United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has described Kenya as a thriving country.
In a speech on Tuesday hours before the start of his one-week tour to Africa, the US top government official mourned the victims of the 1998 American Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
"The attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam 20 years ago this August prefigured an era of terrorism in Africa," Mr Tillerson said.
“Since that day, thousands more have died at the hands of terrorists in Africa,” Tillerson told listeners at a University in the State of Virginia.
"Terror attacks in Africa have claimed more than 1,500 lives in each of the past three years," Mr Tillerson said.
Tillerson further said that the US is committed to supporting fight against terrorism in Somalia and other countries in the sub-Saharan region.
“The AU Mission in Somalia — or Amisom — includes troops from five African countries, stabilising areas under attack from Al-Shabaab and permitting much needed aid to reach the Somali people,” Mr Tillerson said.
He said Kenya as “a large, thriving country” where the US anti-Aids programme, commonly known as Pepfar, has achieved “its greatest success.”
"Kenya has also served as an incubator for how we expanded Pepfar over the years,” Mr Tillerson said.
However, Tillerson failed to name Kenya in the nations that will benefit from a $533 million US hunger-prevention initiative. Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries in the Lake Chad Basin are some of the nations who will benefit from the fund.
Tillerson will visit Kenya and four other African countries including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Chad and Djibouti.
He will land in Kenya on Friday and will hold talks with President Kenyatta. He will, however, not meet opposition leader Raila Odinga.