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Inside President Ruto’s Washington, DC, meeting with Obama

  • May 24, 2024
  • 3 min read
Inside President Ruto’s Washington, DC, meeting with Obama

Washington DC, May 23, 2024 – On Thursday, President William Ruto of Kenya met with former US President Barack Obama at Blair House in Washington DC. The meeting, described by President Ruto as a “productive engagement,” focused on key issues such as democratic development, climate change, and peace and security challenges facing Africa.

President Ruto emphasized the significance of Africa’s young and dynamic demographic, discussing with Obama the potential for growth in sectors like technology, innovation, higher education, and technical education. “We reviewed opportunities available to Africa’s young and dynamic demographic in tech, innovation, higher and technical education,” said President Ruto. The discussions also explored ways Kenya and Africa could leverage US institutions and technological capabilities to further their developmental goals.

Obama, who has a personal connection to Kenya through his father, previously visited the country during his tenure as a senator and again in July 2018 after his presidency. His engagement with President Ruto reflects his ongoing interest and commitment to the development and stability of Africa.

The meeting with Obama was one highlight of President Ruto’s busy four-day state visit to the United States. The visit commenced with President Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto, and other Kenyan dignitaries arriving at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Monday afternoon. The agenda included a series of high-level meetings aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and exploring new avenues of cooperation between Kenya and the United States.

On Thursday morning, President Ruto was accorded full military honors with a 21-gun salute during the State Arrival Ceremony at the White House. This ceremonial welcome underscored the importance of the Kenya-US relationship. Following the ceremony, President Ruto held a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including economic cooperation, security partnerships, and joint efforts to combat climate change. Their discussions culminated in a joint press conference held in the Oval Office, where they reaffirmed their commitment to deepening the strategic partnership between their countries.

The state visit concluded with a formal dinner at the White House, hosted by President Biden. This event provided an opportunity for further dialogue and the strengthening of personal and diplomatic ties between the leaders and their respective countries.

President Ruto’s visit to the United States marks a significant step in enhancing Kenya’s international relations and seeking collaborative solutions to global challenges. The meetings with both President Biden and former President Obama highlight the shared goals of promoting democracy, advancing technological innovation, and addressing the pressing issues of climate change and security in Africa.

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Daniel Ndiwa
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