“Scott Gration has flown the skies of war, worked the halls of power, negotiated with kings and generals, and survived terrorist bombings and diplomatic back-stabbing. What a remarkable life of service, resilience, courage, and faith.”
John Abizaid, General, USA (Ret)
Commander, US Central Command (2003-2007)
“A great friend of Kenya and Africa, Scott Gration is much sought after and listened to in Africa. This book is professionally candid, highly entertaining, and offers interesting insights into complex US diplomatic relationships around the world.”
Dr. Amina Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Kenya
“Scott’s humble patriotism and empathy are well-demonstrated in this unusual journey through wars, international relations, and many personal give-backs. His memoir portrays one of America’s finest servant-leaders.”
Josh Weston, Honorary Chairman, Automatic Data Processing Inc.
Scott Gration’s remarkable foresight in making an early decision to record his life experiences as documented in Flight Path is not only a remarkable gift to his children. This memoir gives us all a vivid example of servant leadership that combines the warrior ethic of honor and informed diplomatic spirit that is so lacking in our society today.
Jack LeCuyer, COL, USA (Ret)
Executive Director Emeritus, White House Fellows Foundation and Association
“I grew up with Scott in the Belgian Congo. Scott’s memoir is a fascinating and compelling glimpse into the intersection of the deeply personal and broader socio-political dimensions of history through the eyes of one who helped to shape significant global events. Margaret Mead observed that the course of history is influenced and changed primarily through the actions of thoughtful, committed, and passionate individuals. Scott Gration is one of those persons.”
Dr. Paul W. Robinson, Professor Emeritus, Wheaton College (IL) and Senior Advisor, Congo Initiative USA
Spending his childhood in a culture outside that of his parents, Scott developed an expanded worldview, a multicultural perspective, interpersonal sensitivity, cross-cultural competence, and cultural intelligence. As you read this insightful memoir, you will gain a fascinating glimpse into both the challenges and benefits of being reared as a third-culture kid. I highly recommend it!
Ruth E. Van Reken, co-author, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, co-founder, Families in Global Transition
Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat
This gripping memoir includes accounts of developing the Predator drone, conducting the 2003 scud hunt in Iraq, and accompanying Senator Obama to Africa in 2006. The book tells about piloting an F-16 fighter in combat, surviving the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, protecting the Kurds in Iraq, and speaking at the 2008 National Democratic Convention. Finally, Scott answers why the State Department pushed him out of his position as US Ambassador to Kenya without due process.
– Former President Jimmy Carter
You can order FLIGHT PATH at your local bookstore or purchase it on the Internet at:
Flight Path's Faces and Places
"I realized she was right. Through our marriage, I had learned to listen for the subtle indicators in Judy’s words and tone that the family needed more time from me. Even though I wanted to adjust, balancing high priorities and competing schedules to get the most out of my career while maintaining the overall quality of life continued to be a personal struggle."
— Scott Gration
My Time in Uganda
"I realized anew that we have so much for which to be thankful and so many blessings to share. The optimistic outlook of my Ugandan friends challenged me to have a positive attitude regardless of my surroundings, to cherish life and nurture relationships, and to share my blessings with others, even if those were just a green leaf or a colorful flower in a used penicillin vial."
— Scott Gration
"When I served as the operations group commander at King Abdul Aziz Air Base, I was responsible for aircraft operating from four bases in Saudi Arabia, three locations in Kuwait, and one each in Bahrain and Oman. I was in charge of a variety of aircraft, including F-16s, F-15s, A-10s, C-130s, U-2s, and search-and-rescue HH-60G helicopters."
— Scott Gration
Tragedy at Khobar Towers
"Without warning, a bright yellow-orange flash engulfed my room. It was followed immediately by a thunderous, deafening boom. Pain raced through my side and leg. My ears were ringing. I smelled the strong pungent odor of explosives. Groping around for my flight suit and boots, I felt shards of glass all over the floor. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I pulled slivers from my side. At least the bleeding wasn't profuse; it hadn't punctured an artery. I grabbed three T-shirts and pulled them on to absorb the blood. Then I slipped into the flight suit. Not able to find any socks, I just pulled my flight boots onto my bare feet."
— Scott Gration
President Barack Obama
"Watching photographers capture the image of Senator Obama looking out from behind the bars that once fenced South Africa’s first post-apartheid president, I saw more than a well-composed picture. I believed I was looking at a man who had the potential to do for America what Nelson Mandela had done for his country. I was observing an individual who had the potential to unite the different ethnic groups in America, someone who could ignite the economic engines of our country. That morning on Robben Island, I realized that perhaps I was traveling with a future president of the United States."
