The United States of America top diplomat to Kenya Mr Kyle McCarter has resigned from the post effective 20th January 2021.
As US President Donald Trump era ends, McCarter through a farewell letter on Friday also called it quits despite two years remaining on his tenure as is tradition.
“As I reflect on my time as Ambassador, I continue to believe that Kenya should no longer be just a beneficiary of foreign aid, but a benefactor to the rest of East Africa,” he wrote in a farewell letter
The social ambassador has numerous times caused uproar online with his off the hook comments that are no-holds-barred.
In 2019, he took a photo with two kids who had been denied visas by the US embassy despite being key in a chess competition to be held in the US.
“In the visa line yesterday I met this fine young boy and girl. They are Kenya Chess Champions! Although a trip to the US was not possible this time I reminded them that They Are Champions & we are friends! This is the future of Kenya”, the man whose tagline is #USMarafiki tweeted
The tweet elicited mixed reactions which most condemning both the act of visa denial and parading the ‘fine young boy and girl’.
There were other instances, his Twitter TL is a minefield, but one other example is his knack of taking pictures with govt officials and businessmen who are considered corrupt and defending it, when criticised, that he is ‘trying to negotiate for jobs for the youths’.
McCarter coined ‘USA Marafiki’, a rallying call for US cooperation with Kenya; he was also critical of China stating that the US offers genuine support to Kenyans by focusing on mutual benefits rather than debt or just aid.
Under his tenure Kenya began negotiations with the US for a bilateral trade agreement, which has stoked controversy in some quarters over the possibility of contradicting the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
McCarter counters that any deal coming out of the negotiations with Kenya will not violate regional integration but provide more American market access for Kenyan products based on ‘equal’ partnerships.
Serving the Trump administration, McCarter probably focused more of the economic side of relations. Yet he was just as vocal on governance and security.
On Friday though, he was honest, admitting that democracy, despite being the best practice of governance, is a difficult tradition, even for the US itself where the sitting President rejected the outcome of elections and his supporters stormed the US Congress in an attempt to stop the approval of Joe Biden’s victory.
“People make up our institutions. People make up our governments. People are fallible and make mistakes,” he said. “Democracy gives us the chance to recognise our mistakes, to learn from them, and to make changes to ensure our institutions and our leaders do not repeat those mistakes.”
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