuru Kenyatta arrives in Washington for US-Africa summit

President Uhuru Kenyatta chats with former US President Bill Clinton during the Pan-African leaders' gathering at Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC, on August 4, 2014. PHOTO | PSCU

What you need to know:

  • President Kenyatta went straight to attend an event held to honour a former American ambassador to the United Nations
  • President Kenyatta and Mr Clinton chatted for more than 20 minutes

WASHINTON, DC
President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in the United States on Monday for the US-Africa summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.

President Kenyatta went straight to attend an event held to honour a former American ambassador to the United Nations.

The event, a gathering of Pan-African leaders, was held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel to honour ambassador Andrew Young.

Mr Young — a pastor, civil rights leader and former congressman — championed key partnerships between the US and Africa for decades.

In an article he published in USA Today on Monday, Mr Young said: “Forty years ago, I went to Africa for the first time. Travelling to a World Bank meeting in Kenya with George Schultz (former US Secretary of Labour), who served as Treasury secretary during the Ford administration, we saw a view of Africa that had not been previously imagined.”

CLOSER PARTNERSHIP

Since that visit, Mr Young has championed closer partnership between Africa and the US.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and former US President Bill Clinton also attended the event.

President Kenyatta and Mr Clinton chatted for more than 20 minutes.

Earlier, Mr Clinton gave an opening address, calling for more partnership between Africa and the US.

President Kenyatta’s visit will focus on strengthening ties between the US and Kenya in trade, capital investment, infrastructure, energy and security.

The President is scheduled to hold a number of high level meetings with Chief Executives of major US companies that are keen in investing in Kenya.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

He is also set to meet a select group of businesspeople who have Kenya-specific investment proposals at a forum convened by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Investment opportunities for US companies in Kenya’s mega infrastructure projects, newly discovered petroleum deposits and power-generation initiatives will be the focus of talks during the President’s visit.

Several ministerial-level meetings dealing with power, infrastructure development and investments in health have been going on at the US-Africa summit.

On Monday, Cabinet Secretaries Michael Kamau (Transport), Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum), Henry Rotich (National Treasury) and James Macharia (Health) spoke at a forum organised by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

WHITE HOUSE DINNER

CCA represents major US companies, including General Electric, Coca-Cola, IBM and others.

Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and Adan Mohamed (Industrialisation and Enterprise Development) attended a meeting at the World Bank where an extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act was discussed.

Kenya has been championing a seamless renewal of the AGOA agreement.

On Tuesday, President Kenyatta will join other visiting African heads of state for a schedule of events where they will be joined by US President Obama.

President Obama will later host the leaders to a dinner at the White House.

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