— Scott Gration
Secretary Hillary Clinton
"I answered honestly but diplomatically. 'As I look back, it may have,' I said, gazing straight into the camera. 'As I was going through it, I did not perceive that it was a double standard because I did not know of Secretary Clinton’s use of a commercial e-mail account. But as I’ve reflected on it in the last couple of days, it does appear like there was a different standard that was used in my case from that which has been used in hers.'"
— Scott Gration
Scott Gration in the News
November 28, 2016. The Eric Metaxas Show Podcast
Use the URL below to listen to my interview on The Eric Metaxas Show that I recorded on 28 Nov in New York City.
Click here to hear the podcast.
July 24, 2016. “The Cost of Short-Sighted Missionary Zeal in Sudan.”
This interesting article by Stephen Kinzer demonstrates that even though only a few people heeded Scott Gration’s warnings about potential challenges in South Sudan, he was taking good notes. The United States and the international community could have done so much more (at a very low cost) to prevent much of the suffering that South Sudanese are enduring today.
“Five years ago, pushed by an odd coalition of movie stars and conservative Christians, the United States midwifed the birth of a new African nation, South Sudan. Senior American leaders attended the glittering independence celebration. This was supposed to be a liberation or a human rights project or a return to godliness. Only a few analysts saw the folly of such an ill-considered intervention.”
“’This place could go down in flames tomorrow,’ General Scott Gration, the US military envoy, warned as independence approached. ‘The probability of failure is great.’”
“At the five-year point, that failure is upon us. Tens of thousands of South Sudan’s citizens have been killed in factional fighting. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes. The economy is shattered. Inflation is the world’s worst. Soldiers loot to compensate for not being paid. At least a billion dollars has gone missing from the central bank. Abductions and rape campaigns have turned much of the country into a terror zone.”
Leadership does matter—the United States needs more decision makers with hands-on regional understanding, more trained strategic planners, and a host of practical implementers. We need fewer firemen with loud sirens and bight flashing lights and more fire prevention professionals who remove flammables and ignition sources while teaching fire safety.
Please read Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat for the rest of the story.
July 13, 2016. “Hillary Clinton beats the rap while condemning others to face it.”
In this article, Monica Crowley lays out the argument that Hillary Clinton and her State Department officials knew enough about the emails rules to condemn Scott Gration and ultimately fire him as the US Ambassador to Kenya.
“She knew what she was doing. But perhaps the ultimate demonstration of intent was her June 2012 decision to force the resignation of Scott Gration, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, for, in part, setting up and using an unapproved private email system in 2011.”
While the logic of her arguments is valid, the “facts” she used to tell about Scott Gration’s use of emails in the State Department are wrong because she drew her information from the Inspector General’s erroneous report.
Please read Scott Gration’s memoir, Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat, to get the truth about my email usage while ambassador.
July 7, 2016. “Remember That Smear Photo of Barack Obama Blamed on Hillary Rodham Clinton? Bill O'Reilly Releases More.”
The UK Daily Mail revealed that Bill O'Reilly shared photos of Barack Obama in what they are calling "traditional Islamic dress" on his program Wednesday night claiming they were from his half-brother Malik's wedding. In the National Ledger article stated,
“Many voters at the time believed that Mr. Obama was a Muslim and was not being truthful in saying that he was a Christian and the Obama campaign blamed the Clinton campaign for the picture and spreading that false accusation.”
“According to The Guardian, the Obama campaign had to enlist ‘Scott Gration, a retired air force general and Obama supporter, who was with the senator in Kenya, to explain the picture.’”
“He said: ‘Senator Obama was given an outfit and as the guest that he was, the great guest, he took this outfit and they encouraged him to try some of it on. It was a thing we all do.’”
Scott Gration was there at Wajir when then-Senator Obama reluctantly tried on these gifts as a good guest. He confirms that this picture was not taken at Malik’s wedding and President Obama is not a Muslim.
Read his book for all the details surrounding this story.
April 3, 2015. “Look beyond Garissa Attack to See Progress in Kenya.”
After terrorists attacked Garrisa University College, Scott Gration’s wrote the following article responding to the senseless killing of students and faculty.
“I’ve lived through the pain and sorrow associated with the indiscriminate acts perpetrated by amorphous groups and faceless cowards who believe they can achieve their objectives by using fear, intimidation, and murder of innocent people.”
