Uhuru and Raila to attend US National Prayer Breakfast, thanks to the handshake

February 3, 2020 (3 weeks ago) 8:52 am
Uhuru and Raila are enjoying a close political relationship following their March 2018 handshake. /PSCU-FILE.

, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 3 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga are set to attend a National Prayer Breakfast in the US this week, invited due to their unity pact following the March 2018 handshake that signaled the end of their political animosity.

State House said the 68th US National Prayer Breakfast dubbed “Reconciliation, Faith and Peace Building”.
will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. It is hosted by the United States Congress and organized by the Fellowship Foundation in Washington DC.

“The President and the former PM have been invited to attend the US national prayer breakfast is their demonstrated commitment to peaceful and constructive resolution of internal conflicts in Africa, particularly the example the Government of Kenya has set in deepening democratic values, rule of law and inclusive pro-poor development-friendly policies,” State House said in a statement on Monday morning.

Odinga’s office said he has already left for the US, with President Kenyatta also set to depart Monday.

The theme of prayer breakfast hosted by United States Congress and organized by the Fellowship Foundation in Washington DC is “Reconciliation, Faith and Peace Building”.

The prayer breakfast, which will bring together over 2,000 international guests, will be attended by political and business leaders, the US Congress, members of the diplomatic corps and religious leaders.

The American foreign policy towards Africa has recently shown a positive shift in favor of African countries that have demonstrated strong democratic credentials that project an image of long-term internal stability.

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said “This is considered a critical factor that resonates with the policy of encouraging American companies to increase their investment portfolios in Africa in priority sectors that will generate decent jobs for the youth, reduce poverty and spur economic growth.”

Kenya is working closely with the US government in crafting a trading arrangement that guarantees continued market access for Kenya’s products in the US market after the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) comes to an end in 2025.

Under AGOA Kenya enjoys Duty-Free Quota Free access to the US market, making US our 3rd largest export destination.

While in Washington DC, President Kenyatta is expected to hold bilateral meetings with senior US government officials and private sector.

During meetings with American business membership groups, President Kenyatta will be expected to pitch for Kenya as an ideal business, investment and tourism destination.

The President will also engage with the US congress, Chairmen of Finance, Defense and Foreign Relations Committees.

In 2018, at a meeting between President Trump and President Kenyatta in Washington DC, a technical working group was established to promote trade and economic relations between Kenya and US.

President Kenyatta’s visit to the US to attend this year’s US national prayer breakfast will also see the technical working group to promote trade and economic relations between Kenya and US convene.

This will be the 3rd meeting of the technical working group that oscillates between Nairobi and Washington DC.

It is expected that at the end of the technical working group meeting, a joint statement will be issued announcing the commencement of negotiations geared towards a new Kenya-US free trade. agreement.

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