Kenyan President William Ruto held a series of meetings with the big names of San Francisco. This was a case of Silicon Valley leaders meeting with the leader of the “Silicon Savannah”. In San Francisco, Ruto held talks with Tim Cook, the Chief Executive Officer of Apple. He had engagements with the CEO of Intel Patrick P. Geisinger, and Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Ruth Porat.
Furthermore, the president had talks with executives from Nike, GAP, and Levi Strauss. This clearly indicates the tour not only touched on ICT but other trade sectors.
Of the meetings, the one that stood out was Dr. Ruto’s meeting with Sam Altman. Mr. Altman is the founder of beleaguered WorldCoin and OpenAI. It is not clear what the president and Mr. Altman spoke of. At the moment, Worldcoin operations in Kenya have halted and the company is under investigation.
Nevertheless, Mr. Altman is the founder of OpenAI the company behind ChatGPT. With the rise of AI, it is expected this was part of their discussions.
San Francisco Meetings to Woo Tech Investment
For sure, AI was part of the conversation the president had with tech leaders.
“Intel has established an AI Developer Lab at Kenya Technical Trainers’ College to train master trainers for youth AI application development and is ready to venture into other areas.”: wrote the president on his X handle
While speaking on digital connectivity, Dr. Ruto mentioned Microsoft’s partnership with Mawingu. The partnership has enhanced access to wireless broadband for Kenyans in rural areas.
Furthermore, while in San Francisco, the president is expected to visit SpaceX. SpaceX has a partnership with Karibu Connect of Kenya through its satellite internet subsidiary Starlink delivers high-speed and low-latency broadband internet across the world.
It was during this visit that the president announced a partnership between M-Pesa and Apple. The partnership is expected to further enhance M-Pesa’s global reach. In line with its sustainability goals, the president stated that Apple will also look to invest in green data centres.
The high-level meetings are part of the government’s strategy to position Kenya as the epicentre of African innovation and technological transformation. In readiness for investment, Mr. Ruto promised government support, through infrastructure, policy, and other investments.