, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to leave the country on Tuesday for a two-week mission abroad that will see him attend a summit in Belgium and hold bilateral talks in Rwanda, Turkey and the UK where he will also support First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s participation in the London Marathon.
“The President’s official foreign visits are of immense importance to our country, facilitating improved investments both ways,” the President’s Spokesman Manoah Esipisu stated on Monday.
In Belgium, the President is scheduled to attend the European Union-Africa Summit that begins on Wednesday and at which he will also represent the East African Community (EAC) as its Chairman.
“President Kenyatta will emphasise the progress Kenyan women and young people have made during his first year in office,” Esipisu explained.
In particular, the President is expected to extol the Women’s Enterprise Fund, the Uwezo Fund and his government policy that requires 30 percent of all tenders to go to women and the youth.
“The President will also highlight the achievements of women and young people under the new affirmative action laws, showcasing the 33 percent representation of women in Cabinet, as well as the rising number of women in other political leadership roles,” Esipisu added.
The President is also meant to reiterate Kenya’s and the wider EAC’s commitment to human rights and to a “vibrant” civil society.
“African countries are committed to promoting good governance through the institutionalisation of transparency, accountability and participatory democracy, predicated upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the core international conventions on human rights,” Esipisu stated.
President Kenyatta is also expected to address the political instability in Somalia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Madagascar and Mali and enunciate what efforts the African Union is making to quell it.
“Stabilisation of South Sudan and Somalia would ease the financial and security costs for Kenya, while allowing the refugees to return to their countries, to rebuild their homes and to grow their own countries,” Esipisu continued to state.
On Sunday and next Monday, President Kenyatta is expected to join Rwandans in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and to hold talks with his counterpart, President Paul Kagame.
“Kenya and Rwanda have made progress on a number of issues. One key agreement delivered under President Kenyatta’s tenure is that Kenyans, on a reciprocal basis, do not require work permits to work in Rwanda,” Esipisu recapped.
He is then expected to make a three-day state visit to Turkey in the company of a self-sponsored trade delegation from Kenya whose focus will be on improving bilateral trade.
“Kenya is also especially interested in learning from Turkey’s successful textiles and leather industries; their expertise and experience offer a major growth opportunity for Kenyan manufacturing,” Esipisu said.
The President’s two-week mission abroad will then culminate in the United Kingdom where Esipisu said he would support, “First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who will run in the Virgin London Marathon on April 13 to raise money for her Beyond Zero campaign that targets improved maternal health and nutrition.”
The inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon ended in style on March 9 as Margaret Kenyatta ran into the President’s arms at the finish line.