“On Thursday, April 2, I watched as television reporters unveiled another terrorist event at Garissa University College. Al-Shabaab gunmen shot their way into a quiet university campus, killing students in dormitories where many were still sleeping. In the end, 147 innocent people were gunned down and 79 were wounded in a cowardly effort to terrorize East Africans over Kenya’s support to the African Union’s fight against al-Shabaab in Somalia. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who lost family and friends and those who were injured and traumatized by this heinous act of terrorism.”
He ended the article by writing,
“While the tragedy in Garissa is heartbreaking and the scourge of terrorism is a major challenge that we all must unite to defeat, the real story in Kenya is its demonstrated resilience, beauty of this country, and its bright economic future. By focusing on economic delivery though an integrated strategy and plan, the society will be transformed, and terrorists will lose their foothold in the region. We all must make this happen.”
March 8, 2015. Scott Gration made an exclusive appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.
Host Michael Smerconish got Scott Gration's reaction to the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account during her time as Secretary of State.
Potential double standard: “As I've reflected on it in the last couple of days, it does appear like there was a different standard that was used in my case and that has been used in hers.”
Fired for using personal email: “Secretary Clinton and Cheryl Mills were in very close dialogue on all issues and I know that in my view, that she would have known that Secretary Clinton was not using the OpenNet. So I do find it sort of unusual that she stated that this was one of the reasons why I had to move on. And that as I look back, it seems a bit unfair.
End of his public career: “For me, this was a dream job. It was a job where I felt I was making a significant difference in light of America's interests and what we were trying to do here and to protect Americans. And to have that terminated over some allegations that were, in the end, proven to be false. And I was exonerated and these claims were dismissed. And to see this dream job of mine come to an end was very disappointing to me. And to now find out that in reality, other people in the Department, to include my supervisors, were doing things differently and were looking the other way, I think that's hard.”
Read all the background information about this story in his book, Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat. View the full transcript of his exclusive segment on CNN’s State of the Union at the link below.
March 6, 2015. “Ousted Ambassador Sounds off on Hillary Email Flap.”
In Josh Gerstein’s article, Scott Gration has the opportunity to tell his side of the email story. The following are three paragraphs from Josh Gerstein’s article.
“’My experience was somewhat different than Secretary Clinton’s use of her commercial account, yet I was ‘fired’ for the use of Gmail in the US Embassy, my insistence on improving our physical security posture, and other twisted and false allegations,’ Gration wrote from Kenya, where he now works in the private sector. ‘I’ve chosen to move on and to be better, not bitter.’”
“’It is true that I used my Gmail account to access my alerts and unclassified personal emails. I had subscribed to three ‘alerts’ programs that sent me breaking news stories, analysis of important events, and Africa-related articles…I use Gmail because these services were not available on the State Department’s OpenNet computer network,’ the former ambassador wrote. ‘Over the years, I had also built a professional network that used my Gmail address. I wanted to have access to these capabilities and contacts while at work.’”
“’It is false that I ignored State Department instructions and willfully disregarded State Department regulations concerning the use of commercial email for official government business. I used the OpenNet for much of my official business as I had full access to this system in my US Embassy office and in my residence,’ he said. ‘My official emails were fully captured in the State Department data bases. I used Gmail for unofficial business and for my personal emails.’”
Please read his book, Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat, and Josh Gerstein’s article (link below) to get all the facts about his use of emails while the US Ambassador to Kenya.
March 5, 2015. “Secretary Clinton Forced Resignation of U.S. Ambassador to Kenya."
Andrew McCarthy wrote the following about Scott Gration and the State Department Inspector General.
“The Federalist reports: ‘Although Hillary Clinton and her allies may be claiming that her private e-mail system is no big deal, Hillary’s State Department actually forced the 2012 resignation of the U.S. ambassador to Kenya in part for setting up an unsanctioned private e-mail system. According to a 2012 report from the State Department’s inspector general, former U.S. ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration set up a private e-mail system for his office in 2011.’“
“Actually, it is one of the intriguing aspects of Secretary Clinton’s tenure that the Obama administration never filled the position of inspector general during that time. But a report on Ambassador Gration’s misconduct was issued by the IG’s office, signed by a deputy.”
Please read the chapter in Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat about the State Department’s “double standard” and the questionable legality of the acting Inspector General’s mandate while Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State.
October 13, 2008. “Worlds Apart: Obama, McCain, and the future of foreign policy.”
