President Uhuru Kenyatta left the country today morning for state visits to France and Germany.
The Plane carrying the President and his delegation departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 9:00 am and was seen off by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Chief of Defense Forces General Samson Mwathethe among other senior government officials.
While in Paris, President Kenyatta, who is accompanied by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, will hold bilateral talks with the host President Francois Hollande among other engagements.
Kenya greatly appreciates France as a long-standing friend and prized partner.
France is the 6th largest investor in Kenya. Kenya is the largest recipient of French Overseas Development Assistance.
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Through the Africa Development Bank, the French Government has committed Sh88.5 billion to Kenya to finance a wide range of projects in the country.
Kenya Informal Sector Program last year benefitted from Sh5 billion from the French Development Agency (AFD) to finance the upgrading of slums.
Talks between the two leaders will also focus on matters of security with President Kenyatta and his host seeking a strategic partnership that will stem the rise of violent extremism in Africa and the globe.
Both the French and Kenyan people have experienced first-hand, the ineffable pain of incalculable loss at the hands of merciless mercenaries of terror.
President Kenyatta and President Hollande who stand together in the global war on terror, will be seeking out synergies to enhance security in the horn of Africa, even as they strive to develop trade relations between the two countries.
In the course of visit, the President is scheduled to tour the French Crisis Management Centre and the Headquarters of French Intelligence Services.
President Kenyatta will later spend two days in Germany, at the invitation of the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
President Kenyatta’s tour of Germany is historic being the first official visit to the country by a Kenyan Head of State since 1999.
Currently Germany is the second largest source of tourists travelling to Kenya, after the United Kingdom with Kenya’s exports rising to Sh11 billion in 2014. There are about 90 German companies that have invested about $120 million in Kenya and created over created 4200 jobs.
The President also recognizes the distinguished position Germany holds in the global community as the fourth largest economy in the world, and a key member of the European Union.
During President Kenyatta visit, he and Chancellor Merkel will consider ways of deepening the existing bilateral relations in key areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, tourism, education, culture and security.
Resumption of direct passenger German Airline Lufthansa flights to Kenya after a 16 year hiatus has been appreciated as a show of confidence in Kenya’s economy and a booster to Kenya’s tourism sector.