Acting Administrator John Barsa’s Opening Remarks at Religious Leaders and Partners Roundtable in Kenya

Speeches Shim

Monday, October 5, 2020

Hello everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here in Kenya and an honor to have the chance to speak with you all. The Trump Administration has made the protection and inclusion of religious and ethnic minorities a priority. As we continue with that emphasis, I find it extremely valuable to hear the perspectives of diverse religious leaders. Your connections to local communities usually mean that you have insights that I can’t hear anywhere else, so thank you again for being here today.

I also want to recognize the exceptional dedication of religious leaders in Kenya to promote inclusion, ethnic harmony, and religious freedom and to oppose corruption. This works ensures that every Kenyan—no matter what their ethnic group, political or religious affiliation, or economic status—can share in Kenya’s growing prosperity.

USAID remains committed to supporting you all in these efforts. We will continue to work with you and all Kenyans to hold government officials accountable, promote inclusion, and protect the rights and freedoms of the Kenyan people. Of course, the right to worship freely is one of the most important of these freedoms, and we must do whatever is necessary to defend it.

As part of this mission, USAID will soon launch a new program that will work to address some of the governance and accountability challenges that Kenya faces. The program will be jointly co-created with Kenyan organizations to ensure that it reflects the priorities and addresses the needs of Kenyans.

I look forward to this discussion. Please know that USAID stands, and will continue to stand, with the communities you represent to ensure that religious freedom and prosperity continue to expand and deepen in Kenya.