New US Ambassador to Kenya Margaret ‘Meg” Whitman has pledged to use her experience to increase bilateral trade and investment ties.
Speaking on Friday as she presented her credentials to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ambassador Whitman, a dollar billionaire, said Kenya is a dynamic economic engine and technology leader in East Africa.
“Before I left Washington, President Biden reminded me that one quarter of the world’s population will reside in Africa by 2050. Pointing to Kenya’s leadership on the continent and beyond, President Biden asked me to use every tool at my disposal to deepen ties between our great nations,” she said.
According to her profile on the US Embassy website, Ambassador Whitman has significant experience leading business organizations, from start-ups to large multinational companies in Silicon Valley.
“She has served as the President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the Hewlett-Packard Company, both multinational information technology companies. She also served as President and CEO of eBay Inc., an online marketplace and digital payments company,” her profile reads.
She is worth $5 billion, according to Forbes’ most recent estimates. Ambassador. Whitman has also been a member of a number of corporate boards of directors, including Procter & Gamble and General Motors.
The embassy describes her as committed to equality in education and protection of the environment.
In her in-tray is the delayed US-Kenya trade negotiations.
“Honored to have presented my credentials to President Kenyatta yesterday. I am committed to building upon and strengthening the enduring partnership between Kenya and the United States, Kenyans and Americans. Kazi ianze!,” she tweeted.
In June Kenya and the US revisited bilateral trade talks at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva.
During a meeting between US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, the two states agreed to finalise a list of areas for cooperation to deepen economic engagement.
The next steps were to be announced by last month.
The US is pushing for favourable terms among them a duty free market access for its goods, including agricultural and industrial, in a move aimed at taming the growing dominance of China’s trade with Kenya.