Biden Hosts Kenya's President Ruto in Historic State Visit

Biden Hosts Kenya's President Ruto in Historic State Visit
Above: US President Joe Biden (R) shakes hands with Kenyan President William Ruto in the Oval Office at the White House on May 23, 2024 in Washington, DC. Image copyright: Anna Moneymaker/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • US President Joe Biden on Wednesday received his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto at the White House for a three-day state visit, marking the first such visit by an African head of state since 2008.

  • At a roundtable meeting with Biden on technology at the White House, Ruto praised the US for its significant investment in the tech sector, arguing that it will expand opportunities and transform lives in Kenya and across Africa.


The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Ruto's state visit highlights the growing US-Kenya strategic partnership and the significance Washington attaches to Africa. The historic visit reflects shared values and efforts in economic development and technological advancement, as well as in addressing regional and global security challenges. Reinforcing the US-Kenya alliance is all the more important given Russia and China's self-serving efforts to roll back Western influence in Africa.

Establishment-critical narrative

Ruto's trip to the US is the clearest indication yet that he has turned into a useful tool of the West and its dwindling global influence. Rather than delivering on his promise of fundamental economic change for the benefit of Kenyans, he committed to deploying police personnel to Haiti. However, the intervention does not serve Kenya's national interests but rather the enforcement of US interests. By cozying up to Washington, Ruto is leading Kenya into an uncertain future.


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