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New Kenyan ambassador to US presents credentials to President Trump

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

US President Donald Trump on Friday received Letters of Credence from the newly posted Kenyan ambassador to Washington, Lazarus Ombai Amayo.

Amayo, who until his posting was serving as Kenya’s Permanent Representative in the United Nations in New York, was among 8 envoys  who participated in the credentialing ceremony at the White House.

Effectively, Amayo becomes the  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kenya to the United States.

The long serving diplomat conveyed greetings and best wishes from President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya to President Trump and through him to the people of the United States of America.

He noted that Kenya and US have warm and cordial multifaceted relations. In this he expressed Kenya’s appreciation for the recent commitment of $6.6 million by the U.S Government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to boost prevention, preparedness, and response to COVID-19.

He reiterated the country’s commitment to collaborate with the United States and other international partners in seeking a long term remedy to the pandemic.

Ambassador  Amayo was appointed the new Kenyan envoy to the United States by President Kenyatta in May 2019 but did not report for duty due to what the Foreign Affairs Ministry referred to as “procedural issues.”

Kenya Satellite News Network has reliably learnt that Kenya was trying to push for Amayo to serve as a duo-envoy for both the US and the UN, but the Trump administration did not entertain the idea.

“Smaller countries can have one envoy for both the United Nations and the United States but we, in a manner of speaking, do not consider Kenya a small nation, ” said an official at State Department in Washington who did not wish to be named.

In May 2020, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau had said that Amayo would simultaneously hold the UN portfolio and would have two assistants – both full fledged ambassadors – at both stations.

“This is nothing new. We have envoys accredited to two stations each in several parts of the world,” he said in a phone interview.

He would later tweet the following:

On Friday, Ambassador Tom Omolo, who was tasked with leading the campaign to have Kenya elected to the UN Security Council tweeted:

READ ALSO:   From Senator to 'terrorist', my experience in US

 


Amayo lands in  Washington at a time when Kenya and the US have began one of the most critical and comprehensive trade negotiations after the bilateral relations between the two countries were raised to “strategic partnership” status.

During the Friday ceremony, he observed that under the Kenya-US Bilateral Strategic Dialogue Framework, which was established by the two presidents in August 2018, there is an opportunity to leverage on the milestones made in diverse areas ranging from trade and investment, universal health, military and security cooperation, regional and multilateral issues.

In his remarks after receiving the Ambassador’s credentials, President Trump noted that his arrival in Washington signified the many years of friendship between Kenya and the United States and the commitment to advancing the existing strategic partnership between the two countries across the diverse areas of cooperation.

The President said he looks forward to strengthening the bilateral economic relations between the two countries with the negotiation of a comprehensive, high-standard Free Trade Agreement.

He reiterated United States commitment to supporting Kenya’s efforts to bolster regional security and particularly in the degrading of Al-Shabaab as well as expanding maritime security cooperation. He said the collaboration between the two countries on regional and global challenges will take a boost as Kenya assumes its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-2022.

Amayo also emphasized Kenya’s readiness to continue partnering with the U.S. and other global players in countering terrorism and violent extremism and also addressing regional peace and security challenges particularly in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions.

READ ALSO:   US, Kenya set to strike trade deal - Bloomberg

The Ambassador said Kenya is keen to strengthen the bilateral economic relations and integral to these efforts will be how to diversify Kenya’s exports and optimally access US investible resources.

He affirmed that following the launch of Kenya-US Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Kenya is looking forward to a mutually beneficial outcome. On commercial investments, he cited the establishment of the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as an opportunity for US businesses to invest in countries like Kenya.

Ambassador Amayo presented credentials alongside other Ambassadors from Zambia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Moldova and Benin.

SEPARATE EVENT

Speaking at a separate event at the Chancery, the Ambassador encouraged the private sectors of both countries to have closer collaboration as well as people to people interaction.

He noted that United States pre-COVID-19 was the leading source market of tourists to Kenya and looked forward to resumption of visits as the situation improves.  He said that the country, besides its rich culture and landscapes provides a gateway to the numerous business opportunities offered by the East Africa region and the continent.

