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Cablegate: Reinvigorating Public Diplomacy Cultural And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS NAIROBI 005317

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R AF/PD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OEXC SCUL KE
SUBJECT: REINVIGORATING PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CULTURAL AND
SPORTS PROGRAMS

REF: STATE 222516

1. Embassy Nairobi places a high value on cultural
and sports programs and looks forward to working with
ECA to enhancing cultural and sports exchanges
throughout Kenya. The following are replies to
questions posed in reftel

2. Last year we used cultural and sports programs to
promote our "Counter-terrorism," "Democracy Promotion,"
"Global Health," "Environmental Protection" and
"International Public Opinion" MPP goals. Our programs
are designed to gain access and reinforce relationships
with Muslim and underserved Kenyan communities. With
these communities, our cultural and sports outreach
efforts serve to challenge negative public opinions and
anti-U.S. policy stereotypes.

3. We have used the full range of cultural and sports
programs available. Last year along the coast in Lamu
and Malindi we programmed the "Two American Icons"
exhibit which exposed prominent African American
artists to wide audiences in vulnerable areas that are
typically underserved. We similarly programmed Jazz
performer Freddy Bryant and a number of Blues and
Gospel performers in Nairobi and Kisumu. Culture
Connect Envoy Ntar Mwine gave a very powerful
performance of his one-man play "Biro" in Nairobi and
Mombasa. The ECA sponsored African premiere of "Ray"
was an outstanding success. Throughout the year we
placed paper shows in venues around Nairobi, such as
the August 7th Memorial Park (site of the former
embassy), in Mombasa and along the coast. Last fall we
worked together with USAID to organize a public-private
Hoops4Africa exchange featuring professional men and
women basketball players. All of these programs
reached out to the broad range of Kenyan audiences with
special emphasis to underserved populations skeptical
of U.S. policies and influence.

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4. Our constraints are primarily financial and
staffing, typical of other posts. Last year we fully
allocated our budget for such programs. Our cultural
staff, which is also responsible for our IV, Fulbright
and other exchange programs, consists of a CAO and
three Kenyan LES. Last year's cultural programming
level in Kenya was consistent with that level of
staffing.

5. We regularly partner with the private sector and
other embassies in our cultural programming. The Lamu
festival, which PAS was an original sponsor five years
ago, has grown into a national event due to its
partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Cultural
Heritage and co-sponsorship with the German and French
embassies. The U.S. based firm Land O'Lakes helped
sponsor Hoops4Africa. The Carnivore Restaurant in
Nairobi and the Fort Jesus Museum in Mombasa have
provided and/or subsidized free venues.

6. The above reflects only a cross section of the
types of cultural and sports programs we engaged in
last year. With each event, the audience was carefully
selected with the goal of reaching out to targeted MPP
audiences. Regional balance throughout Kenya was also
always a goal. However, there is also the potential to
do more. For instance, the former world record
marathon holder Tegla Lourupe recently asked that we
assist her school and Peace Foundation located along
the Kenya - Uganda border. This is an area regularly
suffering from cross-border tensions due to tribal and
cattle migrations. Under the motto "Peace Through
Sports," Tegla has succeeded in bringing communities on
both sides of the border together under the common
goals of educational and athletic advancement. This
year, with adequate grant funds and an ECA supported
exchange program (proposal currently being developed),
we hope to assist her efforts, which would address our
MPP goal 5 - "Resolution of Regional Conflicts."

7. Embassy Nairobi appreciates R's continued support
for cultural and sports programming.

Bellamy

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