President Obama decision could cost Kenya a fortune

The decision by the US President Barack Obama to skip Kenya, the land of his father, during his tour of three African countries, will have a fundamental and far reaching bearing on the US-Kenya relations especially in trade, military  and diplomatic fronts.

By deliberately skipping Kenya, Obama is sending a thinly veiled signal that the US is slowly but gradually downgrading the relationship with Nairobi and as such, Kenya is not the regional political, military,  diplomatic and economic powerhouse it used to be in the past.

It’s quite regrettable that Kenya’s influence in the region is deteriorating at an alarming rate while minnow countries  in the region are shinning and are being recognised and feted as we sink into abyss.

The overall consequence of this  grossly disturbing trend is that Kenya will not attract massive foreign direct investment as most potential investors will shy away from investing in it and instead invest with our neighbours. This will certainly lead to the stalling of our economy with devastating consequences.

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To those who think Obama’s visit to a country is just a ritual and even if he skips Kenya it’s inconsequential, they are day dreaming and ignorant of the power of international politics-cum-networking.

One critical and fundamental  loss to us, as Obama keeps off our land, is that our leaders have lost a rare opportunity to negotiate for a most favoured status with the US.

This could have facilitated the export of our goods, products and services getting preferential treatment, thus benefiting us in creation of employment for our youths.

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{Enock Onsando, Mombasa}

America is a capitalist State built on principles of economic dominance defined by resources searching and harnessing by any means necessary. Obama is a brilliant leader and he is American in every sense of the calling. His first obligation is to the American people and the US. Let’s freeze this ‘our son’ mentality and face some bitter home truths.

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{Kanyi Gioko, Nairobi}

President Obama’s decision to skip Kenya in his Africa visit is a big blow to our economy.

With Tanzania, as the new US’  preferred Eastern African country, undoubtedly, the West’s attention is likely to catch Dar-es-Salaam as their new economic hub for the region.

Nairobi is therefore likely to be stripped of the privileges it has been enjoying globally. Sooner or later most foreign investors would regard Tanzania as a favourable environment for investments.

Most tourists would also shift their attention to Tanzania’s coastal beaches. Consequently, Kenya would be plunged into a ditch of international isolation where our quest for foreign aid would be received coldly. Honestly our cordial relationship with US took us decades to build and we should do everything to win US heart back.

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Although Kenya would view East as an alternative bait to neutralise US economic impact, the latter can’t be wished away; this is the World’s superpower.

{James Achiego, Maseno}

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