To the Kenyan Diaspora in the US, the Ambassador assured them of the Embassy’s commitment to continue engaging and partnering with them as they play a critical role in Kenya’s national development.

Ambassador Amayo thanked his predecessor Ambassador Robinson Njeru Githae and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ambassador David Gacheru for the fruitful engagement with the Diaspora on matters of investments back in Kenya.

Two years ago, President  Trump and President Kenyatta elevated the U.S.Kenya bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership, and established a Trade and Investment Working Group to explore ways to deepen the trade and investment ties between the two countries.

Earlier this year, the two presidents agreed to pursue closer economic ties through the negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA) and the talks began in earnest on July 7th, 2020.

Trade representatives from the two countries seek to conclude a free trade agreement that will complement regional integration efforts within the East African Community (EAC), as well as the landmark African Continental Free Trade Area.

Amayo’s first diplomatic posting was as High Commissioner to India, serving between 1999 to 2004.

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Prior to his latest appointment, Amayo served as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2018.

He was Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2014 to 2018, and also served as the Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Commonwealth in London.

Between 2010 and 2014, Amayo was the Director of the Division for Europe and the Commonwealth at Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also served as High Commissioner to Zambia and Malawi in addition to being the country’s Permanent Representative to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) from 2006 to 2010.

He was appointed as the acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he served for two years between 2004 and 2006.

He also doubled up as the acting Director of Administration and Head of International Organizations and Conferences in the same Ministry.

Before joining the diplomatic world in 1999, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Catering Levy Trustees, a State corporation, from 1993 to 1997.

He has also previously served as Human Resource Manager at the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation.

From 1989 to 1992, Amayo served as Member of Parliament for Karachuonyo Constituency, having been elected on a KANU ticket. In the same period, he also served as Assistant Minister for Education.

The father of three holds a master’s of arts degree in political science from the University of Delhi and a bachelor’s of liberal arts from Spicer Memorial College in India.

The following ambassadors participated in the credentialing ceremony on Friday:

Her Excellency Nomaindiya Mfeketo, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa

His Excellency Lazarous Kapambwe, Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia

Her Excellency Karen Elizabeth Pierce, DCMG, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

His Excellency Eugen Caras, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova

His Excellency Alfonso Quinonez Lemus, Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala

His Excellency Jean-Claude do Rego, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin

His Excellency Lazarus Ombai Amayo, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya

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Diaspora

Congratulations! Over 2700 Kenyans win the US DV-2021 Green Card Lottery

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Green Card

2,777 Kenyans have won the 2021  Diversity Visa (green card) lottery. The lottery ran between October 2nd, 2019 and November 6th, 2019. According to the US State Department, Kenya is  among 53 African countries whose nationals were lucky to win.

Six regions in the world, millions of applicants and thousands of lucky Green Card winners: Every year the US authorities release detailed statistics about the distribution of Green Cards to worldwide DV-Lottery winners. You will quickly notice that some countries have more winners than others. Why is the distribution of Green Card winners so different worldwide? Continue reading for an explanation of the worldwide winner statistics.

People born in the following countries were not allowed to participate in the DV-2021 Lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China (mainland), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except for Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories and Vietnam. Read more about the Green Card Lottery requirements.

Your chances of winning the Green Card Lottery

Generally speaking, your chances of winning are very good. However, every year almost 40% of all participants are disqualified due to formal errors. This could be a photo that doesn’t meet the requirements or a wrong family status. These are only two of the many little things people can do wrong during the application process, which can result in an immediate disqualification.

The frustrating thing is: The US authorities do not tell applicants whether they have done something wrong. That means very often people enter the Green Card Lottery year after year and make exactly the same mistakes again without even knowing it. No surprise they never win.

READ ALSO:   US, Kenya set to strike trade deal - Bloomberg

How can I increase my chances of winning?

Luckily, The American Dream is here to help you. With our professional advice and preparation of your application, we can guarantee that you will not be disqualified due to formal errors. We will help you make the most of your lottery participation and thus increase your chances of winning.

