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Biden Praises Kenyan President Ruto During State Visit At White House 

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Presidents William Ruto and Joe Biden at the White House.

President Joe Biden praised Kenyan President William Ruto for “his bold leadership” during a state visit at the White House on Thursday.

This is the first state visit by an African leader to the White House in over 15 years.

Ruto and his wife, Rachel Ruto, were welcomed at the White House in a formal ceremony. The leaders will then hold talks, a joint news conference, and a state dinner.

Biden said, “The United States and Kenya are working together on the challenges that matter most to our people’s lives—health, security, economic security, cybersecurity, and climate security.

“Mr. President, your bold leadership on this front has been important and significantly impactful.”

Biden and Ruto are using the visit to urge global economies to help reduce debt burdens on Kenya and other developing nations. The Nairobi-Washington Vision initiative aims to position the U.S. as a better partner for Africa than China, which has provided huge loans to many African countries. Western critics have often accused China of burdening poor nations with unsustainable debt.

On his part, President Ruto emphasised the need for partnerships to address current issues and build a prosperous future.

Today we have an occasion to build synergies, to build partnerships that will not only solve our current problems but also to build a future that is a much more promising, a much more prosperous, a fairer, a freer, a healthier and a much more prosperous future, the Kenyan president said.

Furthermore, the White House announced $250 million in grants to the International Development Association to assist poor countries in crisis. Additionally, a $1.2 trillion funding bill passed in March allows the U.S. to lend up to $21 billion to the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which comes at zero interest rate.

Biden also plans to designate Kenya as a major non-NATO ally, reflecting its growing partnership with the U.S.

Meanwhile, Kenya will deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti to address gang violence, with the U.S. pledging $300 million in financial assistance for the mission.

Ruto also met with Biden and tech executives from Silicon Valley and Kenya’s tech sector. Several private sector investments are expected to be announced, and the White House is working to make Kenya the first African country to benefit from the CHIPS and Science Act.

Going further, Biden reiterated his commitment to Africa’s future and revealed his plans to visit Africa next February if re-elected.

Read More: China’s loans to Africa worry World Bank President David Malpass

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