Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday treated an American audience listening to his interview with the US Atlantic Council to a dose of his sense of humor after he was given a tricky task of choosing between two countries.
Asked to explain which country, between the US and China, Kenya was focused on deepening ties with, Uhuru used the ongoing coronavirus scourge to drive home his point, that none was better than the other.
“What is your strategy for negotiating the competition between the US and China…Is it possible for Africa to have two best friends?” host Bronwyn Burton posited to the president.
“We don’t want to be forced to choose which side we want to be on. We want to work with everybody,” Uhuru replied, adding that both superpowers had their own areas of strength.
“There are those areas where indeed America stands out…on the other hand, you have the Chinese who build hospitals in seven days,” the politician added, cracking up the audience, and himself.
The Council's @bronwyn_burton asks Kenyatta what #Kenya's strategy is for negotiating the competition between the US and China. "Everybody wants a great deal for themselves, and I believe that if we are able to look at it from that perspective there is room enough for all of us." pic.twitter.com/3V9Dxump7D— Atlantic Council (@AtlanticCouncil) February 5, 2020
He was referring to the just-completed 1000 bed hospital within the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, whose construction was completed in a record six days.
1400 military medics were posted to the facility, which is already fully operational.
A makeshift hospital replicating Beijing's SARS treatment model is ready to join in battle against novel strain of #coronavirus in Wuhan. Some 1,400 military medics are tasked with treating patients here starting from Monday pic.twitter.com/qhUbcxkoy0— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) February 2, 2020
According to Uhuru, it would be unfair for African countries to be forced to pick who to work with since that would take the continent back to the colonial days.
“This world is big enough for all of. We just need to find out how to establish win-win partnerships,” he noted.