Kenya: 70 days in office, Ruto steps up foreign travel to rogue investors

Kenya: 70 days in office, Ruto steps up foreign travel to rogue investors

NAIROBI, Kenya – President Willaim Ruto who was sworn in as the country’s fifth head of state has embarked on several foreign trips to regional, continental and global capitals in what could outshine his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.

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It is exactly 70 days in office as Kenya’s president, but he has had an aggressive campaign to strengthen Kenya’s foreign policy and improve trade.

Professor Peter Kagwanja foreign policy expert called Ruto’s foreign trips are meant to revive the poor diplomatic relations with the West.

“Both Presidents Kibaki and Kenyatta were more oriented towards the East and more specifically the Asian giant China which is considered African friendly and cares less about the political decisions of a sovereign country as opposed to the West is hard-line. But we must also understand that Britain and The US is more interested in Kenya and that this can be played during the US-Africa summit scheduled for next month.”

On Sunday, the president left the country for a day of a state visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo where he held talks with his host President Felix Tshisekedi.

Ruto’s administration plays an important role in strengthening the region’s anchor for peace, stability, security and economic prosperity.

Already over 900 Kenyan defense troops have been deployed to the DRC as part of the East African Community peacekeeping mission.

The East African troops were to “enforce peace” in embattled eastern DR Congo, where the M23 armed group has launched an offensive.
The President’s trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo comes at a time when he has also met EAC Presidents Samia Suluhu and Yoweri Museveni in a bid to improve bilateral ties and increase trade between the countries.

Last month, Ruto paid a state visit to Uganda during the country’s 60th independence celebrations where he also held bilateral talks with Museveni and struck deals to boost trade.

That same month in October, President Ruto was in Tanzania for bilateral talks where the two countries agreed to build a 600km gas pipeline linking Dar es Salaam to Mombasa and Nairobi.

The President was also in Ethiopia where he witnessed Safaricom’s official entry into the Ethiopian market after holding talks with his host Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The Head of State’s first trip abroad in September involved him attending the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service at the Westminster.

The President also visited the visited United States where he participated in the seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly.
At the beginning of this month, he attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2022 in Egypt.

Earlier this week, President Ruto left Nairobi to embark on a three-day official visit to the Republic of Korea for bilateral talks with President Yoon Suk-Yeol.

Prof Kagwanja, “The visit to South Korea is a strategic visit because the country is a close ally of the US and whatever topic is discussed will be based on the interest of both the US and South Korea. Ruto is trying to get in good books with the West for trade deals while he isolates the East and that is what all these trips abroad are about.”

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