Kenya and the United Kingdom are set to scale up their cooperation in trade and the fight against terrorism.
Speaking on Friday during a meeting at State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta and British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond agreed on the need for the two countries to share counter-radicalisation strategies as a move to curb terrorism.
At the meeting that centred on Kenya and UK’s cooperation in defence, security and commercial partnership, Uhuru said a consolidated approach in the fight against terrorism was key to ending the scourge.
The British Foreign Secretary said the UK government is keen to take its bilateral relations with Kenya to a new level of cooperation for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
He disclosed the UK’s plans to enhance cooperation with Kenya, singling out defence and energy generation as priority areas.
“We would like to see our defence cooperation moving forward and have annual joint military trainings,” Mr. Hammond said.
On energy, Hammond – who was accompanied by British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey – said British companies have a strong appetite to invest renewable energy in Kenya.
“Kenya has a huge potential for generation of renewable energy. With the right investment, Kenya could become a net exporter of energy,” the Foreign Secretary said.
Last month, Kenya signed a pact with the UK that gave Kenyan companies access to Sh36 billion of the UK Export Finance (UKEF) funding. The signed MoU also promotes opportunities for UK private sector trade and investment in Kenya’s renewable energy sector.
Uhuru welcomed the injection of capital, saying cooperation should be extended to private public partnership for rapid results.
The President and the Foreign Secretary also discussed the situation in Somalia.
Uhuru called for increased international support to stabilise the Horn of African nation that has not known peace for over two decades.
He said Kenya will not feel safe until peace and stability is restored in Somalia.
“More resources are required to crush the al Shabaab and strengthen the Somali National Army before the AMISOM troops can withdraw,” Uhuru said.
Hammond commended Kenya for its efforts to restore peace in Somalia and assured of his government’s support in the Somali peace process.
On the protests by Cord, the Foreign Secretary termed the demonstrations as a political game and the urged the government not to be provoked into violent action.
Hammond said his visit to Kenya is a precursor to British Prime Minister David Cameroon’s visit, whose plans are in top gear.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed and Internal CS Joseph Nkaissery, among other senior government officials.