Ruto sells M-Pesa revolution as Adan Mohamed introduced as cabinet secretary in US meeting

by MMC
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President William Ruto has wooed entrepreneurs from the United States to consider investing in Kenya, touting the country’s potential as a robust and “dynamic hub in technological innovation and beyond.”

Dr Ruto also hinted at an upcoming partnership between international tech giant Apple and Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money platform, which will see the telco expand its reach.

“Safaricom is developing a partnership with Apple Inc to integrate M-Pesa and Apple Pay platform to expand M-Pesa’s transaction reach globally,” President Ruto said, as Kenya positions itself as a development center of choice.

Speaking at the US-Africa Business Roundtable on Saturday, he said Kenyans are naturally resilient and able to compete with economies with superior resources, despite being in Africa – a region generally considered an outsider.

“At the heart of our entrepreneurial culture are the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the Kenyan people…I must not give the impression that we are trying to be all things to all people,” the president said.

The summit, which brings together policymakers and investors and was attended by US Ambassador Meg Whitman and President Ruto, among other high-level government delegations, featured former Trade Minister Adan Mohamed, whom President Ruto recently appointed as one of his economic advisors, as “Cabinet Secretary and Economic Advisor”.

Mr Mohamed has recently taken on a leading role in trade relations and negotiations, often seen as the face of these deals, a role normally held by the relevant cabinet secretary.

The remarks of the British Robinson, coordinator of Prosper Africa, the American Presidential Initiative on economic relations between the United States and Africa, which organized the summit, were greeted by diametrically opposed points of view.

“I am pleased to today greet His Excellency President William Ruto and his high-level government delegation from Kenya, including the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Alfred Mutua, the Principal Secretary for ICT and “Digital Economy, John Tanui, and Cabinet Secretary and Economic Advisor, Adan. Mohamed. All protocols were followed,” Ms. Robinson, the summit organizer, said in her opening speech.

In July, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai canceled two planned meetings with Kenyan Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria to discuss trade relations between the two countries.

She instead met Mr Mohamed, separately and later in a meeting with President Ruto at State House.

President Ruto said his government was committed to focusing on climate-resilient development as a means of reducing exposure and vulnerability to climate hazards. These sectors, he said, will add the most value and contribute the most to the country. “We believe it is essential for the success of our interventions to focus only on the technology sectors where we can add the most value and deliver the most. Green and clean energy will be at the heart and soul of the growth and technological development of Kenya,” said President Ruto.

Nevertheless, Kenya has shown its determination to establish itself as a manufacturing hub and a hub for business process outsourcing and the creative economy in Africa, he said. Kenya is also emerging as a destination of choice for IT and IT services.

“We are also developing the Silicon Savannah Appstore as a platform to showcase innovations developed in Kenya for Africa,” he added.

In his speech, President Ruto said Kenya stood out from its African peers because “only capital and technology, in the form of available, affordable and adequate investments, stand between the potential and destiny of the Africa, between underdevelopment and industrial transformation, between poverty and poverty. prosperity, between youth time bomb and demographic dividend.

For decades, President Ruto said, thinkers have toyed with the idea of ​​a space and culture dedicated to the development and expansion of businesses, products and technological innovations in Africa.

The idea that Africa needs its own technological capital is neither new nor ambitious, he said. However, due to a number of factors, many African countries still struggle with low internet penetration, low digital literacy and low electricity connectivity, all of which hinder technological growth.

“Access to the Internet – virtually a basic human right around the world – remains out of reach for most people on our continent, with less than 22 percent expected to have access by 2021 “, explained President Ruto.

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