Mudavadi morphing into Ruto’s ambassador-at-large

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during a tree planting exercise at Egerton University on May 19. Mudavadi appears to be Ruto’s key assistant in implementing the country’s ‘Look West’ economic policy.

Photo credit: John Njoroge | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto appears to have made Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi the country’s ambassador-at-large as he travels abroad to represent the Head of State.

Mr Mudavadi has represented the President on key foreign trips since December last year and will today lead the country’s delegation at the swearing-in of Nigeria’s new president, Bola Tinubu, at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

“The Prime Cabinet Secretary, H.E. (Dr) Musalia Mudavadi will leave the country today, Sunday 28 May 2023 for Abuja, Nigeria. He will represent the President of Kenya, H.E. William Samoei Ruto, at the inauguration ceremony of H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect of Nigeria, on Monday, 29 May 2023,” read a statement from Mr Mudavadi’s Director of Press Salim Swaleh, .

Mr Mudavadi has emerged as a key driver of the Kenya Kwanza administration’s “Look West” economic policy.

According to an executive order issued by the President earlier this year, Mr Mudavadi’s role as Prime CS is to assist the President and Deputy President in coordinating and supervising government ministries and state agencies, and in liaison with the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, oversee the implementation of national government policies, programmes and projects.

He is also expected to lead and coordinate the national government’s legislative agenda across all ministries and state departments in consultation with party and coalition leaders in Parliament. Mr Mudavadi is also expected to chair the principal secretaries' committees and oversee the technical monitoring and evaluation of government policies, programmes and projects, as well as other functions as may be assigned by the President.

Although the management of the country’s foreign policy falls under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora headed by Dr Alfred Mutua, President Ruto appears to have entrusted Mr Mudavadi with the task.

In December last year, Mr Mudavadi represented President Ruto at the Commonwealth Trade and Investment Summit in London, United Kingdom, where he also held talks with Lord Marland of Odstock, chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.

“Commonwealth trade is expected to grow by an average of 0.2 per cent a year between 2021 and 2026. Therefore, building trusted networks between governments and between governments and the private sector should be the hallmark of our common and binding interests,” said Mr Mudavadi.

Last year, the Prime CS was part of President Ruto’s delegation to the United States-African Leaders Summit in the US. “I had the opportunity to engage the founder and CEO of Orion Applied Science and Technology, Mr Alvin Alexander. We explored possible areas of mutual cooperation and partnership between the government of Kenya and Orion Company to assist in the provision of satellite-based solutions for the agriculture, natural resource management and security sectors,” said Mr Mudavadi.

In March, he travelled to Azerbaijan where he represented the President at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit. Earlier, he represented President Ruto at the swearing-in ceremony of Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

In April, Mr Mudavadi was in Burundi where he represented the President at a regional conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo peace initiative.

President Ruto himself has struck key deals in meetings with some of the world’s most powerful leaders in his eight months in power. At his inauguration in September last year, the President pledged to work on deepening the country’s integration in the community of nations, saying that he would keep up the pace in promoting closer ties with neighbours and the continent at large.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in September, he said Kenya would continue to be “an anchor state in the region” and invest “in diplomatic efforts to find lasting peace in myriad situations within and beyond the region”.