Joe Biden visit to Kenya: What are the implications?
by Robert Karanja, KF 11, Kenya
Joe Biden, US Vice President visited Kenya in early June 2010. This visit holds lots of weight for the people of Kenya as Mr. Biden is the 2nd highest ranking US Government official after our favourite son – President Barack Obama.
Mr. Biden’s message was very clear as an emissary of President Obama. Reforms are ongoing in Kenya and the fact that a referendum to adopt a new constitution is right round the corner – August 4 says lots about the visit to Kenya.
In any event, Kenya remains a very strategic ally for the US in this very volatile region of East Africa. This country is at a cross roads. Kenya remains the largest economy in East Africa. We are surrounded by very unstable countries including: Somalia, Sudan. Stability in Kenya is critical for success of the region.
Kenya is undergoing an infrastructure boom – new roads, airports, ports, super fast internet via undersea cable. These are surely exciting times. It is a fact that these investments are in preparation for current and future growth of our economy.
Joe Biden said as much. Kenya is on the verge of great success we just need to follow all the signs. This country is blessed in so many ways and greatest of all is our human resource.
During Mr. Biden’s visit, traffic and security was a nightmare. Roads were closed at every corner, US and Kenyan security officials stood hawk eyed at every corner protecting Mr. Biden and his entourage. After three days of madness when getting around Nairobi was next to impossible we can now breathe a sigh of relief as Mr. Biden headed to South Africa for the World Cup opening.
Deep down most Kenyans also hope that this sets the stage for a visit by President Obama sometime during his presidency. Now if there ever was euphoria that will be it!