Op-ed: Letter to the President on Kenya’s Foreign Policy

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to express my views on the current direction of Kenya’s foreign policy under your leadership, specifically since your inauguration in August 2022.

As the Head of State, you are the chief diplomat of Kenya, and your active involvement in foreign policy through summit diplomacy is commendable. Your recent state visit to the United States, for instance, showcased a fruitful discussion with President Joe Biden on key issues such as information technology, security, and economics. The bilateral agreements signed during this visit hold the potential to significantly enhance Kenya’s military capabilities and economic strength. This aligns well with Kenya’s foreign policy pillar of economic diplomacy and is indeed promising for our nation’s future.

To further bolster our international standing, I propose that Kenya leverages its rich cultural diversity to appeal to foreign publics. Our cultural festivals, like the annual Lamu Cultural Festival, have significant international appeal. Could you direct all Kenyan embassies to actively promote this festival through their social media platforms? Cultural diversity is one of Kenya’s strongest assets, and showcasing it globally will enhance our soft power.

However, I must also address a pressing concern. The recent demonstrations by the youth, particularly Generation Z, and the excessive use of force by authorities have tarnished Kenya’s image internationally. The negative portrayal in international media threatens our hard-earned reputation as a peaceful and democratic nation.

I urge you to call for national dialogue and publicly condemn the excessive use of force. Taking these steps will not only help in redeeming the image of the country but also restore confidence in Kenya’s commitment to peace and democracy on the global stage.

A peaceful Kenya will counteract the current negative narrative and restore our reputation internationally.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. I am confident that under your leadership, Kenya will continue to thrive both domestically and internationally.

David Machio

MA, student, USIU-Africa