NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Kenya and Canada was to sign a memorandum of understanding on Thursday in which Canada would provide Sh15.4 billion for infrastructure development in Kenya.
The Canadian Minister for International Trade Peter Van Loan made the announcement in Nairobi after holding bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Raila Odinga at his Treasury building office.
The Minister emphasised that Canada was keen on deepening the economic and trade relations between the two countries that currently stands at 100 million dollars per year.
He said: “We certainly would want to see more Kenyan coffee and tea exported to Canada, with Canada increasing the supply of machinery and its investment portfolio in Kenya.”
Speaking at a joint Press conference, Mr Odinga concurred with Mr Van Loan, saying there was need to bridge the gap in trade between the two countries that was currently in favour of Canada.
Mr Odinga said that Kenya and Canada will also cooperate in the field of climate change especially in green energy.
The Prime Minister noted that their discussions also explored areas of cooperation in climate change and in agriculture where Canadian assistance would be sought particularly in the construction of dams for irrigation purpose.
“We want to move away from rain fed agriculture to irrigation to overcome the vagaries of climate change,” and added, “Canadian assistance would also be useful in our efforts to restore our forests from the current two percent to 10 percent in the next ten years.”
Mr Van Loan said Canada acknowledges Kenya’s economic and political leadership in this region, adding his country strongly supported Kenya’s quest for a new constitution.
Noting that the new constitution will send positive signals around the world, Mr Van Loan said the realisation of the new law was critical in strengthening the trade and tourism ties between Kenya and Canada.