Kenya's outgoing leader pledges peaceful transfer of power

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Kenya's outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday held a meeting with his successor William Ruto, reiterating his commitment to the peaceful transfer of power in the East African nation.

Kenyatta, who gave a televised farewell address to the nation after meeting with Ruto at State House in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said that he will oversee a peaceful transition of power Tuesday, in a bid to reaffirm Kenya's democratic ethos.

Kenyatta congratulated his Deputy William Ruto for clinching the presidency during the country's hotly contested Aug. 9 polls, pledging support to the incoming administration as it embarks on serving all citizens fairly.

"On my part as the Head of State, I hand over leadership of a nation that has undergone a consequential transformation over the last decade in every aspect of our national life," said Kenyatta.

On Tuesday, Kenyatta will hand over instruments of power that includes a ceremonial sword and a copy of the constitution to Ruto, to signify a change of guard.

In particular, Kenyatta noted that under his leadership, Kenya became Africa's sixth largest economy, up from 12th, amid enhanced trade with neighbors and the creation of a conducive regulatory environment to attract investments.

He added that the digital economy flourished during his decade-long reign while the construction of 11,500 km of new tarmac road boosted connectivity and ease of doing business.

An additional 6.3 million households, up from 2.3 million in 2013 have been connected to electricity, said Kenyatta, adding that the country had achieved a 100 percent transition from primary to secondary education under his stewardship.

The country's forest cover increased from 6.9 percent in 2013 to 8.8 percent in 2022 even as poaching of iconic wildlife species declined considerably thanks to enhanced vigilance, said Kenyatta.

He stressed that Kenya had the potential to become Africa's economic powerhouse, and a haven of stability and peace once the incoming fifth president builds on the legacy of his four predecessors.

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