Why should I trust The American Dream?

The American Dream is one of the largest Green Card Lottery agencies worldwide. Based in Germany, our company has helped thousands upon thousands of USA fans around the world realize their dreams and immigrate to the USA.

In Germany alone, about 50% of all Green Card Lottery winners have participated with our help every year. That means we provide half of all winners in this country! An overwhelming number, isn’t it?

But we do not only help participants from Germany. Every year we help people from all over the world to realize their dream of immigrating to the USA. If you want to maximize your chances of winning as well, participate today!

Maximum limit of Green Cards per country

The idea behind the Green Card Lottery Program is to give people, who would normally not have the chance, the possibility to win an immigrant visa and emigrate to the USA. The program is designed to be fair to all nationalities and keep the USA diverse. Therefore, each year a certain number of Green Cards are designated for each continent and participating country.

  • The maximum number of Green Cards available for any eligible country is 3,500, which equates to around 7% of all Green Cards.
  • Europe and Africa are the two continents with the highest Green Card quotas. Both receive about 20,000 Green Cards each.
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The strict allocation of Green Cards for each continent keeps the Green Card Lottery results fair for each continent. In Europe, for example, the chance of winning a Green Card is about 1:35. The more America Fans participate per country, the higher the chances to win a Green Card.

Winner distribution with Africa as an example

Why do the Green Card statistics then show that the distribution of winners among countries is not equal? Some countries, especially in Africa, have a much higher number of winners than the maximum of 3,500.

This is simply because Green Card Lottery winners are randomly selected. Within Africa, most of the applicants come from Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and the Congo. If, for example, 10% of the participants in Africa are from Ethiopia, then 10% of the winners within Africa will be statistically from Ethiopia.

It is therefore possible that Ethiopia suddenly has five times as many Green Card winners as Germany, for example. The likelihood, however, that every winner in Ethiopia will continue with the Green Card application or fulfill the requirements is extremely low.

The reason behind this is as follows:

  • Not every winner continues with the Green Card application process.
  • This may be the case for winners who do not wish to carry on with the Green Card application process or may not meet the requirements necessary to get a Green Card. This is the case in many African countries.
  • Often winners do not have the necessary education or work experience to fulfill the requirements.
  • Moreover, it is difficult for many African winners to prove that they have sufficient financial resources to make a fresh start in the USA.
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Green Card distribution based on experience

It is more likely that the winners from European countries will meet the necessary requirements to proceed with the Green Card application process. This means that almost 20% fewer winners are notified in Europe than in Africa. Worldwide, about 100,000 winners are selected, of these 100,000, the US authorities expect about 50,000 qualified applicants.

In short, more winners are notified each year so that the US authorities can actually issue the 50,000 Green Cards available. The US government calculates those numbers based on decades of experience. From previous statistics, they can calculate how many “additional” people need to be notified to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of winning. This way, qualified winners who want a Green Card will not be left out.

Furthermore, the calculations also take application mistakes into consideration. Even simple mistakes can lead to a winner being disqualified, especially if you apply for the lottery on your own. The American Dream has more than 20 years of experience and is happy to help you on your way to a Green Card – from applying for the lottery to having an immigrant visa in your pocket.

What are you waiting for? Fulfill your very own American dream and take part in the Green Card Lottery now!

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Diaspora

VIDEO: US-Based Kenyan Woman Whose Daughter Confessed to Infecting Men with HIV speaks out

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A US-based Kenyan woman whose daughter recently admitted to deliberately infecting men with HIV is speaking out. In an interview with Jeremy Damaris of  Kikuyu Diaspora Media, Njoki’s mother Lucy Ng’endo has accused her daughter of lying during her interview with Tuko.co.ke.

In the past interview, the 36-year-old Jackline Njoki Mwangi partly blamed her mother who she said moved to the US leaving her behind.

But now Ng’endo says contrary to her daughter’s assertion, she brought her up like any other parent would but she “developed bad behaviors in her early teenage years.”

“It reached a time that I traveled and she started getting herself into bad practices. I actually think it started a long time, it is just that I had not known,” added Ng’endo.

