• Friday, 14 June 2024
President Ruto lands in the US for a 4-day state visit

President Ruto lands in the US for a 4-day state visit

President William Ruto arrived at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday afternoon, ahead of a busy four-day visit to the United States. 

Among the dignitaries waiting to welcome President Ruto at the airport included Foreign Affairs PS Korir Sing'Oei and US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman

The first visit by an African leader in 15 years is expected to strengthen ties with the United States of America while also opening doors to investment. 

Hussein Mohamed, Statehouse spokesperson, announced on Sunday that Ruto will travel from Monday, May 20, to Thursday, May 23, when he will meet with President Joe Biden.

On Monday, Ruto is expected to head to Atlanta, Georgia, where he will visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum "to emphasise the two countries' shared commitment to governance and anti-corruption efforts".

He is later expected to visit the Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay homage to the civil rights struggle and thereafter head to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters to discuss the US-Kenya health partnership.

The day will end with Ruto and first lady Rachel Ruto being hosted by the Kenyan diaspora in Atlanta.

On Tuesday, still in Atlanta, Ruto will commence his day by visiting Spelman College to emphasize on the critical role of higher education particularly in science and technology which is critical in attracting investments.

He will later visit Tyler Perry Studios to explore opportunities within the creative economy and the head to the Coca-Cola company to forge new investments.

He will also launch Vivo's inaugural store and, lastly, in the company of Rachel Ruto, attend a dinner hosted by the state's mayor, Andre Dickens.

Ruto will then jet out to Washington, DC, on Wednesday, where he will be accorded "full ceremonial state honors" and later meet a congressional delegation and hold discussions at Capital Hill.

On Thursday Ruto and Reachel will lay a wreath at Arlington Cemetery to honour dead American soldiers and historic figures and later hold a bilateral meeting with President Biden to highlight development opportunities.

Mohamed said that the gracious invitation comes amid warm relations between the two nations owing to the fostered partnership in critical thematic areas, among them defence cooperation, free democracy, governance and civilian security, health corporations, and multilateral and regional issues.

"It also reflects the strategic importance of Kenya to the US as the leading regional anchor and the main commercial gateway to East Africa," he said. 

Ruto's US visit, according to Mohamed, is the first state visit made by a Kenyan head of state in two decades and the first made by an African president since 2018.

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