Covering the 2008 presidential election campaign, Nicholas Lemann began by observing, “The most mystical believer in Obamaism whom I met was Scott Gration, the retired Air Force major-general—a burly, friendly, artifice-less guy who assured me that he had only recently begun to wear a tie regularly. I went to see him over the summer at his house in Nutley, New Jersey. An American flag flies from a flagpole on the lawn.
“Perhaps because his background isn’t conventionally liberal, he is more open than the other top Obama advisers in expressing a soaring optimism about the possibility of a less arrogant, more coöperative, more empathetic America leading the world in confronting its most intractable problems. ‘We’ve screwed up,’ he told me. ‘We don’t really fix these things.’ He went on, ‘What doesn’t work, in Gration’s mind, is forcing a solution. Create an environment, give people the opportunity to air their differences, and see if they can come together. We don’t tell them what the solution is, but we do have an obligation—let’s get people in here, find out the needs, see if you can come up with a plan. Don’t try to freeze conflicts!’”
‘Gration was impatient with the idea that conflict is the natural state of the world, to be managed rather than resolved. ‘People are more alike than their cultures and religions,’ he said. ‘When Obama talks about global citizens, it’s the same framework. You see, religion and culture—they’re the way people communicate their values. They want stability, order, education. This is just humanness. Then you add on your religion, your culture—that’s how you execute it.’ His implication was that if we can get past the religious and cultural identities that serve as host organisms for conflict, and deal with people at the level of their humanity and their basic needs, then we can make real progress—especially if Obama personally holds an office that permits him to set the tone and lead the effort.”
August 1, 2007. “Meet the General who lends gravitas to Obama.”
Michael Hirsh wrote this article about Scott Gration as the 2008 primary election campaign was beginning to heat up.
“Not surprisingly, the Obama campaign has begun sending Gration out on the stump—he did a 13-town tour of Iowa in July—in an effort to improve the inexperienced senator’s image on national security. Gration also contributed ideas to Obama’s much noted speech on counterterrorism Wednesday, when the candidate generated headlines by suggesting that, as president, he might invade the tribal parts of Pakistan.”
“Bill Burton, Obama’s press secretary, says Gration supplies extra ‘credibility’ for a candidate who has never served in the military. ‘He has an ability to educate voters about what kind of commander in chief Obama will be, in a way few can.’"
“Gration also has some strong views of his own on national security, which may not always be perfectly in accord with Obama's. Above all, he thinks there are far too many nuclear weapons in America’s arsenal and in the world, and he wants to accelerate the 2002 Moscow Treaty that called on Washington and Moscow to reduce their operationally deployed strategic warheads to about 2,000 by 2012. Even so, Gration says, he’s a ‘pragmatist.’ ‘As a fighter pilot I stood nuclear alert. I understood that during the cold war we had this requirement. I was defending America in that process. Things have changed right now. But we have to do it in a way that makes sense. I’m not one who just says get rid of everything unilaterally.’"
“’He and Barack share a lot of personal experience, given the way they grew up,’ says Denis McDonough, Obama’s new foreign-policy coordinator. ‘There’s a lot of kinship.’"
FLIGHT PATH'S PHOTO STORIES
America Needs Hard and Soft Power (22 Mar 17)
I understand the importance of hard power. As a former US Air Force fighter pilot, I spent much of my 32-year career honing warrior skills so that my adversaries would be the ones to sacrifice supremely for their country or ideological cause. But my childhood in Congo and Kenya, coupled with my practical experiences as a special envoy, ambassador, and businessman in Africa, have convinced me that military power alone is not the panacea for our security challenges. Today’s military courses of action must be planned with companion diplomatic and socio-economic programs to achieve America’s long-term objectives effectively.
It’s a given that the United States must have a strong and agile military to protect Americans and our interests around the globe. However, we also need soft-power capabilities and preventative programs to reduce the frequency of American warriors being deployed to far-off lands in harm’s way. I’ve seen that soft-power programs and targeted foreign assistance can reduce pools of desperate and disillusioned individuals that are more susceptible to terrorist claims and ideology. Helping impoverished people to improve their future can bridge the “us-them” divide and make America less of a target for those who might otherwise be tempted to do us harm.
