August 18, 2017

Kenya signs new deal with USA

The Government has signed a one-year, Sh123 million deal with an American lobbying firm with close ties to the Donald Trump team, according to US Justice Department documents.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya entered the agreement with the Sonoran Policy Group (SPG) on May 25, states a lobbying disclosure form filed on June 6.

“SPG will provide US congressional and executive branch brand engagement to cement and deepen relations between Kenya and the US government as well as between the people of Kenya and the US. SPG commits to assisting the Embassy of Kenya achieve its objectives on the issues of tourism, trade, investment and Agoa,” states documents quoted by the Nation.

SPG “will be crucial” to efforts to prevent the country’s expulsion from Agoa, the embassy said on Friday.

The embassy also added that the Kenyan government’s contract with SPG runs for three months, not for a full year as is stated in a lobbying-disclosure document on file with the US Justice Department.

The contract with SPG “can be renewed if their performance is satisfactory”, the embassy clarified.

The company operates as a full service advocacy firm. It provides access to United States and foreign governments, fosters public sector lobbying, marketing, investment and public relations goals.

The Sonoran Policy Group also offers private equity fundraising and marketing services.

Kenya and the United States have long been close allies and have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya’s independence. Relations became even closer after Kenya’s democratic transition of 2002 and subsequent improvements in human rights.

More than 9,000 U.S. citizens are registered with the U.S. Embassy as residents of Kenya.

In 2006 a record 86,528 Americans visited Kenya, up 17.6% from 2005.

About two-thirds of resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing , and the tourism industry .

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