President Kenyatta leaves US after successful mission to UN
The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, left the US shortly before midnight on Tuesday.
President Kenyatta’s visit to the United Nations General Assembly was significant given that Kenya was a major mover of the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted at a special summit on September 25.
The President chaired several high-level meetings as part of the Post 2015 Development Agenda. President Kenyatta’s schedule takes the record as the busiest ever for a Kenyan Head of State at the UN General Assembly.
The President delivered his address to the General Assembly of heads of state and government on Monday evening
He used his statement to put global focus on regional security efforts Kenya is involved in.
The President reiterated that Kenya’s policy that prosperity can only be guaranteed and shared when there is peace in the whole region.
He said Kenya will continue fostering peace in the region no matter the cost and asked for the support of the global community.
While in New York, President Kenyatta also held bilateral meetings with a dozen heads of state and governments including three from UN Security Council member states.
Some of the leaders included Chinese President Xi Jinping with whom he also co-chaired a high-level summit at the UN and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
He also held bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with whom he also co-chaired an Africa focused development meeting.
The President held talks with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr Stefan Lofven, and the President of Latvia, Raimonds Vejonis, who both requested closer links between Kenya and their countries.
President Kenyatta also held meetings with leaders from the Caribbean region to discuss Kenya’s bid to amend a controversial rule of the International Criminal Court and bilateral issues of mutual interest.
Kenya has started a motion to revisit the controversial ICC rule at the next Assembly of State Parties and wants a reconsideration of the rule which has been improperly used by the ICC in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.
The leaders from the Caribbean included Mr Gaston Browne (Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda), Mr David Granger (President of Guyana) and Mr Ralph Gonzalves ( Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).
The President also attended two important meetings with chief executives of top US firms that are keen to or have already invested in Kenya.
In the first meeting, organised by the Business Council for International Understanding, US energy company, Skypower Global , announced it would invest Sh450 billion in developing solar power in Kenya.
The company had initially signed a deal during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi to invest half that amount.
But Skypower CEO, Mr Kerry Addler, announced at the meeting that the company has doubled the capital it will pump into Kenya because it was comfortable with country’s business environment as well as how the government handles investors.
The meeting was the third one to be organised by the influential Business Council for International Understanding for President Kenyatta to meet with American business executives.
Earlier today, President Kenyatta Kenyatta attended an equally important meeting with some of biggest American companies that control US investment in Africa.
The meeting was organised by the Corporate Council on Africa, which represents 85 of the biggest American companies. The meeting was attended by top officials from the US Department for Commerce.
President Kenyatta used the meeting to woo American investors to the special economic zones created by a new government policy.
The Special Economic Zones Act, which was enacted by President Kenyatta recently, is set to change the investment landscape as regards industrialisation with its favourable terms for companies.
The new law now allows companies that produce goods in the designated economic zones to sale them within the country or export them. Previously, the law did not allow companies based in export processing zones to sale their products within Kenya.
The new policy allows firms in the special economic zones in towns like Naivasha to get preferential power tariffs to enable them to minimise overhead costs.
The First Lady on her part had a busy schedule focusing on philanthropy. On September 24, she presided over the launch of a global platform to strengthen the role of philanthropic institutions in the achievement of sustainable development.
The President of the Ford Foundation, Mr Darren Walker, and the Administrator of the United Nations, Ms Hellen Clark, joined the First Lady in presiding over the forum.
On the same day, she was the Chief Guest at a meeting hosted by Norvatis AG, a pharmaceutical firm planning to introduce affordable cancer drugs in Kenya.
The company plans to supply drugs for treating diseases such as cancer and diabetes for as low $1 per treatment.