This is Biden’s first official call to an African Leader

Kemi Osukoya

February 26, 2021

The White House said President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Thursday, reaffirming U.S.-Kenya bilateral relations and need for concerted efforts on regional stability.

The call, which comes a little over a month into President Biden’s presidency, is the first formal call to an African leader, underscoring the close relationship between the two countries on economic, trade and regional stability affairs.

During the call, the two leaders also mulled the recent civil war and humanitarian crises in Ethiopia’s Tigray region—which began last November and the need to stop further loss of life and ensure humanitarian access to Africa’s second-most-populous country.

Ethnic tensions between the Tigray regional government and the Ethiopian federal government’s Ethiopian National Defense Forces have thrown Africa’s second-most populous country into a new conflict that have resulted in mass killings of civilians in the Tigray region.

The international community, including the Addis Ababa-based African Union and the United Nations have called for mediations and immediate cease fire to the crisis.

Biden lauded Kenya’s leadership in the Horn of Africa and dedication to counterterrorism, economic growth, addressing climate change, and sustainable development.

Earlier this month, President Biden spoke virtually via a recorded video to members of the African Union during the 34th African Union Summit, reiterating America’s commitment to deepening and strengthening ties with African nations.


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