President Obama’s visit to Kenya signalled a deepening of bilateral relations in trade and investment, as several pacts were signed between the two countries. While addressing a joint press conference, Obama said discussions on the prospects of introducing direct flights between the two countries were ongoing and that he hoped it will be actualized soon to ease the movement of people and goods between the US and Kenya.
An action plan that will see increased financial support for the military, judiciary and police was also drawn up. It is also expected that the Kenyan military will receive counterterrorism aid under the Peacekeeping Operations programme through the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism. This will strengthen their fight against Somalia-based Al Shabaab terror group
In 2015, the country received $100 million in a US counter-terrorism aid package, up from $38 million the previous year. Out of this amount, $95.25 million will go to the military while the remaining $4.75 million goes to the police.
The United States announced that Kenya will be part of the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe initiative (DREAM), which will see the country receive additional support to help it fight HIV/Aids and other communicable diseases. The initiative aims at reducing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women. President Kenyatta said that the health issues they had discussed were critical and hoped that the US support would boost the fight against HIV and Aids.
On poaching and wildlife, the US is proposing a new rule that will see a ban on sale of illegal ivory across all states, a move that is geared to help Kenya in its war against elephant and rhino poaching
The question of corruption also formed a key part of their address, with President Obama saying he was happy with Kenya’s progress on fighting corruption and that the US had signed a joint commitment with Kenya in order to increase transparency and accountability between the two countries.
“It is also important to note that clean energy is top of the US agenda and we also agreed to have an agreement on how we can help Kenya deal with the climate change challenges,” President Obama said.