Nuts and Bolts of the American-Kenyan relationship . . . .

A release today from the State Department:

Assistant Secretary of State Thomas M. Countryman welcomes a senior-level Kenyan delegation to Washington, D.C. from April 30 – May 5, 2012 for a Legal-Regulatory Implementation Workshop on Strategic Trade Controls and Border Security.  The Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) will host the Kenyan delegation, which will be led by the Assistant Defense Minister of Kenya; Major General Joseph Nkaisserry (retired).  Ambassador Ochieng Adala, Executive Director of the Africa Peace Forum, and other senior Kenyan officials involved in strategic trade control issues will also participate in the workshop. 

 The training, supported by the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program, is organized by the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia.  The five-day workshop will cover the spectrum of issues pertaining to the development, implementation, and enforcement of an effective strategic trade control and border management system in Kenya, which will advance the dual goals of improving international security and fostering sustainable economic growth.

 This visit provides a unique opportunity to discuss the fundamentals of an effective strategic trade control system with key Kenyan legislators and government officials and to help them incorporate strategic trade controls into future legislation. 

Saturday Prime Minister Odinga will be among the commencement speakers at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee:

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, chair-elect of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, will lead the lineup of speakers scheduled for Florida A&M University’s Spring 2012 Commencement on Saturday, April 28.

Joyner, D-Tampa, will address students slated to receive degrees at the first of three sessions beginning at 9 a.m. at the Lawson Center.

U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn will speak at 2 p.m. Kenya Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga will speak at 6 p.m.

For those not familiar with Florida A & M, here is a history capsule from the website “Alumni Roundup”:

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was founded as the State Normal College for Colored Students, and on October 3, 1887, it began classes with fifteen students and two instructors. Today, FAMU, as it has become affectionately known, is the premiere school among historically black colleges and universities.

Prominently located on the highest hill in Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee, Florida A&M University remains the only historically black university in the eleven member State University System of Florida.

Here is coverage of Odinga’s Friday speech to the Atlanta World Affairs Council.

And elsewhere in the United States, being another election year, some of my old right wing friends seem to be promoting a movie that claims that Obama was born in Kenya but that his father was American, not Kenyan (!).  And of course complaining again about Odinga.

4 thoughts on “Nuts and Bolts of the American-Kenyan relationship . . . .

  1. This relationship must be very shaky especially with the attitude the Kibaki administration has taken by leaning more to the East read China in economic policies.

    • Thanks. My sense is that the relationship remains of high importance on both sides, especially with the Somalia situation and security generally, piracy and such, as well as some of the aid areas like public health, especially. And Nairobi is the continental or regional hub for so many American and American supported organizations of all kinds. I think we have mixed emotions about the Chinese role–we do worry about them as a non-democratic player undermining reform, but the degree to which the American government is per se bothered by a large role for Chinese companies as a matter of economic competition between the U.S. and China tends to get exaggerated in the Kenyan press (in my opinion, anyway). Dealing with Iran, on the other hand, is in another category.

      • Great thoughts right there. Prodding the Chinese further it seems they might be going the Indians way. That is develop the country whether it is a road or railway then set up shop in the country and the fleecing of the Kenyan layman begins.

  2. Thanks. Yes, it will be interesting to see what the next steps are. A big question will be how good the infrastructure is–how will it holds up over time to support long term growth. Governance reform will be important to make sure Kenya gets the best deals, and to make sure that as many Kenyans as possible have a level playing field in the economy in the future. Looks like you are doing great at Ghafla!

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