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Kenya and U.S. Forge New Investment Deals in Green Energy, Security, and Technology

Kenya and the United States have announced new investment deals that focus on green energy, security, education, and governance. 

These announcements came during Kenyan President William Ruto’s four-day state visit to the white house in the U.S.

This visit has made president Ruto the first African leader to make a state visit to Washington in 16 years. Moreover, this visit marks 60 years of partnership between Kenya and the U.S. 

“Decades of strong security cooperation between the United States and Kenya have played a critical role in East Africa and beyond. 

“This partnership extends to areas including international peacekeeping, peace negotiations, security governance, refugee inclusion, and cooperation in cybersecurity,” the White House said in a fact sheet.

One major highlight is the U.S. designation of Kenya as a major non-NATO ally. This reflects Kenya’s growing status in U.S. counterterrorism operations in Africa. 

The U.S. has committed an investment of $4.9 million to improve cooperation against international criminal networks. Another $7 million will go towards modernizing Kenya’s National Police Service.

The U.S. also announced a $2.2 million initiative to reduce overcrowding in Kenyan prisons. Additionally, $1.55 million will fund anti-corruption programs in Kenya. This includes $500,000 for enhancing transparency in Kenya’s budget processes.

Civil society groups in Kenya will receive $2.6 million in support. This includes $1.3 million from USAID for youth empowerment and $600,000 for disability inclusion. 

The U.S. also plans to invest $700,000 to institutionalize best practices for civil society protections.

Also Read: Celebrating Progress: Recent Successes in the U.S.-Nigeria Partnership

Major Tech and Infrastructure Investments

Alphabet’s President and Chief Investment Officer, Ruth Porat, announced Google’s plans to build the first-ever fiber optic route directly connecting Africa with Australia. 

The route will pass through the continent to South Africa before crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia.

President Ruto highlighted Kenya’s efforts to attract big tech firms and startups through its “Silicon Savannah” initiative.

“The Kenyan government in the next policy framework will be eliminating all taxes for companies that will locally manufacture the first 100,000 two-wheelers and four-wheelers in Kenya,” Ruto said.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation announced $10 million loans to BasiGo and Roam Electric. These loans will support electric vehicle production in Kenya. 

A partnership between Kenya and Microsoft will see a $1 billion data center built in Naivasha. This center will run on Microsoft Azure cloud services.

Microsoft will help bring internet services to 20 million Kenyans next year. The U.S. has also committed $3.6 million to accelerate cleaner electricity connections in Kenya. 

Additionally, a $3.6 billion expressway from Mombasa to Nairobi will be constructed by Everstrong Capital LLC.

The U.S. plans to invest $250 million through the International Development Finance Corporation. This includes $180 million for an affordable housing project. These investments will bring DFC’s portfolio in Kenya to over $1 billion. 

New trade talks between the U.S. and Kenya are set for June in Mombasa. Both nations aim to boost economic ties and create more business opportunities.