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The Republic of Kenya is an important ally of the United States, a fact that was highlighted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent trip there for the annual forum on the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Commemorating that tie, she laid a wreath at a memorial in Nairobi to the American and African victims of the 1998 terrorist bombings of the U.S. embassies there and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Kenya is also the economic linchpin of East Africa, playing an important role in regional trade and commerce. Sounding a theme voiced by President Barack Obama in a recent visit he made to Africa, Secretary Clinton said continued growth and indeed national prosperity itself depends on good governance. She urged Kenyan leaders to adopt reforms because the absence of strong and effective government institutions is permitting corruption, politically motivated violence and a lack of respect for the rule of law.
Citing the post election violence that claimed more than a thousand lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more, Secretary Clinton urged the coalition government that was formed after the unrest to recommit itself to working together for the betterment of the nation.
"The reform agenda agreed to by the coalition government must be fully implemented, she said, not only to avoid a repeat of the previous crisis or worse, but more importantly to set the stage for a better future."