NAIROBI – Romania President Klaus Iohannis is set make an official visit to Kenya mid-November as part of his tour of four African countries.
According to the Presidential Administration of Romania, President Iohannis will visit Kenya, Tanzania, Cabo Verde, and Senegal between November 14-23.
The trip, the first political-diplomatic approach at this level in the last 30 years, according to the announcement, is aimed at relaunching Romania’s relations with Africa directly and as part of the joint effort at the European level.
“These visits aim at relaunching the high-level political dialogue with the mentioned states and revitalizing economic and sectoral relations, aiming to open and capitalize on new opportunities for collaboration in areas of common interest, including those regarding the management of global challenges,” the Presidential Administration said.
In Kenya, Iohannis will hold talks with President William Ruto and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen at the United Nations Office in Nairobi.
The visiting President will sign environment and political cooperation will be signed, agreements and inaugurate a school, a Romanian development assistance programme donation.
In preparation for the visit, newly appointed Romania Ambassador to Kenya Serbu Gentiana presented her credential to President Ruto at State House, Nairobi.
Ruto said relations between Kenya and Romania have been growing over time, making way for the exploration of opportunities in trade, investment and education.
“We are looking forward to escalating our ties to cover other areas such as tourism for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” the President said.
Ambassador Gentiana will also double as the Permanent Representative to UNEP and UN-HABITAT.
She replaces Ambassador Dragos Tigau, who was recalled in June after making racist monkey-slur remarks at a meeting of Eastern European envoys at United Nations Office in Nairobi.
In the neighbouring Tanzania, the Romanian leader will hold political consultations with President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Next, during the visit to Cabo Verde, Iohannis will meet with President José Maria Neves, the president of the National Assembly Austelino Tavares Correia, Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva, and Praia Mayor Francisco Avelino Carvalho, the statement said.
President Iohannis will also meet with alumni of various Romanian institutions of higher learning from Cabo Verde.
In Senegal, he will hold political consultations with President Macky Sall and participate in the inauguration of the United Nations House, which will host the 34 UN agencies present in Senegal.
There, he will also meet former Senegalese students in Romania.
The Romanian Presidency said the visits are in line with the recently adopted the National Strategy for Africa, through which it aims to revive and enhance relations with this area “in accordance with Romania’s interests and the growing importance of Africa on the international level.
“The approach of President Klaus Iohannis takes place at a time of deepening and diversifying relations with African partners, in the context in which, in the last decade, the African continent, as a whole, has acquired an increasingly pronounced profile on the international level,” the statement added.
During the visits, the President will pursue the development of commercial relations and the increase of economic exchanges; boosting sectoral cooperation in agriculture and food safety, emergency management, cyber security and digital infrastructure.
He will also seek to strengthen Romania’s profile as a provider of education and training and enhance cooperation in multilateral and international formats.