Trade, climate, girls education and regional security top on UK-Kenya talks

President Uhuru Kenyatta meets UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab at State House Nairobi who paid him a courtesy call on January 20, 2021/ PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday met visiting UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab who paid him a courtesy call.

The President and the Secretary of State discussed a wide array of subjects key among them the strengthening Kenya-UK commercial ties following the trade deal signed late last year between the two countries.

UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said trade (already worth Sh1.4 billion), climate, girls education, and regional security were high on the agenda.

On the Kenya-UK trade agreement, President Kenyatta thanked the UK saying the pact would help create employment for Kenyan youth and improve the country’s economic performance.

Uhuru urged UK investors to take advantage of the trade deal and Kenya’s stable business environment to increase their investments in the country and boost trade between the two nations.

The two leaders also discussed climate change and Kenya’s environmental conservation agenda with President Kenyatta highlighting some of the recent achievements in the sector.

“We have gone to great lengths in ensuring we restore and conserve our water towers and we believe this is an area we can closely collaborate for the good of the planet,” the President told the visiting delegation that included James Duddridge, UK’s Under-Secretary of State for Africa.

Raab visited visited Liquid Telcom data centre in Nairobi to announce £48 million to help developing countries shift to clean energy and transport as well as climate risk finance.

President Kenyatta said Kenya was working hard to achieve the 10 per cent national tree cover target as part of a broad conservation agenda that includes promotion of renewable energy to combat climate change.

On his part, the Secretary of State acknowledged Kenya’s growing importance as a key development partner of the UK noting that despite disruptions brought about by Covid-19, the two nations were able to negotiate and conclude a progressive post-Brexit trade pact.

“The UK and Kenya have made good progress since President Kenyatta and PM Boris Johnson agreed a new Strategic Partnership last year,” Raab said.

“Kenya is a key partner in development and we will continue working together to achieve our development agenda to improve our citizens livelihoods,” he added.

Raab also met Cabinet Secretaries Amb Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Monica Juma (Defence) and held bilateral talks.

CSs Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior) Ukur Yatani (National) Treasury), Betty Maina (Trade) and Prof George Magoha (Education) attended the meeting wit President Kenyatta.

Others were Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua, Kenya’s Ambassador to the UK Manoah Esipisu and State House Deputy Chief of Staff incharge of Strategy Ruth Kagia among other senior Government officials.

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