President William Ruto visited Silicon Valley in San Francisco Bay, US, Friday to sell Kenya as a prime technology hub.
Ruto met Apple CEO Tim Cook, Intel’s Pat Gelsinger, Google CFO Ruth Porat, and executives from Nike, GAP and Levi Strauss.
US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman was present.
Ruto lauded Google for “actively contributing to Kenya’s development by granting Sh600 million to enhance connectivity for crucial citizen services, assist in affordable smartphone device creation and support SMEs through the Google Hustle Academy.”
He added that Apple is s working with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to enhance the country’s healthcare technology and innovation.
“Kenya has plenty of opportunities to offer American technology and manufacturing companies, particularly its potential as a vital African base and prime centre for tech, manufacturing, connectivity, infrastructure development and garment fabrication.”
“Our strong pool of innovative, skilled and energetic workforce is able and ready to power the expansion of these companies across the African continent,” he said.
Ruto held what he called progressive, productive and positive engagements with Chief Executive Officers Tim Cook (Apple), Patrick Gelsinger (Intel), Google Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Ruth Porat and executives from Nike, GAP and Levi Strauss, in San Francisco, United States.
He said Intel has established an AI Developer Lab at Kenya Technical Trainers’ College to train master trainers for youth AI application development and is ready to venture into other areas.
Microsoft has made a significant impact in Kenya by providing wireless broadband and device recharge facilities to over 1.5 million people in rural areas through a partnership with Mawingu, he said.
He said Kenya is a full package investment destination: dynamic, economically stable, secure, innovative with a favorable tax environment, skilled labour force, technological expertise, remarkable green energy credentials and a gateway to six undersea fibre-optic cables providing reliable data connectivity.
“Kenya’s high digital connectivity complements the entrepreneurial spirit of our people.”
“It is the strategic intent of the government to support, through infrastructure, policy and other investments, the enhancement of Kenya’s position as the epicentre of African innovation and technological transformation,” he said.