Kenya, France sign a € 250 m economic deal

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta & Francois Hollande in Paris.

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta & Francois Hollande in Paris.

The governments of Kenya and France on Monday signed five economic agreements that will inject 250 million Euros into the economy of East Africa’s largest economy.

According to a statement released on the Kenyan government website, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his French counterpart Francois Hollande witnessed the signing of the deals at the Elysee Palace in Paris after the two leaders held bilateral talks that covered infrastructure projects which the Kenyan leader said that they were key to the country’s development.

The agreements signed include the financing of the last Mile connectivity programme at a cost of 120 million Euros, additional funding for roads 2000 programme Phase II at 15 million Euros, financing Meru Wind Farm at 60 million Euros and the financing of Ruiru II Dam and Water supply project at 19 million Euros.

Addressing the media after signing the agreements, President Kenyatta commended the cordially relationship between the two countries and described France as a true friend and partner in Kenya’s development.

“We are here to deepen our relations with the French government and French people. We strongly believe in strengthening people-to –people relations and standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and this gives us a perfect opportunity,” President Uhuru said

The Kenyan leader said that the talks with President Hollande covered a number of issues of mutual concern with security topping the agenda.

“As you know, both France and Kenya have been victims of terrorism-a global problem that Kenya has consistently said that requires a global approach in resolving,” President Uhuru said

French President Hollande said that France and Kenya have formed a strategic partnership that will boost intelligence sharing and help in the deradicalisation of young people.

“We have agreed to work together to defeat terrorism.         We also committed to ensuring that conflicts do not spread and we are extending our cooperation not only in Somalia but also in South Sudan and Burundi,” said the French leader.

Accompanied by Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, the visit to France is time-honored, coming at a time after Kenyan athletes stamped to victory at the 40th edition of the Paris Marathon.

“I would like to congratulate you once again for making us proud….you have done it once again,” Kenyatta told the athletes.

Speaking ahead of the talks, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Amina Mohamed termed the visit a “marker” of where the relationship of Kenya and France stands today.

“France is a key partner with Kenya, since we have worked together previously in various capacities Ambassador Amina said.

On Wednesday, President Kenyatta will make his way to Germany, upon the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This will be the first official visit to Germany by a Kenyan Head of State since 1999. During the course of his Germany visit, the President will attend a business forum where he will seek to raise awareness on the available business and investment opportunities in Kenya with a view to increasing Foreign Direct Investment. The President will also be exploring possible areas of cooperation and assessing opportunities for technology transfer. He will conclude his visit to Germany on Friday.