Students Attend US-Kenya Economic Relations Forum
US is not to blame for the current plunge of oil prices in the international market. This was said by Ms Delia Day Quick, Economic Officer at the US Embassy in Nairobi while responding to a question by a student from the Technical University of Kenya during a discussion on Kenya-USA Economic Relations and Regional Integration held in February 2015.
The diplomat informed students that reduction of prices internationally is multi-causal and it’s not just a demand from US alone. She noted that the European and Asian countries had reduced the demand for oil, yet the OPEC countries had refused to reduce the supply. This, according Ms Quick, is what had triggered the price cut.
Ms Quick took the students through an in-depth look into the historical background of Kenya USA relations. She informed learners that relations between the countries began long before Kenya’s independence. JF Kennedy Administration saw airlift of bright Kenyan students in 1960’s, who included the late Barrack Obama Snr, father to the current US President Barrack Obama.
She shared a five-step guide to US study and encouraged the students to apply for suitable postgraduate courses in United States colleges and universities. Ms Quick assured the students of the embassy’s support in the study application process.
The students had an interactive session with Ms Quick. They were more interested in understanding various topical issues such as the effect of the rise of China to America’s influence in Kenya and the region. Several students were interested in learning about the role of ICT in development and also role of ICT in counter-terrorism and how US intends to use technology as a soft power to influence international relations and diplomacy.
The event was also graced by Mr Ronald Inyangala, Assistant Director at the Ministry of East African Community, Commerce and Tourism. On his part, Mr Inyangala took the students through the major milestones of the regional integration of East Africa. He traced the roots of this regional cooperation from the 1960s when the main players were the founding fathers of the three partner states namely; President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), President Milton Obote (Uganda) and President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzania). He further said the new treaty re-establishing the East Africa Community was signed in 1999 and a Common Market Protocol signed in 2009.
Mr Inyangala concluded his talk by saying that the EAC which initially had three partner states but presently has five partner states including Rwanda and Burundi, had ratified a Monetary Union Protocol whose aim is to establish a common currency among the partner states. The ultimate aim of the regional cooperation is the establishment of a political federation.
The two talks were moderated by Mr Franklin Mabeya and Mrs Grace Muma both lecturers in the Department of Governance and Public Policy. The talk was organized by the School of Social and Development Studies (SSDS) led by the representative, Mr. Valentine Sanya. Over sixty students attended the talks whose purpose was to facilitate student learning, through interaction with an actual practitioner in the field of diplomacy and understand relevant issues of conducting diplomacy and international relations.