President Kenyatta returns after France, Germany State visits

President Kenyatta returns after France, Germany State visits

President Uhuru Kenyatta has returned to the country after his State visits to France and Germany to deepen bilateral relations with the two European nations.

While in Paris, President Kenyatta oversaw the signing of bilateral agreements between Kenya and France worth KSh 28 billion.

President Kenyatta kicked off his visit to France with a fruitful bilateral meeting with President Francois Hollande and French government ministers during which they spoke on ways to strengthen trade relations and cooperation in security matters.

While in France, President Kenyatta also witnessed the signing of an agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to accelerate digital learning in Kenya.

President Kenyatta also witnessed a ceremony to nominate former President Mwai Kibaki as UNESCO’s special envoy for water in Africa

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said the nomination of the former President signifies Kenya’s leadership in taking forward the values and objectives of UNESCO.

The UNESCO Director-General pointed out that former President Kibaki was one of the first African leaders to clearly grasp the importance of the water agenda – to promote universal access to water through integrated management.

President Kenyatta also met and engaged the Kenyan diaspora in France and discussed ways of addressing challenges facing them.

After concluding his visit to France, President Kenyatta proceeded to Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, where he held bilateral talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel which focused on security, investment, trade and innovation.

Ms Merkel, who together with President Kenyatta addressed a press conference after the one-hour long meeting, said Kenya is a strategic partner for Germany and her government was looking for ways to deepen ties between the two countries.

On Thursday, President Kenyatta attended a Germany-Kenya Business Forum in Berlin where he urged for more trade between the two countries.

President Kenyatta thanked German investors for showing confidence in Kenya’s economy and urged more to take advantage of the conducive business environment to invest in infrastructure development in the country.

The President said the value of German companies in Kenya is over Ksh 13 billion and have created more than 4200 jobs. More than 100 German companies operate in Kenya.

Germany is ranked the 4th largest investor in Kenya, representing around 10% of direct and indirect commercial interests in the country.

President Kenyatta later toured the Berlin-based Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) Industrial Park that specializes in combined technical and non-technical practical courses for the dissemination of renewables to meet increased market demands.

The President also toured the Berlin Adlershof Science City, which is one of the most successful high-technology sites in Germany and Berlin’s largest media site. Berlin Adlershof Science City is home to 1,013 companies and scientific institutions.

The two places the President toured are examples of what Kenya can do, fusing technology, innovation, vocational training and renewable energy initiatives to grow jobs for young people.

The President also used his visit to study the model for vocational training that Germany has used to cut unemployment to zero percent in parts of Europe’s largest economy.

The President toured a facility managed by the Berlin Chamber of Skilled Craft and Small Businesses, to see first hand how the system works, with German companies supporting a programme of apprenticeship largely for high school leavers across the country.

The programme is funded by the German private sector to the tune of Ksh 3.1 trillion annually and trains half a million people each year.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs), Najib Balala (Tourism), Henry Rotich (Treasury), and Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation).

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Kiprono Kittony and businessman Chris Kirubi were among the Kenyan private sector executives who accompanied the President.

The plane carrying the President and his delegation landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly before 10.00 p.m.

The President was received by Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph Nkaissery, Chief of Defence Forces General Samsom Mwathethe, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet among other senior Government officials.

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