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Biden hosts Kenya’s William Ruto to strengthen tech cooperation

President Joe Biden welcomed Kenyan President William Ruto to the White House for a three-day state visit, highlighting 60 years of diplomatic ties and launching a new era of technological cooperation between the two nations. This visit also marked the designation of Kenya as a major non-NATO ally, a move made as Kenya prepares to deploy forces to Haiti under a U.N.-led initiative to address the security crisis in the Caribbean country.

In his remarks, President Biden emphasized the importance of the partnership between the U.S. and Kenya, particularly in the realm of innovation. He stated:

“As we honor 60 years of ties between our countries, it’s clear that our people are the true strength of this partnership. Nowhere is it more important than in the realm of innovation. That’s why we have so many businesses around this table, from Silicon Valley to Silicon Savannah. Our people have brought us forward and pioneered new technologies that are transforming millions of lives.”

Biden announced new initiatives to enhance technological cooperation, including exchanges and investments in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and semiconductors. He noted the significant contributions of the leaders present:

“We’re launching a new era of technological cooperation between Kenya and America, including new exchanges and investments in key fields of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and semiconductors. And this progress is thanks in large part to the leaders around this table.”

President Ruto also expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting the potential for growth and innovation:

“Our young population, talented, educated, innovative and American technology that is cutting edge and investment capital and investors that are hungry for opportunities not just in Kenya but in our continent, is a perfect match for this moment. I think we have a historic moment to explore investment opportunities between Kenya and the United States.”

The visit underscores the strategic importance of Kenya in the region and the potential for increased collaboration in various sectors. It also aligns with the broader U.S. strategy to bolster ties with African nations through technological and economic partnerships.

During the state visit, which began with a meeting between American and Kenyan tech leaders, the two presidents discussed ways to leverage their countries’ strengths. They focused on fostering innovation and addressing global challenges, from cybersecurity threats to the need for robust AI and semiconductor development.

The designation of Kenya as a major non-NATO ally, though largely symbolic, signals a deepening of military and security cooperation. This move supports Kenya’s role in global peacekeeping efforts, including its upcoming mission to Haiti.


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