President Uhuru Kenyatta and his American host, Donald Trump, have agreed to increase the volume of trade and investment between their two countries.
In a meeting held in the White House, in Washington, DC, the Trump-led adminstration recognised Kenya as a leader in Africa and a strategic partner of the super power.
President Kenyatta said the new trade agreement would be beneficial to Kenya.
For his part, President Trump was confident that the trade deal presents the two countries with a rare opportunity to explore ways of deepening economic and commercial ties.
“We look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa,” Trump said.
The Kenyan leader said his administration was committed to developing the strongest ever trade and investment framework to deliver increased benefit to the two nations.
“Today, I want to ensure all of you of Kenya’s unwavering commitment to developing the strongest ever trade investment framework with USA.
“We are keenly looking forward to concluding the trade agreement and I believe this may set the base for new engagement between the US and other African countries,” President Kenyatta said.
However, he assured African countries that the new bilateral trade deal with the US would not interfere with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
He also downplayed speculation that Kenya was breaking away from its commitment to the AfCFTA, saying the new arrangement would benefit Kenya and other willing African countries.
“All we are saying is that there are some of us like Kenya who feel that we are ready. We are willing to move forward and what we are saying is, let the rest of the continent see us a pacesetters.”
The US-Kenya trade summit was attended by more than 350 business leaders. The President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries James Macharia (Transport), and Aden Mohamed (East Africa Affairs) and the CS- designate for Trade, Betty Maina.