NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday met US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Amb Tibor Peter Nagy, and discussed ways of deepening the Kenya-US partnerships in peace, security and trade at State House, Nairobi.
President Kenyatta expressed the need for Kenya and the US to strengthen their trade and investment ties, saying the potential for cooperation in this area was not fully exploited.
“We have a strong strategic partnership on other spheres but on the economic side, it is not as strong as it should be,” President Kenyatta said at the meeting that was also attended by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Amb Macharia Kamau.
President Kenyatta expressed optimism that the direct flights to New York by Kenya Airways and Kenya’s progressive labour laws will provide an incentive to attract more US investments into Kenya.
“We are hoping that the US will take advantage of this to deepen its trade partnership with Kenya,” President Kenyatta said.
On security, the Head of State said Kenya and the US face similar threats and welcomed the cooperation that the two countries have cultivated over the years in dealing with security challenges.
President Kenyatta also briefed the US Assistant Secretary on peace and security in the region, citing Kenya’s and IGAD’s efforts to sustainable stability is attained in South Sudan and in Somalia.
Assistant Secretary Nagy, who was accompanied by US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, praised Kenya for playing an active role in ensuring peace and stability in the region.
He appreciated the strategic partnership in peace and security that the US has with Kenya and expressed optimism that this strong relationship will be leveraged on to deepen trade and investment ties.
“US investment potential in Africa is under utilised. We hope to work on developing that area,” Amb Nagy said.
Referring to the government’s Big 4 agenda, Amb Nagy said the priority development areas which cover universal health coverage, quality jobs to Kenyans through enhancing the manufacturing sector, provision of affordable housing and food security were aligned with the US aspirations for Africa.
The US Assistant Secretary congratulated President Kenyatta for his focus on boosting the blue economy, saying the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi was a major success.
Amb Nagy commended Kenya’s devolution system, saying it is worth being emulated by other countries in the region.