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Around the World in One Term: Kenya's Ruto Explains His Frequent Foreign Visits

© Photo Twitter / @WilliamsRutoKenya's President William Ruto.
Kenya's President William Ruto. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.10.2023
Your long-awaited holiday has finally arrived. Your bags are packed, your flight is booked. You board your plane. After trying to make yourself comfortable, the plane finally accelerates and is airborne. You feel a surge of excitement... unless you're one of those for whom air travel is routine - and we're not talking pilots or flight attendants.
Kenya's President William Ruto gives every appearance of having been sprung from the same stock as Christopher Columbus or Vasco Da Gama. Either that or he has nursed a desire to follow in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg ever since reading Jules Verne's novel 'Around the World in Eighty Days'.
How else to explain the president's frequent foreign visits?
Local media estimated that since Ruto became president in 2022, he has overtaken all his predecessors in the sheer scale of foreign visits he has gone on: he has made 38 trips abroad, and has visited 45 cities in 83 days.
However, Ruto recently responded to critics by saying that his frequent trips abroad are solely for the economic benefit of the country.

"You have heard some people complain about my trips abroad. I am the chief agent and ambassador of this country. That is my job, and I am doing so to seek opportunities for Kenyans and to plan how this country moves forward," Ruto said during celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary since the establishment of the Anglican Church of Kenya's Eldoret Diocese.

He added that these foreign visits are "crucial because we can look for opportunities for Kenyans".
Kenyan President William Ruto meets Angolan President Joao Lourenco in Nairobi - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.10.2023
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Ruto cited his recent trip to Saudi Arabia as an example. He said he managed to create job opportunities for 350,000 Kenyans as Saudis want their services.
The frequent flyer also referred to his visit to China in mid-October: "President Xi Jinping welcomed us and said China will help Kenya."
In total, in the past 14 months, the president has traveled to the US, UK, France, Belgium, China, Netherlands, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Zambia, Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Germany, Israel, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda.