Kenya, US set for trade talks, strengthen business ties

In an effort to bolster economic ties and foster new business ventures, the United States and Kenya have announced plans for a fresh round of trade discussions set to take place next month.

The announcement came on Friday following a State visit to Washington by Kenyan President William Ruto, during which the White House pledged support for technological advancements, security initiatives, and debt relief in the East African nation.

President Ruto, addressing business leaders during the visit, expressed confidence in Kenya’s appeal to investors and emphasized his commitment to streamlining business processes to attract more investment.

He highlighted ongoing efforts to create a conducive environment for both local and foreign businesses.

During the visit, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urged business leaders to maintain the momentum generated by the week’s events, emphasizing a continued focus on Africa and Kenya in particular.

She stressed the importance of forging stronger partnerships and encouraged the pursuit of further business opportunities between the two nations.

According to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, the upcoming talks will mark the sixth in-person negotiating round under the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).

Scheduled to be held in Mombasa from June 3 to 7, these discussions follow a previous round that took place in Washington earlier this month.

Among the notable developments announced during the visit was Alphabet’s increased investment in Kenya, including a partnership aimed at establishing the first-ever fiber optic route directly connecting Africa with Australia.

Additionally, significant deals were inked, such as the Kenya-Microsoft collaboration to construct a $1 billion, 1-gigawatt data center in Naivasha, Kenya, powered by Microsoft Azure cloud services. This initiative is poised to revolutionize data management for the Kenyan government and enhance access to cloud-based applications.

Moreover, Microsoft President Brad Smith announced plans to expand internet access to 20 million people in Kenya next year through a partnership initiative.

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