, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 28 – Outgoing United States Ambassador Robert Godec has thanked Kenyans for welcoming him to the country as his six-year tour of duty comes to an end on Thursday.
In a statement posted on the US Embassy website titled kwaheri ya kuonana Godec said that during his tenure he met “amazing, creative, and generous Kenyans.”
“As I prepare to depart Kenya, I have been reflecting on this magical country and its remarkable people. My wife Lori and I have loved being here for the past six years. We’ve met amazing, creative and generous Kenyans and marvelled at your beautiful country.”
“Lori and I offer a profound asanteni sana to all Kenyans for making us truly feel at home. Serving as the US Ambassador to Kenya has been one of the great privileges of my life. Kenya and Kenyans will always have a big place in our hearts,” said the departing envoy.
He noted the special partnership and several firsts including President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State visit to the historic visit by former President Barrack Obama in 2015 and last year’s visit by First Lady Melania Trump.
“Together, we’ve done a lot. From the threads of mutual respect, shared values, and common goals, we have woven a rich tapestry of ties: government to government, business to business, NGO to NGO, and people to people. And our bonds are growing stronger. Just last August, President Trump welcomed President Kenyatta to the White House where we cemented our strategic partnership. In historic firsts, in 2015 President Barrack Obama visited Kenya and last October First Lady Melania Trump was here. Out of the spotlight, even more is happening.”
He also cited the introduction of the first direct flight between Nairobi and New York as among tangible fruits of deepening relations between his country and Kenya.
The outgoing US envoy expressed confidence that together Kenyans’ resilience, unity and determination will make it possible for the country to overcome the challenges.
“As a leader, Kenya has the eyes of the world upon it. Every country has challenges and every country – both its government and its people – must decide how to face them. Kenyans know theirs all too well. They include widespread corruption, divisive ethnic politics, impunity, human rights violations, unemployment, and poverty.”
“Kenya is being tested as it seeks long term solutions to these problems. I am encouraged, though, that in times of crisis Kenya’s leaders have demonstrated they are willing and able to bridge political divides for the sake of the country, as President Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Odinga did with their handshake on March 9 of last year,” Godec noted.
He reiterated that the US will remain committed to dialogue and reconciliation at all levels of the society.
“Most of all, it is the Kenyan people themselves that give me hope for the future. In my travels to every corner of this country, Kenya’s teachers, farmers, business leaders, health workers, conservationists and so many more inspired me with their determination, resilience, and courage. Remarkable Kenyans are creating jobs, growing produce, promoting peace, countering violent extremism, conserving the environment, and improving literacy and digital skills. Talented, intelligent, and resourceful Kenyans are building this country and, at the same time, weaving the fabric of our partnership.”
The envoy said the US will continue to support Kenya in its efforts to defeat terrorism, including offering information, technology, and training.
“We will never forget the sacrifices of the brave Kenyan men and women of the defence, security, and law enforcement agencies who work tirelessly to keep us all safe,” Godec said.