NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 — Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma on Thursday met her US counterpart Mike Pompeo at the State Department in the run-up to a White House summit between President Uhuru Kenyatta and host Donald Trump on Monday.
The 45-minute meeting on Thursday afternoon came in the backdrop of separate meetings with Trump’s Special Assistant and Senior Director for Africa, Cyril Sartor, as well as Ambassador Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs earlier in the day.
The CS later met the Under Secretary for Defence, David Tranchtenberg.
CS Juma had on Wednesday met 28 resident African ambassadors with whom she discussed Africa-US trade under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) framework.
She had also engaged the ambassadors on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The CS also met the American Society of Travel Agents on Wednesday at an event convened by the Kenya Airways to popularize the launch of direct flights from Nairobi to New York in October year.
President Kenyatta is expected in the US on Saturday ahead of his meeting with President Trump.
Announcing the White House meeting, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on August 6 said the two leaders would seek to broaden existing ties on common interest areas.
“Kenya is a vital partner of the United States and President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to broaden the strategic partnership based on our shared democratic values and mutual interests,” she said.
Sanders said at the time the meeting will also feature discussions on stability on the African continent and the broader Indo-Pacific region.
“The meeting between the two leaders will reaffirm the longstanding relationship between the United States and Kenya as a cornerstone of peace and stability in Africa and the broader Indo-Pacific region,” she said.
CS Juma had told Capital FM News on Aug 15 that President Kenyatta and Trump will explore ways of bolstering the existing cooperation in trade through AGOA as well as capacity building in the area of security with the specific focus of enhancing Kenya’s counter-terrorism efforts.
“We are going to be discussing ways in which we can increase our quantum in volume into AGOA. We’re the key beneficiaries of AGOA so far but there are also a number of lines within the framework that we could enhance,” she explained.
“We also hope we can begin discussion on post-AGOA arrangements because we’ve seen huge appetite in that direction,” she added.
On returning to Nairobi after the meeting with Trump, President Kenyatta will be preparing to host British Prime Minister Theresa May on August 30.
May’s visit will be the first visit to Africa since taking over from David Cameron in July 2016.
According to CS Juma, bilateral engagements between Kenyatta and May will mainly be focused towards the delivery of President Kenyatta’s Big Four development agenda, which will form the President’s legacy when he leaves office in 2022 after serving for his second and final term.
The visit by May will mark the second time a sitting British Prime Minister has visited the country after Margaret Thatcher’s 1988 visit during President Daniel arap Moi’s tenure.