By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu Governor earlier today hosted the US ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman in an official visit to the county government of Kisumu. The visit is the first outside Nairobi and her first official visit in the county. During this visit, the Ambassador held talks with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o and thereafter joined the Governor in addressing a press conference.
Ambassador Meg Whitman came just days after Kisumu Governor’s assumption to the office for the second term. In a joint press conference, the ambassador expressed great interest of her government in supporting economic development issues, health, agriculture, water among others, through USAID-funded projects in the County. The USAID is one of the major humanitarian development partners with constant funding in Kenya and in Kisumu in particular.
The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations and an enduring partnership with Kisumu County, being one of the counties that have largely benefited from this cooperation. The ambassador assured Kisumu of continuous support through funding of the projects. The visit is an acknowledgment that Kisumu is an important element in the U.S.-Kenya relationship and a confirmation that the US has confidence in the security of Kisumu. Speaking after her meeting with Kisumu Governor, Ambassador Meg Whitman stated that the travel advisory was a routine and that alerts of this nature to American citizens are common ahead of elections throughout the world. Sentiments echoed by Governor Nyong’o.
Ambassador Whitman is the eighteenth United States Ambassador to Kenya. She presented her credentials to His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta, on August 5, 2022. Ambassador Whitman has significant experience, 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.
As the Governor’s first official function, Governor Nyong’o was thrilled to host the ambassador, stating that the visit to Kisumu reaffirms and strengthens the U.S. partnership. The Governor described the session as productive and frank, covering solutions to health, food and security issues.
Other areas of cooperation include longstanding mutual interests in the region and wide-ranging cooperation on economic and security issues that underpin a strong bilateral relationship.