Adan Mohamed, Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary, is leading the country’s delegation for crucial bilateral talks in the United States, making him a key link between Nairobi and Washington on trade issues.
Mr Mohamed, who is President William Ruto’s economic advisor, was tasked with the role of leading trade between Kenya and the US under the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership in July.
Ideally, this is a function that lies squarely in the Ministry of Trade and Investment. Principal Secretary in the ministry Alfred K’ Ombudo is part of the tour.
Mr Mohamed, who is accompanying the President in America, led the Kenya Delegation to the US- Africa Trade & Investment Roundtable in Chicago on Thursday.
The Kenyan delegation is in the US to showcase the country as an ideal place for investment and Dr Ruto with his delegation will be heading to Silicon Valley, in San Francisco before the end of the week to meet with tech leaders of Microsoft, Intel, Google and Apple, among others.
The presidency says the visit aims at enhancing investment opportunities and trade relations with the United States, with a focus on nurturing Kenya’s thriving start-up sector.
Mr Mohamed’s first assignment was in July when he represented Kenya at a high-level meeting with the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
Ms Tai was in the country for a follow-up meeting with Kenyan officials on trade negotiations that would among other things, give the country a quota and duty-free access to the US market post-Agoa (Africa Growth Opportunity Act) in 2025.
The US has indicated that it may consider proposing to its lawmakers an extension of Agoa for sub-Saharan countries when the current deal expires in May 2025.
“We are working on facilitating pathways to having the conversations and consultations to enable the considerations of an Agoa renewal process,” Ms Tai said during the Nairobi visit in July.
“Without getting into the danger of trying to predict what the Congress will do, let me say we are committed to our partnership with our members of the Congress to engage in the work that needs to be done.”
Mr Mohamed will play an important role in ensuring that the two countries attain the desired results under the STIP within the required time frame.
Mr Mohamed is not new to trade matters as he served as the Cabinet Secretary in the ministry during Jubilee’s first term in office before he was moved to the East African Community, the docket he held until he resigned in 2022 to contest for governor seat in Mandera County.