Readout of USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa's Travel to the Republic of Kenya

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Acting Administrator Barsa highlighted three new W-GDP activities, including the launch of a new $3 million program that invests in Kenyan women entrepreneurs and women owned businesses, increasing their access to finance and investment.


For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Office of Press Relations

The following is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator John Barsa traveled to the Republic of Kenya October 3-6, 2020, to highlight three recent investments in Kenyan women made by the White House-led Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiativeWomen's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative. He also participated in a handover ceremony of the donation of 200 American-made ventilators to support the Kenyan people during their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and underscored the paramount importance of maintaining accountability and transparency with all U.S. Government assistance. During his visit, Acting Administrator Barsa also highlighted the U.S. Government's commitment to religious freedom and USAID-funded community-based conservation programs in the Maasai Mara. He was joined by Deputy Assistant to the President (DAP) Sarah Makin and USAID Chief Advisor for International Religious Freedom Samah Norquist.

On October 4, 2020, Acting Administrator Barsa visited the Maasai Mara, Kenya's most iconic destination, to observe USAID's investments in community-based conservancies that are protecting biodiversity and enhancing stability. He also announced an additional $7 million in funding for locally-led activities to increase USAID's conservation work in Kenya.

On October 5, 2020, Acting Administrator Barsa and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter met with local faith leaders to discuss the complexities of corruption and complications of governance in Kenya. USAID strengthens Kenya's active civil-society organizations that protect the legal and human rights of religious minorities through community-based inter-faith efforts.

On October 5, 2020, Acting Administrator Barsa and Ambassador McCarter held a roundtable discussion with female entrepreneurs, including Kendi Ntwiga, Country Manager for Microsoft, on economic empowerment and growth. The Acting Administrator highlighted the W-GDP initiatives in Kenya that are empowering women for economic growth. In particular, the new W-GDP Investing in Kenyan Women program will mobilize $30 million in commercial investment and finance for local women entrepreneurs through USAID's Kenya Investment MechanismKenya Investment Mechanism over the next three years.

To conclude the trip, Acting Administrator Barsa and Ambassador McCarter participated in a handover ceremony of a donation of 200 U.S.-manufactured ventilators for use in Kenyan health facilities that are treating patients with COVID-19, along with officials from the Kenya Ministry of Health. The Acting Administrator noted that, even prior to this donation, the United States has provided $50 million in assistance related to COVID-19 in Kenya. The Ambassador and the Acting Administrator reaffirmed that the United States Government will continue working closely with national and county governments and civil society in Kenya to ensure full accountability and transparency for these contributions.