, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6 – President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday at Harambee House Office met and held discussions with Her Majesty Queen Sofia Margaret Victoria Frederica of Spain.
During the discussions, President Kibaki appreciated the role Her Majesty the Queen plays in empowering women economically through various micro-credit facilities around the world.
The Head of State affirmed that the Government of Kenya recognises the significant role the micro-finance sector plays in the sustainable and equitable development of a nation.
He said that women are the majority participants in micro-finance facilities and thus greatly contribute towards poverty eradication and uplifting poor households.
The President noted that the Government through the Central Bank of Kenya has initiated Financial Sector Reforms intended at transforming micro-finance institutions to play a greater role in national development at the same pedestal with commercial banks.
He further hailed the cordial and beneficial relations existing between the two nations and reiterated the government’s commitment to enhanced ties.
The President noted that Kenya was keen on expanding the commercial interaction between the two nations.
On her part the Queen commended the micro-finance institutions in Kenya for the immense role they continue to play in national development by availing affordable credit to poor households.
The Queen noted that evidence had revealed that a majority of poor residents were committed and regularly serviced their loan facilities.
President Kibaki and Queen Sofia are expected to attend a high-level regional Africa and Middle East Micro-credit Summit that is taking place in Nairobi from Wednesday.
In attendance were the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Permanent Secretaries Joseph Kinyua and Thuita Mwangi among other senior government officials.
On her part the Queen was accompanied by Spain’s Ambassador to Kenya Martin Cinto and the Chief of Staff Jose Cabrera Garcia.
Later the President bid farewell to the outgoing Ambassador of Chile Pablo Rodrigo Gaete whose tour of duty to Kenya has expired.
President Kibaki commended the outgoing Ambassador for the role he has played in promoting cordial relations between Kenya and Chile.
During his tenure, the Head of State said Ambassador Gaete successfully negotiated agreements and memoranda of understanding on establishment of joint commissions for bilateral cooperation.
Acknowledging the growing bilateral relations between the two countries, President Kibaki promised that Kenya will continue working with Chile within the south-south cooperation.
On his part, the outgoing Ambassador briefed the President on the bilateral activities between the two countries during his four year tenure of office.
Mr Gaete said he had come to love Kenya after touring the countryside and would continue to market Kenya to the people of Chile.
Meanwhile President Kibaki received a special message from the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Hosni Mubarak.
The message was delivered by a special envoy Dr Mohamed Nasi El-Din Allam.