Ruto set to become East African President to address joint session of U.S. Congress

The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives has officially requested the speaker to extend an invitation to President William Samoei Ruto to speak before a joint session of Congress.

This invitation, scheduled for May 2024, signifies a significant moment as President Ruto could potentially be the first Kenyan head of state to receive such an honor.

This development underscores the deepening relationship between Kenya and the United States. This opportunity aligns with President Ruto’s upcoming visit to the White House in May.

President William Ruto speaking at the launch of the Women Governors G7 Caucus in Nairobi on March 7, 2024

The letter, dated April 30, 2024, mentions that the address will commemorate over 60 years of diplomatic ties between Kenya and the U.S.

Throughout the years, Kenya and the U.S. have fostered strong connections across political, economic, and technological domains.

The U.S. stands as one of Kenya’s major trading partners, reaping significant benefits from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives recognized Kenya’s young and well-educated workforce, as well as its advancements in information and communication technology.

This progressive growth underscores the strategic significance of U.S.-Kenya relations, not only in terms of mutual economic advantages but also in promoting global stability and development.

Kenya has emerged as a frontrunner in the mobile money industry, transforming financial accessibility and pushing the boundaries of digital innovation.

The United States has been a supportive ally in Kenya’s endeavors to uphold regional stability.

Ruto set to become East African President to address joint session of U.S. Congress
Ruto set to become East African President to address joint session of U.S. Congress

The ongoing operations from the U.S. military base at Manda Bay serve as a clear indication of the critical role played by the base in countering terrorism in the region. This is evident in the efforts made by the U.S. House of Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs to emphasize the significance of President Ruto’s proposed address. The committee sees this as a prime opportunity for Congress to gain a deeper understanding of Kenya’s evolving role in East Africa and its potential to drive African economic growth.

An address by President Ruto would not only provide valuable insights to the U.S. Congress regarding East African affairs but also strengthen Kenya’s position as a key contributor to regional peace and stability.

Over the years, Kenya has played a crucial role in promoting stability not only in East Africa but also beyond. As a result, the country is well-positioned to attract substantial American investment, which can further catalyze economic growth across Africa.

The committee believes it is crucial for members of Congress to comprehend how Kenya’s active participation in shaping Africa’s future is essential for peace, stability, and aligns with the broader economic and strategic interests of the United States. Therefore, they respectfully request that President William Samoei Ruto be invited to address a joint session of Congress during his visit to the United States around May 23, 2024.

This proposed joint session address by President Ruto aims to not only reflect on past achievements but also shape future collaborations and initiatives that will benefit both countries and extend beyond their borders. The formal request, made by Chairman Michael T. McCaul and Ranking Member Gregory W. Meeks of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, now awaits confirmation from the Speaker of the House.

If confirmed, this event could establish a precedent for future diplomatic exchanges and partnerships, further strengthening the longstanding relationship between Kenya and the United States, which has been nurtured over the past six decades.

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