Kenya’s President William Ruto is a visionary leader and he has proved this time and again. Today he comes across as a leader who is capable of giving a new direction to not just his own country but also the East African Region as a whole.
Although he was not always seen as someone having a strong foreign and regional policy but just 100 days into his first term, his actions spoke louder than words and he proved to be a leader who seems to be working on his mission i.e., for the greater African Unity with Kenya as a major regional power.
However, only time will tell how far his vision will get translated into reality, but one thing that he is made clear through his actions is that he is not a leader who is up for sale! And this is often not favorable for Europe for several reasons, and it makes Europe cringe at William Ruto’s bravado.
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Ruto’s Kenya First Policy
Ever since William Ruto came to power, he wanted to pursue a policy of “Kenya first”. In this quest, he worked to consolidate the East African Community with Kenya as the major player.
Similarly, just within 100 days into office, Ruto launched an aggressive campaign and visited at least seven countries in the initial 70 days. Specifically, he toured Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, DRC, South Sudan, and Eritrea, completing a regional circuit, and throughout his visit, he emphasized enhancing trade, peace, and security ties. In addition, the Kenyan leader also promised collaboration to address enduring problems such as conflict, hunger, and business, as he met with every head of state in the Horn of Africa.
it is important to note that Ruto’s mission is not just confined to economic matters but also security issues. In this regard, Nairobi has sent Kenya’s Defence Forces troops to DRC as part of the East African Community’s Peace Mission to fight the M23 crisis.
Apart from the Kenya first policy, the young and dynamic leader has set an eye on the IGAD leadership. And, if Kenya succeeds in this, it will be a huge morale boost for the East African Region. Kenya has sought to project itself as the region’s anchor for peace, stability, security, and economic prosperity. From economic to security matters, William Ruto has been promoting the East African Community as a strong regional bloc, capable of solving its internal issues without depending on the West or any outside powers.
Read More: Ruto’s Strategic Diplomatic Endeavours Bring Him a Step Closer to IGAD Leadership
Thus, for a continent that has been traditionally dependent on the West for the resolution of its issues, Ruto’s efforts can usher in a much-needed change where support for greater regional peace, security, and economic initiatives will pave the way for Africa’s self-sufficiency and progress.
Africa following the Kenyan footstep
From the Democratic Republic of Congo to Mali, more or less every country has understood the significance of regional alliances to bring peace and stability within the African continent, especially after foreign military interventions have been failing miserably.
Examples of growing African unity are plenty. Recently, Ethiopia and Eritrea could successfully put an end to the devastating Tigray crisis only through regional cooperation. However, if they would have been dependent on the West, the crisis would have continued and the countries would have never seen a ray of hope.
Similarly, Burkina Faso and Mali too have shunned the French soldiers and are aiming to build a regional cooperation that will help to counter the persistent insecurity as well as other challenges.
Adding to the list of examples of countries that have called for regional cooperation, recently, EAC leaders have ordered the immediate withdrawal of foreign armed groups in Eastern DRC as part of renewed efforts to drive out the M23 rebels.
Read More: East Africa can handle the M23 problem on its own, it does not need a savior
African unity a threat to Western influence
However, such a self-confident Africa is a threat to Western neo-colonial designs whereby, Western countries want to maintain their influence in Africa, and meddle in their internal affairs in the name of economic or military aid and assistance.
Therefore, it looks like the EU has trained its gun on Kenya this time, in a possible attempt to weaken the EAC.
As per a report, the EU has threatened to blacklist Kenya over corruption and money laundering. The EU’s Ambassador to Kenya has warned that the east African country’s reluctance to curb corruption and money laundering could scare off investors.
In the garb of showing concern about corruption, what the EU seems to be doing here is nothing but bullying Kenya’s President William Ruto for not being a western puppet. The West is notorious for its attempts at destabilizing African countries whose governments they don’t like.
Read More: Kenya and Tanzania rip apart false western propaganda
Thus, this time a similar approach has been adopted by the EU to target an independent leader like William Ruto who the west feels could turn into a major blockade for their African impediments. But unfortunately, all its attempts are going down the drain as William Ruto is someone who won’t kneel before the western diktats but rather might just cut the wings of the West. Moving forward, the desperate western powers are likely to come up with such gimmicks just to create a negative image of the African leader and to further maintain its relevance.
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