Kenya’s new President, William Ruto, has tasked his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta to lead peace initiatives in the region as he renewed his commitment to scale up the country’s contribution to regional efforts.
In his inaugural speech after taking the oath of office on Tuesday, President Ruto said his government would be keen on advancing regional integration, trade and peace, continuing on the precedent of his predecessors.
“Kenya is fully committed to the implementation of the EAC treaty and its protocols of free movement of people, goods and services, and the full actualisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” he said.
He added that Kenya would “continue to be a dedicated partner to peace, security and prosperity in the East African region,” commending President Kenyatta’s role in steering peace talks in the region during his term in office.
President Kenyatta has spearheaded peace talks in the region, especially involving member states of the East African Community (EAC) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).
This year, Mr Kenyatta has led talks in efforts to contain the conflicts in Tigray – northern Ethiopia, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and cross-border conflicts in EAC.
He hosted the EAC heads of State in April to address the DRC conflict and led efforts to bring the rebels and Kinshasa to the table for dialogue.
Mr Kenyatta was also actively involved in halting escalating tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia earlier this year. The two neighbouring countries agreed to a peaceful resolution after the Igad heads of state and government meeting in Nairobi in July.
Alongside Dr Ruto’s commitment to continue Kenya’s role in the region is a pledge to better tackle issues related to Kenyans living abroad through embassies and a legislative committee to exclusive tackle their challenges.
The new president said he will also support the upcoming Climate Summit in Egypt and “work with global partners to fight pandemics and other health emergencies.”
“My government commits to create a business-friendly environment, eradicate barriers that hamper business development and growth, and make Kenya one of the most compelling and attractive business destinations,” he added.
He said Kenya would transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.