Uhuru, Italy President discuss trade, Covid-19 fight

Uhuru meets Italy President Sergio Mattarella

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella during their meeting at his Quirinal Palace in Rome.

Photo credit: PSCU

What you need to know:

  • President Kenyatta paid Mr Mattarella a courtesy call at his Quirinal Palace in Rome to cement Kenya's long standing relationship with Italy as a key development partner.
  • On the fight against Covid-19, Amb Yonga said Italy has lessons to offer Kenya, having successfully managed to slow the spread from its peak in April and May.

Rome,

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella Saturday held talks on trade and investment, tourism and the global fight against Covid-19 on the sidelines of his tour of the Vatican City.

President Kenyatta paid Mr Mattarella a courtesy call at his Quirinal Palace in Rome to cement Kenya's long standing relationship with Italy as a key development partner.

In an interview ahead of the meeting, Kenya's Ambassador to Italy, Jackline Yonga, said the talks were aimed at giving confidence to the two countries, their business communities in particular.

She noted that Italy is one of Kenya's key European trading partners and ranks among the top export destinations for horticultural produce, leather, fish and coffee.

In 2019, Amb Yonga said, Kenya exported goods worth Sh3.4 billion to Italy, a decline from the Sh3.9 billion recorded in 2018.

She further noted that Italy is among the top tourist and investment source markets for Kenya and that its investors are keen on growing their investments in Kenya.

"Once the two Heads of State sit together, the business community falls in place. They (Italian investors) are very much interested in coffee and agribusiness. They're doing a lot in Konza City. In Malindi, they've set up base and are doing some health sector construction.”

Covid-19 fight

On the fight against Covid-19, Amb Yonga said Italy has lessons to offer Kenya, having successfully managed to slow the spread from its peak in April and May.

"Italy was the epicenter in March but they've managed to overturn that and are the best case study [in Covid-19 management]," she noted.

Italy is one of the most affected countries in the world, having registered over 40,000 deaths. Just like Kenya, the country is currently fighting a second wave of infections.

President Kenyatta was accompanied by Amb Yonga and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.

He was accorded an official state reception that included a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Italian military.

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