President Uhuru Kenyatta, deputy President William Ruto and their delegations spent Sh2.1 billion on travel and hospitality in the financial year ending in June, which is 75 per cent higher than the figures for a similar period last year. Naturally, Kenyans are not amused, especially when the country is said to be broke.
What Kenyans do not seem to realize, according to the President, is that there are many benefits the trips brought the Kenyans.
Kenya’s President Star Attraction
Manoah Esipisu, the President spokesman, listed some of them starting with the fact the President Uhuru Kenyatta has become a star attraction in international fora
- The President has clinched a number of agreements, top of which is a $1.5 billion (Sh150 billion) loan for the extension of the standard gauge railway from Nairobi to Naivasha.
- The Chinese have agreed to build an industrial park along the railway line in Naivasha, which was meant to offer youth employment as part of a wider strategy to curb radicalisation.
Chinese Contribution Increases
- During his trip in South Africa, for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, in which China’s President Xi Jinping offered the continent $60 billion to finance growth over the next three years.
- The Chinese also offered Kenya Sh4.5 billion for construction of a conference centre at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- During the meeting with Mr Xi in Johannesburg, President Kenyatta also secured a grant for 1,000 students, who wish to pursue university education in China.
- A total of 13 memoranda of understanding were signed between the government and China for power generating projects in various parts of the country.
Americans Also Increase Contribution
- During the August 2-8 2014 trip to the US, the superpower announced the commitment of a total of $33 billion in new trade and investment Africa.
- First Lady Michele Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush also announced a kitty worth $37 billion to support programmes targeting women and the youth from which Kenya is benefiting.
- There was also the undertaking by MasterCard to support 15,000 students from Africa which is being done in collaboration with Kenya’s Equity Bank.
- President Obama announce $7billion in new financing under the Doing Business in Africa campaign that will support US trade and investment in the continent over the next two years, of which Kenya is a beneficiary.
More Are Better Than One
Mr Esipisu also defended the large delegation of 43 officials to the conference of Parties (COP21) climate meeting in Paris, saying the country had to send its top level negotiators to secure the best deals for itself.
Calculating Net Benefit?
Is this worthy the money Kenyans are spending?