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IN PICTURES: Uhuru at the White House

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Trade, investments and security top agenda as Kenyatta and Trump meet at the White House

Washington DC, 27 August 2018 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday met US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington DC and invited the US to increase its trade and investments in Africa.

Speaking during a bilateral meeting held at the Cabinet Office in the White House, President Kenyatta and President Trump also agreed to bolster the Kenya-US partnership in peace and security especially in the Horn of Africa region.

“We’ve had strong relations that stretch back – all the way back to our own independence. And we are here to cement that partnership. We are here to strengthen the support we have received as a country, especially with regards to our security and defense cooperation,” President Kenyatta said.

President Trump said Kenya and the US will continue to work together to grow their partnership in trade, investments and security.

“We do a lot of trade. And we do a lot of defense and security. And we’re working very much on security right now. And I appreciate you very much being with us and your staff. This is really great,” President Trump said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Former Kenya's head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia speaks to VOA

The two leaders also discussed the direct flights from Nairobi to New York by Kenya Airways that are set to commence in October and agreed that they will boost tourism and trade for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

They cited the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as one of the main areas that is set to benefit from the direct flights from Nairobi.

Earlier, President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta were formally received by their hosts President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump when they arrived at the White House at 2.00pm Washington DC time (9.00pm, Nairobi time on Monday).

After the official welcome formalities, President Trump ushered President Kenyatta into the Oval Office for one-on-one talks before joining their respective delegations for the bilateral talks in the Cabinet Room.

Similarly, First Ladies Melania Trump and Margaret Kenyatta held separate private talks in the Diplomatic Reception Room in the West Wing of the White House.

President Kenyatta’s historic visit to the White House makes him the third African leader to hold direct talks with President Trump, the only other two leaders having been Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi in April 2017 and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in April this year.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru posts 13 new ambassadors to different countries

Before the White House visit, President Kenyatta earlier met and addressed members of the US Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunities created by his Big Four development blueprint by investing more in Kenya.

The historic direct talks between President Kenyatta and President Trump are a major boost to President Kenyatta’s Big Four development agenda as well as the renewed war against corruption and economic crimes in the country.

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Africa

How Nairobi dust and old car tested Michele Obama’s love for her husband

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This year, First lady Michelle Obama was enjoying Beyonce and Jay Z’ performance in France while her husband Barack Obama visited his home and family in Kenya, Bondo.

The former American First lady Michelle Obama has now opened up on a possible reason why she did not accompany her husband Barrack Obama during his two recent visits to Kenya saying that her first visit in the country was just more than frustrating.

In her memoir titled “Becoming”, Michelle shared that on her first trip to Kenya in 1992 was full of misfortunes and even wore the wrong shoes. Obama’s sister, Auma, also had an old car that left her frustrated.

“Auma’s sky-blue VW was so old that it often needed to be pushed in order to get the engine into gear. I’d ill-advisedly bought new white sneakers to wear on the trip, and within a day, after all the pushing we did, they’d turned reddish brown, stained with the cinnamon-hued dust of Nairobi,” she shared. 

The 54-year-old who was born the US in 1964 added that the trip was also tiring and although she witnessed some beautiful scenaries, she was really frustrated.

“For every bit of awe we felt in Kenya, we were also tired, which led to quibbling, which led finally, for whatever reason, to rage. “I’m so angry at Barack,” I wrote in my journal. “I don’t think we have anything in common.” My thoughts trailed off there. As a measure of my frustration, I drew a long emphatic gash across the rest of the page,” the memoir went on.” she said. 

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READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Mbona mnanilaumu mkishindwa kwa mchujo, Uhuru Kenyatta wonders aloud
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Kenyans in US get discounts on fare, three luggage on KQ direct flight

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Kenya Airways has turned to the more than 100,000 Kenyans living in the US with generous discounts in a bid to shore up passenger numbers three weeks since it launched direct flights to New York.

National carrier, which has been grappling with low passenger numbers, says Kenyans who book tickets directly will enjoy a 10 per cent discount on fares and three of their luggage.

“The special rate for the Kenyan diaspora is only available for bookings made directly on our website,” Stephen Ngamau, KQ’s area manager for the Americas, says in a notice on display at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC.

“We encourage guests to enrol onto our database for more updates and offers… We look forward to having the Kenyan diaspora aboard Kenya Airways soon.” The fares on the New York route range between Sh79,000 and Sh105,000 depending on the booking period.

Kenya estimates the number of its citizens studying or working in the US at 130,000 even though other sources claim the figure could be as high as 300,000. The group has been very active in the country’s economic affairs with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data showing that North America accounted for 50.8 per cent of the Sh197.1 billion that citizens living abroad sent home last year.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Raila recognizes Uhuru as president in surprise statement

The trend has continued this year with CBK data showing that Kenyans living in North America sent home Sh72.1 billion in the first six months of this year, representing a 69.3 per cent growth over the Sh42.5 billion received in a similar period last year.

Kenya launched its daily non-stop flights to the US on October 28 in what government officials said would stimulate tourism, trade and investments from the world’s largest economy.

The national carrier is cutting back on flights citing low demand. It has rescheduled flights covering November to March and cancelled 10 flights between last Monday and December 5.

Business Daily

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Uganda deploys military, police to guard Chinese investors

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The Ugandan government has deployed military and police officers to guard Chinese investors after the latter threatened to leave the country following a wave of attacks.

Mr You Jing Shu, the chairperson of Guangdong Chamber of Commerce, a lobby of about 50 Chinese companies in Uganda, said last week that many investors were considering leaving unless the government beefed up security.

“I may personally be resilient to this kind of insecurity because I lived in South Sudan, which is more hostile than here. But other investors who are faint-hearted can leave,” Mr Shu said in an interview with Daily Monitor.

ATTACKS

On October 23, a group of unknown assailants raided the residential quarters of CCLE Rubber Company in Mbalala in central Mukono District injuring five people — three Chinese nationals and two Ugandans. The attackers are said to have made away with $11,000 in cash, mobile phones, and electronic appliances whose worth was unspecified.

Mr Chen Fan, the director of the company, told Daily Monitor that machete-wielding gang beat up the security guard, injuring him, and took away his gun which they later abandoned.

“This is scaring us. I feel I should leave the country because this is not the first company to be attacked. It is very bad,” Mr Fan said.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans warn MPs that 2022 election is coming as they mull over Uhuru's 8% VAT proposal

Uganda police spokesman, Mr Emilian Kayima, said investigations on the attack and other similar ones are underway.

“We are taking this matter seriously. As I speak, I am in the field in Luweero (district that neighbours Mukono to the southeast) investigating a similar matter and very soon we shall come up with a solution,” Mr Kayima said.

MEETING

Last week, a delegation of Chinese investors met with top government officials over the rising wave of armed and violent robberies that have resulted in loss of life and property.

The closed-door crisis meeting was attended by the minister of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odongo, Security minister Gen Elly Tumwine, the Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola, the director-general of Internal Security Organisation (domestic spy agency) Col Kaka Bagyenda, and Mr Ronald Kibuule, the Mukono North MP.

The government assured the Chinese that they would be provided with armed guards.

Mr Kibuule told Daily Monitor that the meeting had been ordered by President Yoweri Museveni after the MP informed him of the attacks in his constituency.

Daily Monitor

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