Ruto jets to France, to also visit Senegal

President-elect William Ruto making his address during the inaugural meeting with Kenya Kwanza leaders.

President William Ruto at his Karen Residence on September 5, 2022.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto is set to leave the country tonight for a three-day state visit to France and Senegal.

According to State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed, the President is expected to hold talks with President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. The meeting will address the status of key development projects agreed upon by the two countries.

They will also discuss regional peace and security.

Kenya and France have been working closely for years to strengthen their ties, a move that was seen during the administration of the former Head of State Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.

During his visit to Paris in 2020, Mr Kenyatta signed loan agreements worth Sh17.91 billion with France and the European Union (EU).

President Ruto’s visit is expected to unlock the multi-billion deal signed between Nairobi and Paris in 2019 which was to finance and operate the Nairobi-Mau Summit highway, but has not been implemented to date.

Other deals that were reached in the last Kenya-France engagement include four financing agreements in support of emergency health response, the opening up of rural areas, public transport, and access to water and sanitation services.

After his mission in France, President Ruto will travel to Dakar, Senegal, where he will be 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. This comes amid a food crisis across the globe that has been exacerbated by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

The Spokesperson has described the Dakar meeting as an appropriate forum for Heads of State and other partners to discuss how to exploit Africa’s agricultural potential and the plans and programmes that will help scale up production.

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