As I’ve studied the White House’s partial outline of the 2018 budget, I have been dismayed to read about radical cuts in some of our important soft-power programs. As a former American warrior with three family members still serving in the US military, I know that we must rebuild our armed forces that have been significantly depleted during the decades of grinding conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of our war-fighting equipment needs to be replaced and other components need to be upgraded or refurbished. We must rebuild ammunition stocks and fill supply shortfalls. Our men and women in uniform need more time for training and family activities between deployments. An increase in the US military’s budget is a very positive step and I applaud the Trump Administration for taking bold steps to resolve the current DoD funding shortfall.
While we need to ramp up the military’s share of the budget, I believe it should be done at a slower pace to preserve some of the companion soft-power capabilities that currently face draconian cuts. Do I think our diplomatic and foreign assistance programs need to be overhauled? Absolutely. But instead of slashing our soft-power resources, Washington should conduct a comprehensive review of these programs to ensure they are indeed making Americans safer and US interests more secure. Foreign assistance programs must be evaluated for effectiveness and measured in terms of our desired outcomes (not outputs). In the end, US programs must be affordable to the intended beneficiaries, be self-sustaining after the initial capital investment, be scalable after a testing period, and further US objectives in the region the positive and timely results. Let’s fix our soft power; not scrap it.
Those of us who understand that US security capacity must have strong elements of both hard and soft power should make our voices heard in Washington. Now is a good time to contact your Congressional representatives to urge a more balanced approach to making America more secure and Americans traveling and working overseas more safe. We need a slower ramp up to increased defense spending, a critical analysis of our current diplomacy and socio-economic programs, and adequate funding for soft-power initiatives that will complement and enhance US hard-power capabilities. The United States needs all the elements of power (e.g., diplomatic, Information, military, economic) in our arsenal of foreign-policy options. Let’s make a difference by becoming more involved in this year’s budget debate.
Ambassador Scott Gration, Major General, USAF (Ret)
Author of Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat (www.scottgration.com)
Life after Injustice (8 Nov 16)
Have you ever been a target of an unjust professional attack? Have you been hurt by baseless allegations aimed at making you look like a poor performer? I have.
Five years ago, I had my dream job—I was the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya. With a deep-rooted knowledge of Kenya—its people, its language, and its culture—coupled with my background in diplomacy, years dealing with security issues, and experience as a humanitarian, this State Department assignment was a perfect fit for me. Fourteen months in, however, my dream job was abruptly shattered….
Walking into the Embassy’s conference room on May 28th, 2012, I took my chair at the end of the long table. My senior staff was seated on one side of the table. Members of the Office of the Inspector General sat on the other. After my opening comments, the chief inspector gave us a presentation of the team’s findings.
I felt like someone had whacked me with a baseball bat. My heart was racing; I could barely breathe. The lies and twisted allegations were unbelievable. What was expected to be an evaluation of the U.S. Mission’s previous five years had turned into a targeted attack on my character and performance.
Falsely accused of misusing my email system and my position as ambassador, I was fired by the State Department’s chief of staff without any opportunity to face my accusers. My assignment was terminated within days of the inspection and my reputation was trashed. Although I was completely exonerated three months later, the damage was done and the egregious falsehoods remained posted on the internet.
I went through a long period of denial, anger, and depression. I could not understand why the State Department’s chief inspector had misrepresented facts to damage my reputation. I couldn’t figure out why the chief of staff fired me without listening to my side of the story. I couldn’t believe that my friends in the White House had abandoned me in Kenya. There were no satisfactory answers to the numerous questions that flooded my mind.
It took me almost three years to work through my anger and disappointment. As I reflected upon the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, two phrases about forgiveness kept popping out. “Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon.” Then the prayer goes on the say, “for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” It finally made sense to me. While I had no control over the State Department’s injustice, I did control my response to this unfairness and the anger that continued to fester.
A year ago, I forgave all the individuals who hurt me and had destroyed my reputation. It no longer matters why those bad things happened to me and why I was fired. It has all been forgiven. I have moved on, knowing that only I can ruin my day by reacting to life’s events angrily and stewing over things I cannot change.
You can read more about this story and my unlikely journey from a childhood in Africa to careers as a fighter pilot and a diplomat. My experiences include escaping the 1964 Congo rebellion as a refugee, being inducted into the Masai tribe in Kenya, helping to develop the Predator drone, participating in the 2003 scud hunt in Iraq, accompanying Senator Obama to Africa in 2006, and surviving the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, in addition to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. There is plenty in this book to keep you turning the pages. Please visit my website at www.scottgration.com to learn more about Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat.
A Vote of Confidence in Kenya (15 Apr 15)
The following interview appeared in Kenya's Nation newspaper on 14 April 2015.
