President-elect William Ruto will be inaugurated today, Tuesday, September 13th, and many leaders have confirmed they will be present, showing the region’s support for Kenya’s fifth head of state as he begins his new tenure.
At the event where Dr. Ruto will be sworn in and subsequently address a crowd at the Karasani stadium in Nairobi, 20 heads of state and government will be present, according to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.
Each president of the East African Community has indicated their intention to attend. They include President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The most recent member of the EAC, Mr. Tshisekedi, was the last to congratulate Dr. Ruto on his election victory. He waited until the Supreme Court validated the result before expressing his willingness to cooperate with the new Kenyan administration.
Last Monday, the government of the Congo accepted Nairobi’s proposal for a regional EAC military force to be stationed in eastern Congo, first for six months. Kenya has promised to contribute troops, and Dr. Ruto is anticipated to continue the regional peace endeavors of his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour last Wednesday, President-elect William Ruto said “I intend to scale up the participation of Kenya in many of the areas, especially in our regional peace initiatives.”
Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, Ismael Guelleh, the president of Djibouti, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Workneh Gebeyehu, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chair of the African Union Commission, are the other confirmed leaders.
The list of confirmed attendees also includes the presidents of Ghana and Seychelles, Azali Assoumani of the Comoros, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, South Africa’s deputy president David Mabuza, and Sudan’s Ibrahim Jaber, a member of the Sovereignty Council.
There are 2,500 important persons on the list, including the president of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, the vice president of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, the prime minister of Gabon, Rose Raponda, the foreign ministers of Egypt and Morocco, Sameh Shoukry and Nasser Bourita.
Josep Borrell, the head of the European Union’s foreign policy, and Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative, will also be there. Additionally anticipated are representatives from Kenya’s other partners in Europe and Asia.
Similar to his predecessors Uhuru Kenyatta and Daniel Moi, Ruto’s administration is eager to strengthen connections in the neighborhood based on the invitations.
A total of 40 leaders of state and government, mostly from Africa but also from important allies including China, India, Japan, South Korea, European Union member states, the United States, and the United Kingdom, were reportedly invited, according to officials in Nairobi. However, Queen Elizabeth II’s passing is being lamented in the UK, and Prime Minister Liz Truss’ new administration has not yet taken office.
The day will see Dr. Ruto and his running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, take the oath of office required to become Kenya’s fifth president.