Chancellor Angela Merkel and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta discussed Kenya’s economic development and bilateral co-operation at a meeting during the African leader’s visit to Berlin in April.
Germany can be a good partner for Kenya in the fields of infrastructure development, training and energy supply, Dr Merkel said, welcoming the commitment of President Kenyatta to increased economic relations between both countries. His itinerary was, in itself, evidence that Kenya is focussing absolutely on economic development, energy supply, education, information and communication technology and infrastructure development, said Chancellor Merkel. “These are all fields in which Germany can be a good partner.”
In development cooperation, Kenya is a “strategic partner country for Germany”, stressed the Chancellor. For the period 2014 – 2016 Germany is providing funding totalling 300 million euros and the next cooperation period is currently being discussed, Merkel revealed.
It is important for private-sector co-operation to complement development cooperation. This is an area in which Kenya is “something of an anchor country for German businesses”. In this context Merkel pointed to the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nairobi and the fact that there are direct flights between the two countries. Tourism forges a strong link, she added.
With every investment made by a German company in Kenya, Chancellor Merkel said young people are trained in line with German vocational training regulations. Both leaders also discussed poverty reduction and the role of the internet. “Transparency and good governance are very important,” stressed Merkel.
President Kenyatta explained the security situation in East Africa and the importance of the EU’s continuing support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The German government takes this point of view extremely seriously, said Chancellor Merkel, and added, “We will definitely bring this into discussions within the EU.”
AMISOM is a peace keeping mission operated by the African Union in Somalia. It has a United Nations Security Council mandate and currently numbers about 22,000 soldiers, who come from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone. The EU provides extensive funding for AMISOM within the framework of its broad engagement to stabilise Somalia.
With a view to the important engagement of China in Africa, the Chancellor said that Chinese companies have much to offer in terms of project financing and speed of planning. For German companies it is thus important “to offer complete packages including both financing and implementation”.