Uhuru departs to France and Germany amid criticisms over foreign trips

President Uhuru Kenyatta has departed for State visits in France and Germany.


President Uhuru Kenyatta with Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Joseph Nkaissery and the Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Samson Mwathethe shortly before departing J.K.I.Airport for a State visit to France. PHOTO/PSCU

The president’s plane left JKIA at about 9 am on Sunday.

In France, the president will by hosted by President Francois Hollande from April 4 to 6 and their dialogue will center on matters of security, as well as trade, investment, and tourism.

“President Kenyatta will also seek to draw lessons on how to bolster Kenya’s own national security, by reviewing the French National Security Architecture. In the course of his two-day visit, he shall tour the French Crisis Management Centre and the Headquarters of French Intelligence Services”, read a statement by statehouse spokesperson Manoah Esipisu.

The president will the proceed to the Republic of Germany, at the invitation of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The president aims to build on the vital relationship between both nations through the pursuit of mutually beneficial initiatives. It will cover a wide range of relevant issues including peace and security, trade and investment, development co-operation, education, cultural cooperation and tourism.His visit comes days after critics said the head of State is out of the country too often.

But foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed defended the visits and engagements, saying they have been invaluable to the country’s economic growth.France is the 6th largest investor in Kenya.

Kenya is the largest recipient of French Overseas Development Assistance.

Through the Africa Development Bank, the French Government has committed Ksh 88.5 billion to Kenya to finance a range of projects in the country, and last year the French Development Agency (AFD) committed Ksh 5 billion towards the Kenya Informal Sector Program to finance the upgrading of slums.President Kenyatta’s visit to Germany is historic: the first official visit to Germany by a Kenyan Head of State since 1999. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Kenya in 2011. Kenya’s exports to Germany rose to Ksh 11 billion in 2014.Currently, there are about 90 German companies that have invested about $120 million in Kenya and created over created 4200 jobs. The recent resumption of German Airline Lufthansa’s flights to Kenya after a 16-year hiatus, will boost the tourism industry and enhance interactions between the citizens of both nations.

During the course of his visit in Germany, 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 visit The Renewable Energy Academy AG (RENAC) in Germany, which is one of the world’s leading providers of renewable energy training and energy efficiency education. The President, whose Government is investing heavily in energy and has embarked on creating the biggest wind farm in Kenya as part of their commitment to renewable energy, will have first-hand experience and understanding of global best practices in imparting the technical knowledge that enables a country to sustain its renewable energy sites and actualize its renewable energy commitments.