President William Ruto is among African leaders invited to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit to take place in Washington, DC on December 13-15, 2022.
He was scheduled to leave Nairobi on Monday night for the three-day event.
The Summit will among others demonstrate the US’ enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of US-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities, a statement from US State Department said.
Some 49 African Heads of State, along with the chairman of the African Union, have been invited by President Joe Biden to the landmark summit.
State House said the US is one of the largest export destinations for Kenyan products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and a leading partner for Kenya’s development agenda as well as regional peace, security and multilateral cooperation.
“In strengthening Kenya’s bilateral and economic ties with the US, President Ruto will advocate the conclusion of the Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement and support African countries’ push to expand US-Africa trade relations through the renewal of AGOA,” a statement said.
Ruto will deliver a statement on “The Future of Africa’s Trade and Investment Relations with the US”, and address the summit on partnering in Agenda 2063, and specifically on A Peaceful and Secure Africa.
He will also engage the private sector and pitch for expanded partnerships in trade and investments, better access of Kenyan products to the US market and the creation of jobs and other opportunities for Kenyans.
The summit is one of Biden’s top foreign-policy priorities this year.
It is the first opportunity for his administration to showcase how it views the future of US-Africa relations on its home turf amid increasing geopolitical tension with Russia and China and efforts to reset U.S.-Africa relations after Trump’s presidency, according to observers.
The summit comes at a crucial point in U.S.-Africa relations as the continent seeks to recover from the global coronavirus pandemic and faces new economic and political pressures amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
Officials said on day one of the summits, there will be a series of forums including an African and Diaspora Young Leaders forum, a civil society, peace, security, and governance forums.
This will bring together youth leaders, civil society, political actors and climate advocates.
The second day, he noted, will be dedicated to the US.-Africa Business Forum – a full day of opportunities for African and US businesses to come together and meet with delegations from the continent.
The third day, dubbed the ‘leaders’ day’ with Biden and heads of delegations and heads of state from Africa.
Biden has made clear that renewing democracy in the US and around the world is essential to meeting the “unprecedented challenges of our time.”
In December 2021, Biden held the first of two Summits for Democracy, which brought together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector in “to renew democracy at home and confront autocracies abroad.”
During the summit, Biden led world leaders in making a series of commitments in areas such as bolstering free and independent media, fighting corruption, defending free and fair elections, strengthening civic capacity, advancing the civic and political leadership of women, girls, and marginalized community members and harnessing technology for democratic renewal.
State Department’s officials said participants at this year’s summit, which will take place exactly one year after he maiden edition, are expected to take stock of the progress made and forge a common path ahead.
Biden, in a statement issued in July this year, said the upcoming summit will demonstrate the United States enduring commitment to Africa and will underscore the importance of US.-Africa relations and increase cooperation on shared global priorities.
Officials say Africa will shape the future — not just the future of the African people, but of the world.
Africa will make a difference in tackling the most urgent challenges and seizing the opportunities we all face.
“I look forward to working with African governments, civil society, diaspora communities across the United States, and the private sector to continue strengthening our shared vision for the future of U.S.-Africa relations,” said Biden.