Uhuru to visit France, Germany from April 4

President Uhuru Kenyatta will leave for “critical State visits” in France and Germany, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu has said.

In France, the president will by hosted by President Francois Hollande from April 4 to 6.

“Dialogue between the Heads of State will centre on matters of security, as well as trade, investment and tourism,” said Esipisu in a statement on Thursday.

Esipisu said the two are seeking a strategic partnership that will stem the rise of violent extremism in Africa and the globe.

“The leaders will consider how to enhance existing intelligence sharing mechanisms, and improve Kenya’s security infrastructure,” he said.

Esipisu said the bilateral meeting will also feature international trade and investment between the two nations.

“Hollande’s government aims to facilitate the entry and expansion of Kenyan businesses into French and European markets,” he said.

The State House spokesman further said the president will spend two days in the Federal Republic of Germany, at the invitation of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Uhuru is pleased to accept Merkel’s invitation. Kenya and Germany enjoy warm and cordial relations dating back to Kenya’s independence,” he said.

Esipisu said 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,” he said.

Esipisu said through this visits, the President has secured trillions of shillings in security cooperation, loans, investments, grants and other economic benefits, while boosting Kenya’s international image

He said the President is expected to visit Embu, Laikipia, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu and Machakos when he returns.

“President Kenyatta will focus on listening to wananchi, liaising with local leaders, and commissioning or launching development projects,” he said.

Uhuru will make his State of the Nation address on March 31.

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 Uhuru’s high-level visits and engagement, saying they have been invaluable to the country’s economic growth.

“High-level engagement and visibility is a central pillar of Kenya’s Foreign Policy as the country strives to entrench its leadership as an economic power in the region as well as achieve global competitiveness,” said Amina.