Kenya seems to be a country of interest to United States President Donald Trump’s administration.
Shortly after his inauguration as the 45th president of the U.S., Trump relieved Robert Godec of his job as the ambassador to Kenya, now the East African country has gotten his approval for the delivery of converted cropdusters which will aid Kenya in the fight against Somali-based terrorist group al-Shabaab.
Supported by the U.S. State Department the military aircraft worth almost $418 million to Kenya, will help supplement Kenya’s aging F-5 aircraft.
According to a statement by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, the Kenyan government, under the approved sale, will receive up to 12 Air Tractor AT- 802L and two AT-504 trainer aircrafts, deemed to be more cost-effective and can be stationed much closer to the battle zones than the F-5.
The arms deal includes weapons package, technical support as well as programme management.
The proposed sale, the statement said, will go a long way in contributing to the national security of the United States as Kenya is a strong regional partner in the fight against Al-Shabaab. The statement commended Kenya’s contribution of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia and in Amisom.
U.S firm, L-3 Communications, Platform Integration Division, of Waco, Texas, is the prime contractor for the proposed deal. The State Department has approved the sale, but it is yet be delivered.
The US said that the sale is part of its security co-operation effort with Kenya, against Al Shabaab.
The Texas-based L-3 Communications is expected to lead five local Kenyan contractors to carry out the sale.
The sale approval comes barely a year after it emerged that Kenya was to purchase a $10 million drone from the US to boost its fight against the Somali militants. The drone was to be used to gather information about terrorists in their hideouts and to stage pre-emptive attacks. The country was to receive the equipment in September last year.
Meanwhile, development experts in Africa are rooting for Donald Trump to help bring sustainable development to African countries.