President Ruto to meet with US President Joe Biden, White house announces

President Joe Biden, President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto at a past meeting. 

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • The visit will affirm the US strategic partnership with Kenya and further the vision set forth at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: African leadership is essential to addressing global priorities.

President William Ruto is scheduled to be in Washington, US, on May 23, 2024 on an official State visit where he will be hosted by US President Joe Biden, the first such visit to the White House by an African leader since 2008.

According to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the visit by the Head of State is expected to focus on strengthening bilateral ties between both countries.

“The upcoming visit will mark the 60th anniversary of US-Kenya diplomatic relations and will celebrate a partnership that is delivering for the people of the United States and Kenya. The visit will strengthen our shared commitment to advance peace and security, expand our economic ties, and stand together in defense of democratic values,” Ms Jean-Pierre said in a press statement.

President Ruto, while acknowledging the news Friday, said the State visit will provide an opportunity for both countries to explore building a beneficial partnership to benefit them. 

“Kenya views the State visit as a high profile opportunity to articulate a new era of dynamic partnership aimed at transforming trade and investment, green energy and climate action, digital technology and innovation, health and human development, peace and security as well as multilateralism and collective action to deliver shared prosperity for Kenya, Africa, the Global South and the entire world,” read a message on his X account.

The White House said the meeting will also focus on affirming declarations made by African leaders during the US-Africa leaders’ summit held in December 2022.

 “The visit will affirm our strategic partnership with Kenya and further the vision set forth at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit: African leadership is essential to addressing global priorities,” read the press statement from the White House.

This will be the first official visit by the head of state to the United States.

President Ruto was in the US last year in September to attend the United General Assembly (UNGA) meeting. He led the Kenya delegation at the 78th session of the assembly. During the visit, he also visited Silicon Valley to lure technology investors into the country.

He had also travelled in September 2022 shortly after the General Election to attend the 78th session of the assembly.

President Ruto is expected to travel with First Lady Rachel Ruto as well as other high-ranking government officials during the visit.