The United States will send 17 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the African Union, in addition to the 50 million doses already sent to the organization, the Democratic president said in the Oval Office, before his interview with his host.
Washington has pledged to donate a total of more than 1.1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the poorest countries.
“I am determined to strengthen our ties with Kenya and African countries in general”, a dit Joe Biden.
“We will also talk about strengthening financial transparency”, said the American president.
And this shortly after the revelations of “Pandora Papers”.
This vast investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) states in particular that Mr. Kenyatta – who says he wants to fight corruption – secretly owns with six members of his family a network of eleven offshore companies, one of which has assets valued at $ 30 million.
In front of journalists, Joe Biden also indicated that he wanted to speak with the Kenyan president about how to “strengthen security and peace” in the Horn of Africa, a particularly unstable area of the continent.
Kenya’s neighbors are Somalia, plunged into chaos for twenty years and where the shebab, jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda, are rife; and Ethiopia, the scene of a bloody conflict in the Tigray region.
The US president also mentioned the willingness to discuss climate change.
Uhuru Kenyatta – who before Joe Biden had already had as interlocutors two other American presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump – for his part underlined, in this regard, that the African continent was “the one which emitted the least, but which paid the most heavy price “to climate change.
The President of Kenya also raised trade among the items to be discussed with Joe Biden.
The Trump administration had started discussions with Kenya on a free trade agreement but Joe Biden’s team has, according to Nairobi, not resumed negotiations for the time being.
Kenya is worried about the approach of the expiry date, in 2025, of an agreement which largely exempts its exports to the United States from customs duties.
Washington, for its part, takes a dim view of the growing economic influence of China, a great rival, in Africa.
But where his predecessor Donald Trump swore by bilateral trade negotiations, Joe Biden has so far shown rather great restraint in the matter.
A senior Biden administration official said during a contelephone call, that Washington “continued to work” with Nairobi on “the best way forward” concerning trade matters.
He stressed, however, that a free trade agreement was only an “example” among other options, and referred to the large international investment plan presented to the last G7 by Joe Biden.
The latter aims to unite the international community around an economic development program that can oppose the “silk roads”, China’s vast global offensive in infrastructure, which sees Beijing increasing investments in developing countries. .