Abdi Mohamed
Managing Director and CEO, Absa Bank Kenya


June 07, 2024


President William Ruto's recent state visit to the United States could not have come at a more opportune time. The global spotlight and the billions of dollars pledged by the U.S. government will help give Africa’s economy a big boost and unlock our continent’s development potential.  

The high-level visit opened new doors of collaboration between the Kenyan and American private sectors, which can now reimagine stories that could rewrite Kenya's economic landscape long into the future.

At the U.S.-Kenya Business Forum hosted at the U.S. Chamber and attended by President Ruto and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, ten public-private sector deal signings took place across two stages. These important deals will facilitate new investment and employment opportunities and reinforce Kenya's position among Africa’s premier trade and investment hubs.

I was honored to be part of the private sector delegation engaging in these important conversations.

The United States and the Republic of Kenya have enjoyed 60 years of strong bilateral relations underpinned by long-standing mutual interests. In 2018, the two nations formally elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership and established a corresponding bilateral strategic dialogue. The dialogue prioritized five pillars, including economic prosperity, trade, and investment.

Ruto’s visit served as a platform to strengthen this friendship, build partnerships, and explore investment opportunities that can contribute to Kenya's growth trajectory.

The U.S.-Kenya Business Forum centered on the role of the private sector in achieving a mutually prosperous future, with the public-private partnership model acting as the vehicle for collaboration. Global partners and financial institutions like Absa Bank and the U.S. Chamber are instrumental in realizing the full potential of these partnerships.

Ruto’s visit also underscored Kenya's leadership in sustainable energy and the country's commitment to ecologically sound initiatives. It allowed the private sector and government to align policies, elevate climate action, and attract and educate investors, ensuring a conducive environment for public-private partnerships to flourish.

The U.S. Chamber hosted the U.S.-Kenya Business Forum in May, attracting numerous government and business leaders.
The U.S. Chamber hosted the U.S.-Kenya Business Forum in May, attracting numerous government and business leaders.

In the recent past, Kenya has intensified its efforts to combat climate change, a mission that aligns with Absa Group’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Bank has earmarked $7 billion USD for climate financing by 2026, demonstrating our proactive stance.

This renewed focus on deepening U.S.-Africa economic ties has invigorated Absa’s office in New York, now even busier with identifying opportunities and engaging with investors to bridge the gap in upfront investments and playing a pivotal role in facilitating access to financing for transformative projects. Our office is dedicated to promoting investment flows and trade between the U.S. and Africa, demystifying the continent as an investment destination.  

Together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we share a profound belief in the transformative potential of the U.S.-Africa corridor, recognizing the vast opportunities it represents. As a pan-African organization, we are well-positioned to enable opportunities, no matter how large or small.

This commitment to a brighter future for Africa must be anchored in a shared purpose and passion for collaboration with all stakeholders. Together, we can empower Africa's tomorrow.

About the authors

Abdi Mohamed