Connect with us

Politics & Policy

The first non-NATO ally of the US in sub-Saharan Africa is Kenya



Kenyan president Ruto and US president Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden and Kenya's President William Ruto walk along the Colonnade around the Rose Garden on their way to the Oval Office for a meeting after a State Arrival Ceremony at the White House

During Kenyan President William Ruto’s visit to Washington, DC, the United States designated Kenya as the first key non-NATO ally in sub-Saharan Africa. This largely symbolic title elevates Kenya’s status from a regional partner in US counterterrorism operations to a major global influence. Currently, 18 countries, including Israel, Brazil, and the Philippines, hold this designation.

Kenya will be the first sub-Saharan African country to receive this status. The announcement coincides with Ruto’s three-day state visit, featuring bilateral talks with President Biden on Thursday. This marks the sixth state visit hosted by the Biden administration and the first for an African president since 2008.

Dubbed the Nairobi-Washington Vision, the meeting underscores Biden’s message to African nations that the US can be a better partner than China, which often extends high-interest loans to the continent. Over the past year, Africa’s political landscape has seen military coups, wars, and shaky elections, giving China and Russia increased influence.

Biden and Ruto aim to urge creditor nations to reduce financing barriers for developing countries burdened by high debt