Kenyan president on “charm offensive” in Silicon Valley

Kenyan president on charm offensive in Silicon Valley

Kenyan President William Ruto is on a seduction mission to the United States. Before the UN General Assembly, he stopped in California to visit Silicon Valley.

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With our correspondent in Nairobi, Albane Thirouard

In Silicon Valley, the Kenyan head of state toured the American giants on Friday and Saturday, September 16. He met with senior executives from Apple, Intel, Google and Microsoft, among others. On X (formerly Twitter), he called on companies to come and set up in Kenya.

The Kenyan presidential communication assumes this: it is “ a charm offensive » which President William Ruto undertook in California. In front of the tech giants, he praised Kenya’s assets, namely: a stable country, a qualified workforce, green energy and even strong penetration of mobile phones and the internet network. As an example, he cited the success of M-pesa, the mobile payment system.

Above all, the Kenyan head of state promised an economic environment favorable to businesses. However, his government has just doubled a tax on digital services. Increased from 1.5 to 3%, it targets all those who benefit from internet services, such as the digital giants.

This visit is part of the Kenyan president’s project which aims to strengthen Kenya’s position as a technological hub on the African continent. Several American giants have already set up there, including Microsoft which established a research and development center in Nairobi. Others could follow. William Ruto obtained several promises during his tour of Silicon Valley. According to the Kenyan presidency, Apple has indicated that it is considering the country to establish a developer academy there.

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