“I have gone through so much pain because of this child,” she added.

The mother further said that their current disagreement was due to her refusal to send money to her daughter, adding that she has constantly insulted her using unprintables.

“But I still love her,” she says.

“Whenever she calls me, she is demanding for money. I found out she was just using me. I have sent her money many times and she uses it for her personal luxuries,” she said.

READ ALSO:   US, Kenya set to strike trade deal - Bloomberg

“I cannot fail to love her despite all this. We have never abandoned her because she is sick. I love her and if she wants medical help I will help her,” added Ng’endo.

She was infected with HIV when she was 18 years old as she tried to make money for herself and her nephew’s upkeep.

 

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Africa

Why all the hullabaloo about the 2-year US student visas for Kenyans?

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BY BOB MWITI

There has been a lot of outcry about the latest news that Kenyan students will be getting 2-year US student visas instead of 4 years as it has been the case before. I have received several messages from my followers asking clarification on what this means.

 

It is said that the main reason for the latest student visa changes is because Kenya is one of those countries whose students have notoriously overstayed their visas. Quite true though!

 

Well, rather than create a fuss about this drastic change by the US government, let’s first of all ask ourselves, why do we overstay our visas, and how can we solve this issue of visa overstay.

 

I will first address the overstay issue before I give you my view on the ramifications of the new 2-year visa changes.

Please note that this post may make some people “catch feelings”, but that is fine.

 

Someone with an organization that deals with student matters in America, I have an obligation to educate those prospective smart international students who religiously follow me and consume my content. If you are not one of them, it is fine, just pass this!…Ok?

 

You see, us Africans never talk about undocumented immigrant issues openly here in America, mostly because they affect almost every one of us. Almost every household know one or two people who do not have the right immigration papers, and therefore it is an extremely sensitive topic to address.

 

However, people back home need to know these things so that they can make an informed decision.

Here in the US, about 30-40% of African immigrants do not have the right immigration papers. Meaning they live and work in America illegally.

 

One interesting fact is that majority of this group of our people came to America as International students. They never crossed the border illegally!

 

They went to the embassy, were given a visa and were admitted at the US airport, but somehow, they found themselves in this situation of not having the right immigration documents.

 

I have always said this a million times, that as an international student, one of the most challenging thing that you will ever face if you want to live and work in USA is to figure out how to transition from a student to a permanent resident.

Majority of our students come here blindly without really thinking about how they will make that transition. No one tells them before they leave Africa. They come here and then they are surprised with what they must do.

 

One of the major problems us Africans have and continue to make the same mistake repeatedly, is coming to USA without enough funds to take care of our studies as international students.

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

 

You know how we normally do it? We get just enough to push us through school for one semester, and then hope that we will be able to work and pay for the school fees.

 

Who told you that you can earn enough to pay for your school fees? Do you know how much it costs to study here? Do you know that as an international student you are only allowed to work 20 hours a week on a minimum wage and that this kind of money is barely enough to pay your rent?

 

You see, if we keep making the same mistake, we will continue suffering as international students.

If you are a smart prospective international student, you need to make sure that you have enough funds to push you through school in America. If not, you will drop out of school and fall out of status and once you do that, you will become an illegal alien.

 

The consequence of being an illegal immigrant is that it is extremely hard to work in corporate America, even if you are smart. You will end up working those odd Jobs that a lot of Africans do. They do those jobs because, those are the only jobs one can do if they do not have the right papers.

 

Now, you may ask yourself, how do you get enough funds to take care of your education in America?. There are options for unsecured international student loans and loans that require a cosigner. This is a great option for needy smart student who want a US education.

 

When I came to US as an international student, I realized majority of Indian students study in the US on student loans. Only Africans do not….and these Indians complete their studies and work good jobs in corporate America. Such jobs come with work visa, and most of these work visas are taken up by them.

 

The US government offers 140,000 employment-based green cards every year and each country is allotted 9,800 of those visas, yet very few of us Africans get them. 80% go to Indians!…..Reason being, Indians complete their studies, and remain in good standing under the law and therefore are able to transition seamlessly.

