CS Alfred Mutua meets Blinken in Washington DC
The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Kenya held the third iteration of the U.S.-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2023. The U.S.-Kenya Strategic Partnership is grounded in mutual cooperation, respect, and a common vision for sustainable development. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Dr. Alfred Mutua discussed strengthening the bilateral relationship across all five pillars of the Strategic Partnership and advancing peace and prosperity in Kenya, Africa, and beyond through the following actions:
Pillar One – Economic Prosperity, Trade, and Investment
The United States and Kenya commit to further increase two-way trade and investment cooperation through the Kenya-U.S. Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership and by prioritizing economic and commercial programs. Through these joint efforts, the United States and Kenya seek to work to create at least one million new jobs per year in Kenya and greatly reduce food insecurity over the next five years.
Today’s dialogue builds on key milestones, including a successful second round of U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership talks, President William Ruto’s announcement of critical economic reforms at the March 29 to 30 American Chamber of Commerce Summit in Nairobi, and several new U.S.-linked investments in Kenya’s health, agriculture, and energy sectors. Kenya requests continued technical support and assistance in ICT, agro-processing, apparel, and pharmaceutical sectors.
Pillar Two – Defense Cooperation
The United States and Kenya renewed their commitment to implement instruments signed during the 2022 Bilateral Defense Forum, including: a five-year security cooperation plan to enhance Kenya’s capabilities to counter violent extremist organizations; promote regional security; advance maritime surveillance; and bolster Kenyan military academic institutions. The United States commended Kenya for its role in enhancing stability in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United States will – in support of these peace efforts – seek to increase military aviation capabilities of the Kenya Defence Forces. The two governments committed to increase Kenya’s capabilities at the Kenyan Military Airfield in Manda Bay to counter Al-Shabaab and support the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia. The United States committed to completing the $5 million Counter Insurgency, Terrorism, and Stability Operations Center.
Pillar Three – Democracy, Governance, and Civilian Security
The United States and Kenya underscored their respect for democratic principles and highlighted Kenya’s free and fair 2022 elections that were credible and peaceful as well as its democratic transition. The two governments renewed their commitment to fostering accountable and effective democratic institutions; strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights; and addressing governance and fiscal transparency. The United States committed to continue to support Kenya’s efforts to strengthen police reforms and accountability.
The United States and Kenya also committed to continue to stand together against the illegal exploitation of wildlife caused by international organized crime. The two governments pledged to explore cooperation on developing and strengthening the capacity of the Kenyan judiciary. Kenya and the United States also committed to continue robust cooperation on counterterrorism within Kenya and the region. The United States will continue to partner with Kenyan law enforcement agencies and judicial institutions to build capacity to disrupt, respond to, and investigate corruption cases, acts of terrorism, and transnational organized crimes.
The two sides pledged to support a forensics program with the goal of increasing Kenya’s ability to collect, analyze, and preserve evidence in counterterrorism investigations and prosecutions. The two countries also committed to expand their partnership to defend against common cyber threats, reaffirmed their mutual commitment to an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet, and announced their intent to convene a second U.S.-Kenya Cyber and Digital Dialogue later this year.
Pillar Four – Multilateral and Regional Issues
Kenya and the United States pledged to continue to work together to address instability in the Horn of Africa and beyond, including to respond to the growing humanitarian needs stemming from food insecurity and forced displacement. The United States pledged to continue to assist Kenya as it responds to the unprecedented drought and resulting food insecurity, highlighting the more than $500 million in humanitarian assistance the United States has provided over the last year. The United States reaffirmed its support for Kenya’s significant contributions to regional security in Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United States highlighted Kenyan leadership in supporting peace initiatives in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, pledged to continue to explore financial and logistical support to the East African Community-led Nairobi Process, and offered to work with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs to increase its capacity to support regional peace negotiations. The United States commended Kenya’s role as a generous and longstanding host of refugees from neighboring countries. The two countries committed to supporting economic development, investment in refugee-hosting communities, and promoting self-reliance. The United States and Kenya committed to working together with the United Nations and other partners to support the transition of refugee camps to integrated settlements. The two countries also committed to work together to promote durable solutions including peace building efforts and to explore the Humanitarian Development-Peace (HDP) nexus which is key to voluntary, dignified, and sustainable returns to countries of origin.
Pillar Five – Health Cooperation
The two sides noted the longstanding U.S.-Kenya health partnership has made significant progress in combatting communicable and non-communicable diseases. There are ongoing collaborations in strengthening health systems and management of HIV, TB, malaria, immunization, family planning, and reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH). Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Ministry of Health’s combined efforts, Kenya is on track to achieve President Ruto’s goal of HIV/AIDS epidemic control by 2025 and sustained epidemic control that is Kenya-owned, Kenya-driven, and Kenya-funded. The Global Health Security Intensive Support Partnership continues to strengthen Kenya’s laboratory capacity, expand and train Kenya’s health workforce, and enable early and accurate detection of diseases. The United States and Kenya welcomed the ongoing partnership between their national cancer institutes, which has significantly advanced global cancer research and improved Kenyans’ access to quality cancer care. The two Governments agreed to continue joint efforts to strengthen and streamline Kenya’s legal and regulatory framework to ensure transparency and accountability in Kenya’s public health commodities supply chain. This will increase Kenyans’ access to affordable, quality medical commodities and equipment and support Kenya’s ability to manufacture and export medical products. The United States and Kenya committed to increasing Kenya’s domestic human vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, including by incentivizing foreign direct investment and skills transfer, as well as operationalizing the National Public Health Institute by officially establishing its role, responsibilities, and authorities.