On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump had his first telephone conversation with President Uhuru Kenyatta to talk about issues of trade and terrorism.
The two leaders talked about ways of overcoming terrorism as well as ways of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
White House said the telephone conversation also focused on other regional security challenges which could be resolved through close cooperation.
According to the White House, Trump also expressed appreciation for Kenya’s contributions to the African Union Mission in Somalia.
Trump also recognized the sacrifices made by Kenyan troops in the fight against al-Shabaab in neighboring Somalia, one of the six Muslim-majority countries affected by Trump’s new travel ban.
The White House says Trump and Kenyatta also discussed ways to boost trade as well as investment in Kenya and the broader East Africa region.
Last month, President Trump spoke with two of the continent’s most prominent leaders, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma to also discuss issues of trade and terrorism as well as how to strengthen trade relations among other issues.
According to Buhari’s aide, Femi Adesina, Trump assured the Nigerian president that the US is ready to help obtain “a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.”
Trump also invited President Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date as the Nigerian leader congratulated Trump on his election.
After his call with Buhari, President Trump spoke with South Africa’s Zuma.
A statement from President Zuma’s office said:
“The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the already strong bilateral relations between the two countries. There are six hundred US companies in South Africa and strong trade relations between the two countries.”
Trump and Zuma also “discussed the need to work together on multilateral issues as well especially the quest for peace and stability on the African continent,” the statement said.
Those choices as the US president’s first direct contact with sub-Saharan leaders caused a well-placed source in Washington to suggest at the time that “a failure of Kenyan diplomacy” accounted for President Trump’s omission of Kenyan President Kenyatta from his initial Africa call list.