, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Scott Gration has formally taken over as the new American ambassador to Kenya after he presented his credentials to President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday.
Mr Gration takes over from Michael Ranneberger whose tour of duty ended last month.
President Kibaki also received credentials from four other incoming envoys. The envoys who presented their credentials were Kim Chan-woo of the Republic of Korea, Paola Imperiale of Italy, Alexander Makarenko of the Russian Federation and Kamal Ismail Saeed of Sudan.
Addressing the incoming ambassadors, President Kibaki urged them to always work towards ensuring that the existing development cooperation between Kenya and their respective countries is boosted.
In this regard, the Head of State encouraged the envoys to travel freely in all parts of the country and interact with Kenyans in order to succeed in their assignments during their tour of duty in the country.
Speaking during the occasion, the incoming US Ambassador noted that for more than five decades Kenya has been one of his country’s most reliable partners in Africa.
“The Obama administration values this long standing bilateral relationship and views Kenya not only as an ally, but as a leader in East Africa,” Mr Gration said.
He assured President Kibaki that during his tour of duty in the country he will endeavour to further promote the existing cordial relations between Kenya and the U.S.
On his part, Korean Ambassador Chan-woo commended President Kibaki’s leadership, saying the promulgation of the new Constitution and the launch of Kenya Vision 2030 have ushered a promising future in Kenya.
“As the Korean Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya, I will do my utmost efforts to contribute to the achievement of Kenya’s national goals as set out in Kenya Vision 2030,” Amb. Chan-woo said.
Presenting her credentials, Italian Ambassador Imperiale hailed the existing technological cooperation between Kenya and Italy, citing the Satellite Centre in Malindi started by the two countries in 1964.
She also said during her tour of duty she will work towards ensuring that her Government increases its development assistance to boost Kenya’s economic and social progress.
“The number of projects which are currently being implemented or which are about to be started by the Italian Cooperation and their positive impact on life conditions of many Kenyans are fruits of our friendship,” the Italian Ambassador said.
On their part, the Russian Federation and Sudanese ambassadors assured the President that during their tenure they will work hard to ensure that the existing cooperation between Kenya and their countries is strengthened.
Present were Internal Security Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Prof. George Saitoti and Acting Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Patrick Wamoto among other senior Government officials.