 

Most Indian students know what career trajectory they will take, even before they land here. One time I asked an Indian friend of mine that I was working with, if before he came to study in USA, he knew whether he would be doing the same IT consulting job he was doing at that time.

READ ALSO:   Kenya has no Title Deeds for properties in nine countries

Do you know what he said?…”heck yea!..I knew it!”

 

Guess what?, for me when I left Kenya, I had no idea what would happen to me after I got to America. I came here blindly like millions of other Africans do. Vastly different from what these Indians do. No wonder they are many steps ahead of us on so many levels.

 

Indians are richest group of people in America. They make more than the white Americans, and yet they came to USA as immigrants just like us……and majority came as students on student loans!!..Yes!..Student loans!

 

Very few Africans get permanent residency through employment, and yet it is one of the easiest ways to transition from a student to a skilled worker in USA.

 

Unless we figure things out, we will keep struggling in getting the right immigration papers in USA.

 

Now back to the 2-year visa issue. In one of my episodes on my popular show “Success with Bob Mwiti”, I actually addressed the issue of what a visa and an immigration status mean.

 

So, let me clarify, A visa is just a stamp you get on your passport that allows you to leave you country and seek admission at the port of entry here in the US.

 

Once you land here in the US as s student, you must attend the school and maintain your immigration status as a student. Key word here is MAINTAIN. Failure to do so will make you become an illegal alien and if you are caught you may be deported.

 

So, what really matters once you are here in the US as a student, is that your immigration status is current as shown on your SEVIS record which is tied to your I-20 document not your visa stamp!!..ok?

 

Let me clarify this a bit, let’s say you have 5-year visa like it was before, and you come here and drop of out of school due to school fees issues after one semester. Then even though you had 5-year visa stamp on your passport, you will be out of status and you could be deported.

 

Now assume, you got 2-year visa on your passport, and you came for a 4-year undergraduate program and you have been studying smoothly, and by the 3rd year, your visa has expired. What that means is that, even though your stamp is expired, you will still be fine because your immigration status as shown on your SEVIS record via your I-20 is still intact. What matters is your SEVIS record on your I-20 document!

READ ALSO:   New Kenyan ambassador to US arrives in DC, set to present credentials on Friday

 

The only slight concern with this 2 year visa when studying a 4 year course is that, if for any reason you decide to travel outside the US after 2 years, then you will have to attend a student visa interview. If you were in school throughout, you will never have a problem getting your student visa renewed, but if you did not maintain your status then you will be in trouble.

 

In conclusion, what we need to fix is our mentality on the best way to migrate to USA as international students and how to get the funding needed to take care of our education in America.

 

There are abundant opportunities for smart students in America and Indians have figured this out, and yet us Africans keep languishing down there with low paying jobs and lack of immigration documents. Unless we fix that, we will keep on struggling and it will become harder to get these student visas at the US consulates!

 

A Little Bit About Me!

 

I am a former international student in USA and I am a senior IT consultant in the areas of Oracle EBS Financials and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) here in USA. I am the programs director of Appstec America – A consulting company based in Tampa, Florida, USA.

I’ve been blessed to have learned a lot in my career as an IT consultant. My life has truly changed, and I’ve made it my mission to give back and serve others beyond myself.

 

Whether that be helping you to relocate to USA as an international student, train you as an IT consultant, help you start and build your own online business, creating your financial freedom, motivating you to pursue your goals and dreams, to being more productive, to inspiring you to constantly improve yourself.

 

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of through my various self-development training programs.

 

On the internet, I openly and passionately share my life experiences and all of the very best concepts, strategies, tools, and resources that I continue to discover that have made a measurable difference to my life, and will do for you as well.

 

Keep your dream alive and never give up!

To learn about our Kenya airlift program, a program that is transforming the lives of brilliant young Kenyans, please go to www.mastersforsmartkenyans.com

Feel free to contact me at success@successwithbobmwiti.com or info@appstecamerica.com or you can call me at  +1 813-573-5619 ext 402

 

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