BY PAUL ILADO
Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday asked the US to stop issuing travel advisories against parts of Kenya and other East African countries.
The DP said the travel advisories have hurt tourism yet terror attacks in Kenya are similar to those Europe and America have suffered.
Ruto said strife in neighbouring countries should not give the US reason to give a blanket ban. However, there is no ban, only an advisory over parts of Lamu and areas bordering Somalia. The Deputy President spoke in New York during the East African Heads of State and CEOs roundtable. He urged the US to swiftly introduce direct flights to the region.
“You have more legitimate reason to invest in East Africa. We have the requisite infrastructure. What we need are direct flights to make it easy for investors to get there,” Ruto said.
The DP joined several East African leaders at the meeting, including Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn. The leaders asked American companies to invest in the region, saying East Africa has a comprehensive set of bankable infrastructure projects. “East Africa is the place to invest. It is the place to be. Security is good. But you should stop this travel advisory issues,” Museveni said.s
Kagame said the region has plenty of areas for investment, some untapped, for the private sector. He said leaders have facilitate movement of people through a single-entry visa. Desalegn said the region is developing infrastructure that links the countries. He said investments in clean energy, oil and gas are critical for the development of East Africa.
He said there are avenues for investors to partner with business people in agro-processing and value addition. To make steps towards industrialization, the Ethiopian PM said electricity production is key. US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said she encourages more American businesspeople to invest in the region.