Event Recap

New Atlanticist

Jun 18, 2020

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says his country needs ‘fiscal space’ amid the COVID-19 crisis

By Larry Luxner

“Coronavirus is mainly a health issue, and our key focus is ensuring that we keep our people safe,” Kenyatta said. “But this is also an economic crisis because it has resulted in some key sectors hugely affected by lockdowns. We were forced to close our airspace, which affected tourism, a very critical part of our economy.”

Africa Coronavirus

On February 6, 2020, President Trump and President Kenyatta announced their intent to elevate the bilateral relationship between the United States and Kenya by opening negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA). The announcement was made only a day after Kenyatta last addressed a captivated audience at the Atlantic Council. Since then, the United States Trade Representative has moved the ball forward by outlining the administration’s ambitious goals for the FTA, including that this historic agreement should serve as the model for all future US trade deals with Africa. These negotiations proceeded alongside global efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic, with Kenya playing a leading role in the African response at a time when the country was vying for a spot on the United Nations Security Council.

An #ACFrontPage Event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s sixteen programs and centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.


H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta
Republic of Kenya

In conversation with

Ms. Katrina Manson
US Foreign Policy & Defense Correspondent
Financial Times

With remarks from

Mr. Frederick Kempe
President & CEO
Atlantic Council

Amb. Rama Yade
Senior Fellow, Africa Center
Atlantic Council

The Africa Center works to promote dynamic geopolitical partnerships with African states and to redirect US and European policy priorities toward strengthening security and bolstering economic growth and prosperity on the continent.