President Uhuru Kenyatta has hailed France President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to Kenya, the first by a French President. Speaking at State House, President Kenyatta said Macron’s visit signals the shared commitment between Kenya and France to foster bilateral relations. He said France is one of the most important contributors to Kenya’s tourism sector and President Macron’s visit will help to increase the number of tourists from France and Kenya and vice versa. He added that the state visit will impact on a number of French businessmen and investors that will want to invest in Kenya, “President Macron himself is accompanied by a large group of businessmen and potential investors who’ll be meeting with some of our key Ministries and private sector players,” he said.
He lauded the open business relation, highlighted by Groupe PSA setting up their car assemblies plant in Kenya, and they started assembling the Peugeot 508 model in 2017. At State House, the two Heads of State unveiled the Peugeot 3008 model. President Kenyatta acknowledged that France is Kenya’s 17th largest trading partner and said that he hopes it will grow into a more important trading partner.
On his part, President Macron revealed the focus at the moment is also on security and the regional matters, saying that they want to improve cooperation from a security and defence point of view. “I’m a strong believer in regional stability…I’m a strong believer in the whole of the African Union. You are a strong believer in regional integration and in such a framework we can deliver much more,” he said. Macron pointed out that the two countries will open more partnerships in the economic sector and that France wants to be part of Kenya’s growth agenda, “We will sign agreements to develop public-private partnerships.” He said France wants to be a partner in terms of research and education and that agreements have been signed-in total, there are seven agreements. The two leaders toured the Nairobi Railways station and they’ll also attend the United Nations Environment Assembly on Thursday.