ST. LOUIS, MISSUORI,
The Donald Trump administration’s priorities for Kenya will be to support the fight against corruption and terrorism.
It also seeks to foster unity among Kenyans while developing projects that focus on sustainability and self-reliance, the incoming US ambassador to Kenya has said.
Speaking to Kenyans living in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday during church service and dinner reception organised by Kenyans in his honour, Ambassador Kyle McCarter said his duty in Kenya will be to support projects and programmes that empower Kenyans.
“America is a generous country but you have to always ask the question, what am I doing today that will continue if I don’t come back tomorrow. And because we have great respect for the Kenyan people, we are going to invest in them, partner with them so that they can do this on their own,” he said.
Ambassador McCarter, who from time to time spoke to the congregation in Swahili to stress his intimate knowledge of Kenya and its people, said Kenya was a champion of democracy in Africa.
“Kenya is poised to be a shining star of democracy in Africa and the US will continue to be Kenya’s best ally,” the envoy said.
Ambassador McCarter was recently confirmed by the Senate to succeed Robert F. Godec who served as US ambassador to Kenya since 2012. Godec is one of longest serving US ambassadors to Kenya.
McCarter is familiar with Kenya. He and his wife, Victoria, have lived in Kenya doing charity work with Each One Feed One International, which has an office in Mukothima, in Tharaka Nithi County.
A staunch Christian, ambassador McCarter had visited Christ Covenant Church, a Kenyan church based in Florissant after he was nominated by President Trump and asked Kenyans to pray for him as he awaited his confirmation.
He had promised to return when and if the Senate confirmed him. McCarter was accompanied at the two events by his wife Victoria and two of his children.
Acknowledging recent efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration to fight corruption, Ambassador McCarter said the US would provide the necessary support.
“As the next generation of Kenyan leaders stand up against corruption and better opportunities for the youth, Victoria and I will be by their side,” he said.
He said that corruption should not be allowed to deprive the Kenyan people of the benefits of a robust economy and democracy.
He said that while Kenyans should not cease to celebrate the uniqueness of their cultural heritage and ethnicity, they, however, must never allow differences or pride to compromise unity and stability of the country.
“Hatred, bitterness, arrogance or corruption should not be allowed to get in the way of our national pride and prosperity,” he added.
The reception, attended by more than 350 people, was jointly organised by Christ Covenant Church and Vitendo4africa, an organisation working with African immigrants.