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Europe stepping up investments in Africa, says President Uhuru Kenyatta

By Gathenya Njaramba | April 9th 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta

NAIROBI: Europe is now showing more interest in engaging African countries in business and development, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Winding up his six-day tour of France and Germany, President Uhuru noted that Europe wants to restore its position as a leading development partner, following increased engagement with China in recent years.

“We have agreed on several deals, including programmes in energy, education, security, water and sanitation, technical training, agriculture and tourism,” he told The Standard on Saturday in Berlin yesterday.

The President said his tour of France and Germany will see more European companies setting up shop in Kenya, which will translate into more jobs for the youth and increased technical training.

In in an one-on-interview with The Standard on Saturday, the President responded to a myriad of contentious issues raised, for instance, on the latest woes facing the Kenyan banking sector, the President said the Government is keen to clean up the mess and tighten loopholes.

“Our major interest is to protect depositors’ money and ensure all banks follow the law and regulations in the sector,” he said.

He also talked about the Ugandan oil pipeline, saying, the two countries are still negotiating, but insisted that one company (Total International) should not put bad blood between three countries in the larger East African Community.

On Kenya’s mission in troubled Somalia, he said President Francois Hollande of France and Chancellor Angel Merkel of Germany have committed to support Kenya’s mission in Somalia and counter-terrorism strategies.

Projects that clinched funding include Nairobi water distribution network, water sector development programme, Lake Victoria south water services board, the Water Services Trust Fund, Nairobi satellite towns water and sanitation programme and Lake Nakuru biodiversity conservation.

The assistance in education is in the form of scholarships for secondary education and construction of primary schools in poor urban areas in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu counties.

Beneficiaries in agriculture sector include small holder irrigation in Mt Kenya region phases I -IV, food security through improved agricultural production in Western Kenya, drought resilience in Northern Kenya and lower Nzoia irrigation project.

In energy, the projects include Bogoria Silali steam development project and solar hybrid mini-grid project. The completed projects include Olkaria geothermal power station.

In health, funds will go to reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, and provision of basic health insurance among others.

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