WASHINGTON – Kenyan Foreign Affairs Secretary Monica Juma said Friday that President Donald Trump and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will explore ways to boost trade cooperation when they meet Monday at the White House.
Addressing the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Juma said Kenya-U.S. bilateral trade relations and security strategy are the top agenda items for the Monday meeting.
She cited the U.S.African Growth and Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2000 to offer tangible incentives for African countries and build free markets.
Much of the discussion will be focusing on “growing trade and investment portfolio in today’s Kenyan market and opening the U.S. market for Kenyan goods and services,” she said, in the light of the Kenyatta administration’sBig Four action plan to improve manufacturing, food security, health care and housing.
In particular, the need to grow Kenya’s local tourism and aviation sectors is huge, as she mentioned during the meeting with American Society of Travel Agents Wednesday. Juma said Kenya has been Improving security infrastructure at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and enhancing its functioning as “a real regional hub.”
In October, the airport will launch its first direct flight between Kenya’s capital Nairobi and New York.
Kenya will also seek broader cooperation with the U.S. in counterterrorism and defense efforts in the upcoming meeting.
Over the years, Kenya has been at the forefront of restoring stability in South Sudan, the most recent democratic transition in Ethiopia as well as the overall the Eastern Africa, but Kenya needs more defense strategies in the growing footprint of Middle East, she said.
“This is something that worries us a lot, because it [Middle East] has the potential to destabilize a very fragile ecosystem,” Juma said. Both parties will need to come up with resolutions to ISIS threats and the sophistication of militarization in this region, she noted.