A narrow majority of Kenyans express confidence that US President Donald Trump will act properly regarding world affairs, a global survey finds.
The 51 per cent of Kenyans with positive expectations for Mr Trump’s leadership contrasts sharply with a global median of 22 per cent who express confidence in his conduct of international affairs.
While Kenyans’ views of Mr Trump’s global role differ sharply from those of Europeans, who view him negatively by overwhelming margins, responses in Kenya are in line with the findings in two other African countries.
A majority of Tanzanians and Nigerians also say they have confidence in Mr Trump, although only small minorities offer that outlook in Senegal and South Africa.
The results announced on Monday come from a survey of more than 40,000 respondents in 37 countries carried out earlier this year by the US-based Pew Research Centre.
In Kenya, the researchers conducted 1,117 face-to-face interviews in English and Swahili in March.
Kenyans’ confidence in Mr Trump is markedly lower than in his predecessor.
In 2016, 83 per cent of Kenyans said they viewed Barack Obama as likely to do the right thing in world affairs — a difference of more than 30 percentage points in ratings of the two US presidents.
Kenyans do have more confidence in Mr Trump than in Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whose confidence rating stands at 44 per cent in Kenya.
Approval of US influence in Kenya has slumped, with 47 per cent of respondents now saying its good that US “ideas and customs are spreading here.”
Slightly more Kenyans — 48 per cent — have a negative view. Support for US ideas and customs has fallen 13 points in Kenya since Mr Obama’s time in office.
Kenyans’ views of US ideas about democracy are also significantly less favourable now than in 2016.
Support has dropped 22 points in Kenya, but a large majority of respondents — 60 per cent — still say they like US standards of democracy.
Attitudes regarding specific policies advocated by Mr Trump are uniformly and strongly negative in Kenya.
By 2-1 margins, Kenyans disapprove both of President Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accords and of his talk of pulling out of major trade agreements.
A similar degree of opposition was found in Kenya regarding Mr Trump’s efforts to bar US entry by citizens of some Muslim-majority nations.
And more than 60 per cent of Kenyans said they do not agree with his plan to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
These negative responses to the president’s key policies do not lead most Kenyans to anticipate a worsening of relations with the US.
Nearly 60 per cent say they expect Kenya-US ties to stay the same or improve during Mr Trump’s tenure, while 30 per cent expect relations to worsen.