US President-elect Donald Trump has given Kenya a reason to worry after indicating that his administration could cut funding on some key undertakings that have been benefiting Africa.
In a four-page questionnaire sent to the US state department, Trump’s team questioned among other issues why the US has been fighting Al-Shabaab for a decade yet it has not won the battle.
We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?” one of the questions in the document published by the New York Times reads.
This, according to International Relations experts raises uncertainty on what Trump’s administration will decide to do in the ongoing war against the Somali-based militants.
Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe in an interview with the Standard remarked that the questions “should worry Kenya”.
We are at war with Al-Shabaab. We appreciate the support the US has given us and we will be keen as partners in regional security if he (Trump) added more impetus to that war and even deliver a killer blow,” Kiraithe stated.
The President-elect’s team further questions, “With so much corruption in Africa, how much of our funding is stolen? Why should we spend these funds on Africa when we are suffering here in the US?”
The listed questions also hint at a possible shift in American policy on trade and emergency funding for HIV/AIDS patients.
Trump’s team further posed to the State department: “Most of AGOA [Africa Growth Opportunity Act] imports are petroleum products, with the benefits going to national oil companies. Why do we support that massive benefit to corrupt regimes?”
AGOA trade pact allows sub-Saharan African countries to export goods to America without paying tax
The trade deal is a key component of Kenya’s international trade due to the exports of textile and apparel, tea, coffee and titanium, in a situation that has made the US Kenya’s third-largest export destination.
Analysts opine that one of the likely consequences if the questions raised become policy will be a decline in the amount of money that the Trump administration will be channeling to Africa as aid.