Deepening Kenya-UK ties top agenda as Kenyatta concludes London tour

Deepening Kenya-UK ties top agenda as Kenyatta, Johnson meet

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for bilateral talks on the second day of the Kenyan leader’s official visit to the United Kingdom.

The leaders meeting at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official country residence in Buckinghamshire, discussed the deepening of the Kenya-UK historic ties as well as explored new avenues of bilateral cooperation.

In their broad discussion, Kenyatta and Johnson agreed to maximise the benefits of a strategic partnership they signed when President Kenyatta last visited the UK.

“It is time to fully pick up from the agreements last year. Implementation was affected by Covid-19 but we must start to strongly deliver on that agreement,” President Kenyatta told his British host.

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Johnson reiterated his administration’s commitment to continue working with Kenya in expanding British business footprints in Africa so as to reclaim the declining volumes of UK investments on the continent.

President Kenyatta and his host also spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic especially the growing challenge of access to vaccines for Kenya and the rest of the developing world.

Johnson pledged additional vaccines on a bilateral basis, in addition to the 400,000 doses announced earlier on Wednesday.

“As friends and allies, we are sharing UK vaccine doses to support Kenya’s fight against the pandemic,” said Johnson.

The two leaders also discussed several areas of mutual interest including regional peace and security.

Thursday is Kenyatta’s final day in London, a state tour that has seen Kenya bag myriad development deals totaling Ksh.20 billion under governemnt and private investment to support Big 4 pillars.

Under this financing kitty, Ksh.5.2 billion will be matched by Ksh.3.5 billion of private investment to finance 10,000 green affordable homes for Kenyans.

In the coming days, Kenya is expected to launch the Nairobi International Financial Centre, in partnership with the City of London.

Kenya will also receive Ksh. 67 million of new UK funding for policy advice and technical assistance to support the development of green manufacturing in Kenya, including manufacturing of electric vehicles. This builds on the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme, which has already supported Ksh.4.2 billion of new manufacturing investment into Kenya;

Lastly, the completion of the Ksh.33 billion Kipeto Wind Farm, backed by the UK’s Actis in partnership with the U.S Government.

President Kenyatta was accompanied to the meeting by Cabinet Secretaries Ukur Yatani (National Treasury), Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Dr Monica Juma (Defence) as well as Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Amb Manoah Esipisu and State House Deputy Chief of Staff Ruth Kagia.

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