Legacy projects funding tops Uhuru’s United Kingdom trip

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a virtual school visit at Westlands Primary School in Nairobi and Cleves Cross Primary School in Ferryhill in England as part of Global Partnership for Education initiative. Photo/PD/FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta is in London, United Kingdom, for a series of events geared towards boosting bilateral cooperation between the two countries with funding of the Big Four projects high on the agenda. 

According to a joint statement released by State House and the British High Commission yesterday, Uhuru  arrives in London today for the three-day visit where he will also hold talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Alongside meeting Prime Minister Johnson for talks at his country residence, Chequers, Uhuru will jointly announce major investments into Big Four projects, on affordable housing, manufacturing, and health partnerships,”said  the statement.

The highlight of the meeting is a session where  Uhuru and his host will co-chair the Global Education Summit “and make major announcements strengthening the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership.”

“Prime Minister Johnson will host the President at Chequers, his country residence in Buckinghamshire, for bilateral talks, before the two host the official welcome reception for the Global Education Summit,” says the statement.

“The President will co-chair the Global Education Summit and focus on Kenya-UK health partnerships through Covid-19, as well as on cancer prevention and treatment.”

The Global Education Summit aims at raising Sh542 billion to educate children across the developing world over the next five years.

“The President will also meet senior members of the UK Royal Family as part of his visit,” the statement says.

Apart from the education summit, Uhuru, who is making his second visit to the UK in 18 months will also attend an event at West London’s Kew Gardens, to celebrate the Kenya-UK Year of Climate Action.

The event at the Kew Gardens is also being held in recognition of the efforts and leadership that Kenya has provided on climate change in Africa ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in October 31-November 12.

Thereafter, President Uhuru will be hosted by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in an event at Mansion House, in London’s historic financial district.

“The Foreign Secretary is expected to make significant announcements on the UK’s support for Big Four projects in Kenya,” it says. 

Regional security

President Uhuru will also be joined by senior Kenyan officials and UK governments in all the events that have been lined up with deliberations centering on defence, environment, foreign affairs, health, and finance among others.

The Head of State and his host are also expected to discuss and take stock of the “huge progress” across all areas of the partnership since their last meeting.

These include mutual prosperity, security and stability, sustainable development and climate change.

“A new Economic Partnership Agreement was ratified in May, to boost trade laready worth Sh200 billion a year,” the statement adds.

Early this year, we refreshed the Kenya-UK Security Compact to strengthen regional security and fight al-Shabaab.

Further announcements on security cooperation are expected as part of the visit, it says.

In addition to co-chairing the Global Education Summit, Kenya and the UK have had an extremely strong partnership on Covid-19.

The UK recently announced support to Kenya on genomic sequencing to track new variants.

On efforts to mitigate climate change, Kenya-UK Year of Climate Action was launched in January 2021 to drive Kenyan leadership in the region, and agreed a joint action plan on tackling climate change in Kenya.

A link between British universities and research institutions has been opened including new visa routes, therefore, paving way for Kenyans who want to work and study in the UK.

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