Ambassador Scott Gration is the former US Ambassador to Kenya. He is also a highly decorated retired Major General with 274 combat missions who served as Special Assistant to the President at the White House and brought President (then-Senator) Obama to Kenya in 2006. He knows Kenya better than most Americans. Amb Gration spent his childhood in eastern Africa, learned Swahili as a native language, and spent years in Kenya as both a professional military officer and diplomat. He has witnessed Kenya’s progress over the decades from a first-hand perspective. The dominant thread weaving through the Ambassador’s life is his love of Kenya and its people, his desire to make a difference in this country, and his deep-rooted belief in Kenya’s bright economic future.
Amb Gration has experienced terrorism first hand. He has served with and has close relationships with leaders in the Middle East where he held command positions overseeing US operations in the region. On June 25, 1996, he was wounded in the terrorist attack on Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and was only a few hundred meters away from the impact point when a commercial airliner piloted by terrorists plowed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Currently Executive Chairman of Champion Afrik Limited and its group companies, he has converted his belief in Kenya’s potential into action by financing and implementing large projects in multiple sectors of the economy.
1. Based on your experience, what can be done to prevent terrorist attacks?
First, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who lost family and friends and those who were injured and traumatized by the horrific act of terrorism at Garissa. Acts of terror can take place anywhere. Terrorists have struck targets across the globe—New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Tunis, Mumbai, Nairobi, and many more. No country is immune from these cowardly attacks.
Second, we must take proper precautions to protect our personnel and property. We have to analyze the potential threats and understand inherent risks, and then we must do what is prudent to minimize our chances of becoming a likely target. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect Kenya. We will work with the government to assist in any way we can to increase safety and improve security in this country.
And finally, I believe the most effective way to counter religious fanaticism and ideological extremism is to develop a vibrant economy that reaches to the chronically underemployed, those living in poverty and squalor, and those who have been historically marginalized. That means we have to unite to drive Kenya’s economy to double-digit growth in the shortest time possible so most Kenyans can access sustainable prosperity, respect, and self-worth through employment.
While this won’t completely prevent acts of terror, it will significantly reduce the historical enclaves where terrorists receive resources and encouragement. But these sporadic attacks are just a small part of the Kenyan story. I tell potential investment partners that investment opportunities in Kenya are bountiful, the risks of occasional terrorist acts and opportunistic crime can be mitigated, and the rewards of making a positive difference in Kenya are most satisfying.
2. If economic growth is the most effective way of combating terrorism, how do you walk the talk in your current role?
We are voting our confidence in Kenya through a 250-million-dollar investment in one of the world’s largest ferro-manganese processing plants and a dedicated 110-MW power plant near Mombasa. This investment alone will expand to over a billion dollars as related components come on line. We are all about economic delivery.
The ferro-manganese plant is a major step toward industrialization in Kenya. We are confident Kenya can be a leading industrial nation in Africa because the fundamentals are right and structures are strong.
Champion Afrik is partnering with blue-chip international conglomerates and government partners, together with county organizations and development agencies, to improve living and working conditions, including increasing irrigation in semi-arid areas, developing mini-grids to electrify rural communities, and improving the logistics infrastructure.
In addition, we are unlocking Kenya’s agricultural potential by developing commercial farming and value-added processing for export. To support this, we have jointly developed a highly advanced organic fertilizer program that can do away with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, rejuvenate the soil, and build natural resistance to plant diseases. Our enhanced inputs and innovative agricultural techniques will revolutionize commercial farming on large areas of currently underutilized land, will put high-value wholesale and retail products into local and overseas markets, and will significantly improve food security and create massive new exports.
3. What are your thoughts on the future of Kenya?
I have great hope and optimism. I have communicated this sentiment to friends, colleagues, and businessmen around the world. Kenya’s fundamentals are strong and this country is proceeding in the right direction.
Its people are Kenya’s tremendous resource and treasured asset. Religious tolerance and understanding have always been a key element in the fabric of Kenyan society. Anyone can criticize government leaders, security forces, and local politicians, but now is the time we need unity against terrorist acts of violence. We have to work together to implement viable and comprehensive solutions that address the underlying issues. We have to stimulate and grow the economy without the historical drag of corruption. This is what we are trying to do.
As Executive Chairman of Champion Afrik Limited and related companies, I have underscored our commitment to Kenya and belief in its people by our decision to participate aggressively in key growth sectors. I’m pleased and proud to participate in building Kenya’s bright economic future.