William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto CGH (born December 21, 1966) is a Kenyan politician who has been the country’s fifth president since September 13, 2022. Before becoming president, he was Kenya’s first elected deputy president from 2013 to 2022. Before the election of Ruto The position was known as the office of the Vice President, and the incumbent was unelected and often appointed by the President. He previously held three cabinet positions: Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister of Higher Education.
Ruto was elected to the Eldoret North constituency as a member of the KANU party from 1997 to 2007 and again from 2007 to 2013. From August to December 2002, he served as Minister of Home Affairs in the Daniel Arap Moi administration. He served as Minister of Agriculture under Mwai Kibaki’s administration from 2008 to 2010 and as Minister of Higher Education from April to October 2010. Ruto ran for deputy president under the United Republican Party in the 2013 election, becoming Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate from the National Alliance (TNA).
In the 2017 Kenyan general election, he was re-elected as the Jubilee Party’s deputy president. Ruto ran for president again in 2022, this time under the banner of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Kenyatta backed his opponent, Raila Odinga, during a dispute. The election was marred by allegations of electoral fraud by Odinga’s allies, which international observers have not confirmed.
In a ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Martha Koome and attended by over 20 heads of state and government, he was inaugurated at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani. The day of the inauguration was declared a public holiday. As a result, attendance was extremely high, with groups of the general public clashing with security officials as they attempted to enter the stadium; however, the event proceeded peacefully. He officially began his term as President of Kenya after his inauguration. Ruto announced shortly after taking office that he would address climate change and phase out the use of fossil fuels in Kenya’s electricity production by 2030.
President Ruto made his first foreign trip as head of state to the United Kingdom on September 18, 2022, and attended the late Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral service at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022.
President Ruto delivered his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as a head of state on September 21, 2022, just days after arriving in New York from London, where he attended the late Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral. He nodded to President Biden’s domestic “Build Back Better” plan, which calls for a global effort to “build back better from the bottom up.” He believes the goal should be to “include the marginalised, working majority in the economic mainstream.” Other topics he addressed included expanding Africa’s representation on the United Nations Security Council, increased investment in Africa, “moving Africa from aid to investment,” tapping “the ever-bustling” human capital for economic prosperity, and a concerted effort to combat climate change in Africa.
In September 2022, he said the Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, adding that “3.1 million people are facing severe drought” in Kenya alone.
Asked about the ongoing Tigray War between government forces and Tigray rebels in northern Ethiopia, Ruto said that “whatever happens in Ethiopia gets to Kenya.”
Speaking about the Somali Civil War, he said, “Kenyan troops will come back home as soon as we’re done with the assignment that we have in Somalia.”
Ruto’s government launched the Hustler Fund in November 2022, a loan programme that provides immediate loans to Kenyan citizens.
President Ruto proposed the large-scale privatisation of public enterprises, acknowledging that continuing to pump government resources into sustaining those corporations is not economically viable.
The most challenging task for Ruto will be dealing with the current protests in Nairobi. However, after two weeks of anti-government protests called by the opposition, the situation in Kenya is calm. While both parties have agreed to dialogue, President William Ruto has yet to say how his administration will combat the high cost of living, which sparked the protests. Kenyans breathed relief four days after President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga agreed to a temporary truce. However, the demonstrations paralysed Nairobi and other major cities, threatening the country’s fragile economy. On the other hand, President Ruto has stated that there will be no handshake.