News / USA

Biden: New Kenya Constitution Will Lead to More American Investment

Visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told Kenya the successful passage of a new constitution and other key political reforms will result in more American investment in the east African nation.

Speaking in Nairobi, Vice President Biden said American companies are eager to do business in Kenya.  He said more opportunities would present themselves if political and economic reforms were carried out as promised.

"Putting in place a new constitution and strengthening your democratic institutions and rule of law will further open the door to major American development programs such as the Millennium Challenge Account, and will, I predict, bring about reinvestment by American corporations and international organizations in Kenya that can provide millions of dollars in assistance and grants," said the vice president.

Biden spoke after talks with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the leaders of the country's two main political parties, which formed a coalition government following a disputed presidential election in 2007.

After two and a half years and repeated delays, the country is preparing for a constitutional referendum.  President Kibaki says the vote will give the people of Kenya what they need.

"The referendum on a new constitution scheduled for 4th August this year is the most important reform initiative for the grand coalition government.  We are confident that through this process, Kenyans will get a new constitution," he said.

Experts say the result of the August referendum could have major economic implications for the country.  A new constitution could change perceptions of Kenya and spark investment.  

If the public turns against the document, analysts say, investors are likely to turn their backs on the country, deeming an uncertain political environment too risky.

An economically weakened Kenya also presents security issues for the region.  President Kibaki has asked Vice President Biden for more engagement from the U.S. in stabilizing neighboring Somalia.  Kibaki said both governments share concerns about piracy in the Indian Ocean and the threat of extremist groups operating in Somalia.

Biden said he recognizes Kenya's efforts in combating threats from Somalia. "I assured the president and the prime minister that the United States supports the efforts to secure the border in the face of very real threats from those who wish to spread chaos through despair and violence.  We recognize that Kenya's long-time stability and development are tied to regional security and development," he said.

The United States has already warned of the need for haste in preparing for a January referendum on the autonomy of southern Sudan from Khartoum.  A 'yes' vote is expected to have wide-reaching effects on all of east Africa, and pressure is building on Sudan's neighbors to ensure the credibility of the process.  Biden is scheduled to meet with Southern Sudanese President Salva Kiir later this week.

Experts say Kenya's role in the security of east Africa is the main reason why the country has received $2.2 billion of the $6.7 billion in U.S. economic and security assistance to the region in the past 16 years.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid