NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Kenya will have a chance to paint a different picture of Africa to the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will be carrying the Kenya and Africa flag as the only invited guest to address the seven heads of states including U.S President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Other leaders expected at the 43rd G7 summit include France President Emmanuel Macron, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and host Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy.
This is the first time Kenya is being invited to the G7 Summit alongside Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tunisia.
Barclays Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori says the opportunity to address the world leaders portrays Kenya as a model of stability and economic development in a continent that has had mixed fortunes marred by political instability and security threats.
“The G7 is the premier platform for global influence and presents an opportunity to demonstrate Kenya’s role in creating a stable place where the world can do business with Africa and where Kenya and Africa can do business with the world,” says Awori, ahead of the Summit set to kick-off on 26th May.
Awori reckons Kenya has earned her seat at the table of world leaders due to the effective curbing of terrorism through a mix of robust security measures and strategic partnerships.
“This stability has created a conducive business environment which has created employment and opportunities for young people to minimize the risk of radicalization by extremist groups that contaminates so many countries across the world,” Awori adds.
With the growing threat of terrorism and its cross-border form, joint efforts to combat it will be at the center of the summit with Martin Kimani, Director National Counter Terrorism Centre, saying Kenya’s success is key to the G-7’s democratic countries whose priorities are protecting global security.
“President Kenyatta’s presence will bring sharp focus to that and lead to increased investment and engagement in Kenya,” Kimani adds.
Citizen safety, one of the key agendas of the Summit, will discuss the engagement of the G7 countries in relation to terrorism, migration and refugee flows in the MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa regions.
President Kenyatta is expected to make his remarks during the discussion on the pillar of innovation, skills and labor in the age of the next production revolution.
Specifically, on ‘the opportunities and challenges brought about by innovation as a factor of economic growth and development on the African continent.’
“The G7 is the perfect platform to make it clear that even with this being an election year Kenya remains open for business and to show how Kenya is setting the benchmark for best practice when it comes to the role African countries should be playing in the world,” Awori says.