President Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya in an official visit to Washington DC said that African nations should be allowed to cooperate freely with the U.S. and China. He warned that the rivalry between the two countries is bringing in divisions in the continent.
President Kenyatta in The United States
A day before the talks, the united states of America President Donald Trump, President Kenyatta, expressed their concerns regarding the return of the cold war era. This will make Africans to choose between the Soviet Union and the united states.
”Western countries and their counterparts in Asia and the middle east, are returned to competition over Africa in some cases weaponizing divisions, pursuing proxy actions and behaving like Africa is for the taking.”
The east African country president told the Atlantic Council to think that was no longer the case.
He went further highlighted how china has been funding infrastructures worth billions of dollars around the world. He stated the modern railway line from Mombasa port to Nairobi in Kenya. This was part of the china’s Belt and Road initiative.
On the other hand, he stated that the United States of America has been on the record urging the developing nations to be careful of the massive loan coming from chine. He said they could easily be saddled with such unpayable debts.
When he asked about the criticism of china, Kenyan president replied that “We don’t want the force to choose. We want to work with everybody. And we believe that there is an opportunity for everybody. He continued to say that there are areas that united America is best. On the other hand, there are those areas that china has better strengths. He noted that China could build a hospital in seven days.
Africa Trade Pact
The white house sources said that the U.S. president would talk with the Kenyan president. This is in regard to the new opportunities that would advance trade and cooperation. Scott Eisner, who is from the U.S. chamber of commerce added on this. He said that there is a rumor that Kenya and the U.S. would start a free trading negotiation. This has made the private sector paying attention that there’s something big numbers you could hit over the next six to ten years should a big deal come through. Eisner told the reporters while on a conference call. He further noted that the medical device industry, textiles, and tech sector as the proven ‘good markets entry point ‘to countries in East Africa.
The U.S. has twenty countries in the world with free trade agreement but no such agreements with an African country. Bob Lighthizer, the United States trade representative in 2018, said that president Trump administration was looking forward to choosing one African country to get into a free-trade- agreement.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act
The congress passed the African Growth and opportunity act in the tear 2000. This was to allow sub-Saharan countries to export products to the U.S. tariff-free. But would happen if there were to meet some conditions like protection of labor rights. Eradicating corruption as well as maintenance of a market –based economy.
Trump is on the record, not having much interest in Africa. However, the state development on Wednesday announced that the state secretary Mike Pompano would visit Africa starting date 15 to 19 February. He will stop in Ethiopia, Senegal, and Angola.