— President Uhuru Kenyatta this evening at State House, Nairobi, held bilateral talks with several leaders who are in the country to attend the ongoing 9th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations Heads of State Summit.
Among the leaders the President hosted included President Faustin-Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic, the Prime Minister of Eswatini Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, Vice President Bornito de Sousa of Angola. The President also held talks with European Union commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen
The meetings came shortly after President Kenyatta took over the chairmanship of the ACP and the leaders congratulated the President for his new role.
In the first meeting, the Kenyan leader held talks with President Touadera who assured him of his country’s total support as he takes over the leadership of the 79-member bloc.
President Kenyatta and Vice President de Sousa of Angola discussed the possibility of increasing Kenya Airways flights to Luanda as a way of deepening trade ties between Kenya and the Southern Africa nation.
While responding to a request by the Angolan VP for Kenya’s help in expanding his country’s nascent tourism sector, the President welcomed Angolans to train in the country’s tourism colleges which he termed as “some of the best training institutions in the world”.
The Ewastini Prime Minister said his country is also eyeing to benefit from Kenya’s centres of excellence especially in agriculture, tourism and agro-processing among other fields.
Prime Minister Dlamini said his government is keen to develop trade and people to people ties with Kenya, adding that the kingdom welcomes Kenya Airways to start direct flights to Mbabane.
President Kenyatta thanked the PM Dlamini for his country’s long standing solidary with Kenya in multilateral fora saying Kenya is keen on growing deeper ties with the kingdom for the mutual benefit of the people of the two sister nations.
In his meeting with the European Union delegation, the President Kenyatta said it is important that trade agreements between the EU and ACP should be balanced and mutually beneficial deals.
“The key is to advance mutually beneficial and inclusive agreements that are agreeable and takes care of interests of both parties. We need a scenario where everyone feels like a winner,” the President said.
Commissioner Urpilainen said the European Union will continue supporting Kenya to achieve its development aspirations including the Government’s Big 4 Agenda focus areas of universal health coverage, food security, manufacturing and affordable housing.
“We can work together to see how we can enhance European investments in Kenya and the ACP in general,” the EU Commissioner told the President.
She said the EU is especially keen on supporting Kenya harness the immense entrepreneurial potential of its youth by supporting business start-ups and the Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME’s).