Kenya, Colombia seek closer ties, enhance trade relations

DP Rigathi Gachagua holds talks with the Vice-President of Colombia Francia Marquez Mina

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua holds talks with the Vice-President of Colombia Francia Marquez Mina at his official residence in Nairobi on May 15.

Photo credit: Photo | DPCS

Kenya is poised to reap numerous benefits from Colombia, including scholarships, healthcare support, cultural exchanges and knowledge sharing .

During a visit by Colombian Vice-President Francia Elena Marquez Mina, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua expressed Kenya’s interest in taking advantage of Colombia’s expertise in coffee production and export.

Mr Gachagua said that Kenya wants to become a major player in the coffee sector, drawing inspiration from Colombia’s progress in the field.

“In terms of bilateral relations, Kenya wishes to strengthen cooperation with Colombia in a number of areas such as Spanish language training, educational scholarships, health, culture, knowledge sharing, South-South cooperation and engagement in the multilateral arena,” said Mr Gachagua.

Ms Mina’s visit comes after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)on political consultations in 2021.

The DP underscored the government’s commitment to strengthening bilateral trade and investment cooperation between Kenya and Colombia, saying it hopes to achieve this by prioritising economic and commercial initiatives while promoting business interactions in various sectors.

“In our political consultations, we have discussed at length the importance of establishing direct flights between the two countries. Such a development would serve as a catalyst for trade, investment and the promotion of people-to-people contacts,” said Mr Gachagua.

Mr Gachagua and Ms Mina also oversaw the signing of two MoUs on the joint commission for cooperation and the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The DP also revealed that discussions are underway to finalise an MoU on sports cooperation and six other declarations.

“Your government’s support through the provision of technical assistance in the health sector, the use of bamboo as an affordable housing material, cooperation in technical, vocational and educational training, culture and most importantly technical cooperation in the coffee sector will go a long way in enabling Kenya to achieve its development aspirations,” he said.

Mr Gachagua added that Kenya looks forward to partnering with Colombia in forging links between the African diaspora in the Caribbean, Latin America and North America.

“We are delighted that the Government of Colombia has invited our Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court Justice Martha Koome and the Governor of Homa Bay County Gladys Wanga to represent us at the International Day of Afro-Descendant Women in Bogotá on July 25,” said the DP.

Ms Mina is on a three-day official visit.