Ruto commissions Kenya's first Francophone chancery in Senegal

President Ruto in Senegal for Dakar Food Security Summit

President William Ruto has launched the Kenyan Chancery in Senegal's capital Dakar, the country's first in Francophone West Africa. It houses the Embassy in Senegal which was initially opened as lessons learnt by Nairobi following a failed campaign bid to win votes for the African Union Commission Chairperson candidate in 2017 Amina Mohamed.

Speaking on Thursday, Dr Ruto assured investors that his government will support them to access investment opportunities across the continent. 

The President also announced that Kenya will open an embassy in Rabat, Morocco, later this year.

"We will continue to push the limits for our investors and businesspeople to access more markets in Africa," he said in a statement shared by the Presidential Communication Service (PCS).

Opening a mission in Rabat means Kenya is elevating relations from an honorary consulate to a full embassy. It would mean Kenya will have embassies in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, three of the biggest economies in the north of the continent.

President Ruto's ties with Morocco were clear from his first day in office when his officials tweeted a controversial statement vowing to cancel ties with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, conflicting with a long-held policy by Nairobi to support its self determination.

The Sahrawis claim a part of Western Sahara which Morocco considers it part of its territory. 

Kenya would, a day later, rescind the statement, indicating it was still siding with the African Union position that calls for a referendum to decide the future of Western Sahara. 

In Senegal, he was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing'oei and Kenyan Ambassador to Senegal Purity Muhindi. 

According to PCS, President Ruto also met with Kenyans living in Senegal. He told them that the Embassy will help ease state services to them and be their link to the government of Senegal and the private sector.

Dr Ruto was a keynote speaker at the Dakar 2 Summit on ‘Feed Africa: Food, Sovereignty and Resilience.’ The summit in Dakar has been organised by the Africa Development Bank, which comes at a time when Africa is experiencing serious food security challenges. 

President Ruto left the country on Monday for a three-day state visit to France and Senegal.

In Paris, he and President Emmanuel Macron agreed to enhance their cooperation in development projects. In the Tuesday meeting, the two leaders agreed to cooperate further in peace and security in the East African region.