Kenya and France sign three bilateral deals to boost economic ties

Kenya and France sign three bilateral deals to boost economic ties

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and French President Emmanuel Macron (left) when they met in Paris, France

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta kicked off his official visit to France on Wednesday evening at Elysee Palace where he was received by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. Elysee Palace is the French president's official residence.  Mr Kenyatta inspected a guard of honour mounted by the French military at the start of an elaborate State reception ceremony. Together with his host, they witnessed the signing of three bilateral agreements before leading their delegations to a State banquet hosted in honour of the visiting Kenyan leader.  Later, the two leaders held private talks. Among the agreements reached is a public private partnership (PPP) for the construction of the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway signed between KeNHA and Vinci Concessions. The highway is one of the largest PPP projects in Eastern Africa. Others were agreements for the development of the Nairobi central business district (CBD) to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) commuter railway line and the 400kV Menengai-Rongai electricity transmission line.  The Nairobi CBD to JKIA commuter rail link will help enhance the movement of travellers between the city centre and Kenya's foremost international airport.

"Our aspiration is to see that this commuter railway line eases traffic in Nairobi but also eases the movement of people within Nairobi. We hope that along the route and the surrounding areas, other businesses will be able to grow," Kenya's Ambassador to France Prof Judy Wakhungu said.  The construction of the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit six-lane dual carriageway is expected to decongest the existing highway and enhance the efficiency of cargo transport to Western Kenya and onwards into the export markets of East and Central Africa.