MEDELLIN – Kenya is planning to open a consulate in Columbia to ease consular services for the Kenyans living in the south American country.
Speaking when he met Kenyan students in Medellín, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said discussions are ongoing on opening a consulate in Colombia, soon, to make their stay more comfortable.
“On the sidelines of the Producer and Roaster Forum in Medellín, it was heart-warming having a conversation with a group of youthful vibrant Kenyans studying in Colombia. Besides studies, the hardworking Kenyans are involved in side hustles, including in the sale of coffee. In our conversation, they highlighted the challenges in their hustles and accessing government services while in Colombia, ” DP Gachagua said.
The Deputy President further said the move will support and spur the bilateral relations with Colombia.
“The Ruto Administration is focused on removing any form of bureaucracies and red tape that come in the way of doing business and investment,” the DP said in a statement.
Gachagua, who has been in Colombia since September 12 for the Seventh Coffee Producer and Roaster Forum, is seeking to promote Kenya’s coffee and enhance farmers earnings.
“Kenyan coffee is renowned across the globe for its distinct flavour owed to our varieties. The high quality of our coffee has been used by roasters across the globe to upgrade other coffees to make them more attractive in taste and aroma,” he said.
He, however, regretted that despite its sterling performance internationally, it has been tragic that the specialty in coffee produced in Kenya is not benefiting the farmer.
“With the ongoing reforms in the Subsector, we are now placing the farmer at the table of negotiating the price of their coffee with consumer. As part of our commitment to value addition and dealing in specialty coffee, connecting the farmer to the consumer for value of their money while the farmer receives commensurate pay.
We will stop at nothing until the farmer is the boss,” he noted.
During his time in Colombia, Gachagua held bilateral talks with his counterpart Marquez Mina to further reciprocal trade opportunities.
On Tuesday, Mina and Gachagua witnessed the signing of the Kenya and Colombia first Joint Commission for Cooperation by Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Mutua and Francisco Coy, Colombia’s Vice Minister for External Relations.
“The signing of the cooperation has opened a new path of deepening our collaboration in various sectors including agriculture, gender, education, science and technology, culture, transport, health, environmental conservation, trade and investment, among others,” DP’s office said in a statement.
Talks on ways to enhance the ties through direct flights between the two countries to increase interaction and improve movement of goods and services were also held.
Discussions on ending visa requirements for diplomatic and service passport holders were also explored.
DP Gachagua is accompanied by CS Mutua (foreign Affairs), CS Mithika Linturi Agriculture), principal secretaries Julius Korir (Cabinet Affairs, ODP) and his counterpart Alfred K’ombudo (Trade), Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok, Kirinyaga Senator and Agricultural Committee chairman Kamau Murango, his Nyeri counterpart Senator Wahome Wamatinga, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Coffee Caucus and Nyeri MP Duncan Mathenge.
The delegation also included coffee farmers Daniel Rop (Kericho), Edwin Kamau (Murang’a), Harrison Wafula (Bungoma) Daisy Githinji (Kirinyaga), Charles Mutwiri Mukarimu (Meru), John Muchwe (Murangá).