May 23, 2024

Biden Welcomes Kenyan President Ruto

Biden welcomes Kenyan President Ruto
RevBlogTranscriptsJoe Biden TranscriptsBiden Welcomes Kenyan President Ruto

Biden welcomes Kenyan President Ruto as the nation prepares to send police to Haiti. Read the transcript here.

President Biden (00:06):

Everyone in? Hello, everyone. It’s great to be here. Secretary Raimondo, thank you for the update you gave us. And I want to thank all the folks around this table for prioritizing a partnership that I think is really, really important and will deliver dividends for both our countries. And finally, Mr. President, I can’t think of a better way to kick off this visit. When I visited Nairobi as vice president, I said that the true strength of Kenya was its people and the students, workers, founders, activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and so many people like you who really do depend on democracy and support democracy.

President Ruto (00:50):

Thank you.

President Biden (00:51):

And today, as we honor 60 years of ties between our countries, it’s clear that our people are the true strength of this partnership and a partnership that’s working well. Nowhere is it more important than in the realm of innovation. That’s why we have so many business leaders around this table. From Silicon Valley to Silicon Savannah, our people have brought us forward and they’ve pioneered new technologies that are transforming millions of lives. I mean, literally millions of lives, it’s going to go beyond that. And we’ve invested in new industries that have generated billions of dollars economically, and they’ve created new opportunities that have lifted up our countries across both our continents. And our people and our innovators have also brought together… We are all excited about this. I mean, I’ve not seen my team so excited about a visit in a long time, and I think it’s all because of the American companies that are here, but… Oh, I’m kidding.

President, as you and I discussed, we’ll discuss tomorrow, we’re launching a new era of technological cooperation between Kenya and America, including new exchanges and investments in key fields of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and semiconductors. And this progress is thanks in large part to the leaders around this table. So my message is really straightforward and simple. Thank you, thank you and keep it up. We’re going to see more technological change in the next 10 years, I’ve been saying this for a long time, and I mean it, than we’ve seen in the last 50 years. And we need your help to seize through this moment. We really do. And we need you to help us find opportunities to bring the public and private sectors together. And we need you to help us strengthen the supply chains and industries of the future, including clean energy and e-commerce as well. And we need you to keep investing in the diversity of our democracies, which will make this innovation possible.

So in return, I promise we’ll prioritize technological partnerships between our countries and as Ambassador Whitman… And by the way, she’s smarter than I am. She’s handling everything. I was amazed. We had a meeting earlier, this is adlibbing, but she sat there, she had more statistical data to spout off without any piece of paper in her hand, that a amazed me. I don’t know, reminded me of my sister.

But look, I think we really can seize the moment. And in return, I think, as I said, we’re going to prioritize the technological partnership between our countries. And our former [inaudible 00:03:42] CEO, who is also a former CEO is going to make sure that it happens. And Vice President Harris is already building a new public-private partnership to increase investments in innovation. And because our cooperation matters, it’s not just for our own people, but for people around the world. If this relationship continues to grow as it is, I think it benefits not only the United States and Kenya, but will lead and have positive benefits literally around the world. So thank you again for being here and look forward to working with you. And we keep investing in the true strengths of our nations, our people, in the years ahead. With that, Mr. President, I’m going to turn it over to you.

President Ruto (04:35):

Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Mr. President, and on behalf of my delegation and I too, in a very special way, thank you for extending an invitation to me to undertake this state visit. I bring you very warm greetings from the people of Kenya and our brothers and sisters from across the continent. And I undertake this state visit on the background of 60 years of solid friendship between the United States and Kenya, and specifically, Mr. President on the subject we are driving today here on the digital space, on technology, and the whole space around investment, trade and the relationship that we have managed to build over the years, to confirm to you that Kenya is a young tech country. And as you have said correctly, we have spent a lot of time working with our technology companies, our technology investors. We’ve had twinning relationships between Silicon Savannah in Kenya and Silicon Valley in the US. And this meeting is about what we can do together around digital jobs, business process, outsourcing, research and development.

And Mr. President, one very important aspect is the CHIPS Act, which hopefully we will be able to have a conversation about in the coming days. And Your Excellency, it speaks to the wealth of opportunity that exists between Kenya and the United States. Our young population, talented, educated, innovative, and American technology that is cutting edge and investment capital and investors that are hungry for opportunities, not just in Kenya, but in our continent, is a perfect match for this moment. I think we have a historic moment to explore investment opportunities between Kenya and the United States.

And Mr. President, under your leadership, we believe that as we celebrate these 60 years of relationship between our two countries, we also celebrate the opportunities that come with a friendship that exists between our two countries. And as you have said correctly, the space around artificial intelligence, space around cyber security and investments that come with it, we are expanding our footprint in the digital space. We are rolling out 100,000 kilometers of fiber optic in Kenya and connecting every world and every village to a fiber backbone to make sure that e-commerce, digital jobs, and digital learning we can access to every child in Kenya. And we are very proud that we are going to work with American companies.

Last month, Secretary Raimondo was in Kenya, and we agreed with her on the kind of investments, the level of investment, the type of investment that needs to be fashioned between our two sides. And my being here today is a confirmation that we are moving from ideas into action and from opportunities into investments. And hopefully we will be able to sign off some of those investments. We have semiconductor companies here from Kenya. We have large FinTech corporates in Kenya, one of them, M-Pesa. And we are going to be discussing the opportunities in that space. And I look forward, Mr. President, to consummating some of the discussions around this table into concrete investments going into the future.

President Biden (09:24):

Looking forward to it. Thank you all.

Speaker 3 (09:34):

Thank you, press.

Speaker 4 (09:36):

Mr. President, do you welcome [inaudible 00:09:37] addressing Congress?

Speaker 3 (09:41):

Thank you, press. Guys, we’re going to head out this way or this way. You can go out this way or you can go out this way. Thank you, press. We’re going to go out this way or you can go out this way. Thank you. Thank you, press.

Speaker 5 (09:42):

Thank you.

Speaker 3 (09:42):

Thank you, press.

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