, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to embark on a three-day state visit to Qatar on Monday accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
During the visit, the President will meet His Highness the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, and senior government officials of the State of Qatar to discuss various avenues of cooperation between the two countries where Kenya’s energy security agenda will feature prominently.
A statement from State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the discussions will centre on ways of bolstering bilateral ties between Kenya and Qatar.
“These good and robust relations date as far back as the 15th Century when Arab traders were regular visitors to the East African coast for business and trade. President Kenyatta’s visit will further deepen a relationship that has grown from strength to strength over the years.” he said.
Esipisu pointed out that President Kenyatta will also hold talks with Qatari Energy Minister, Mohamed Saleh Al Sada on how the governments of Kenya and Qatar, can cooperate in mutually beneficial energy projects. Qatar possesses demonstrated expertise in energy production.
He stated that the Government has developed a medium-term strategy for the production of over 5000 MW of electricity by 2016 which will ensure that every Kenyan has access to affordable energy.
“Part of that strategy involves attracting the private sector – including Qatari investors – to invest in energy projects. The President will encourage Qatar’s interest in Kenya’s booming energy sector, while seeking to benefit from the sharing of expertise and capital between the two countries,” he said.
He further indicated that the President’s visit will cement previous agreements, important to delivering his vision for a vibrant energy sector that will lead to a substantial drop in the cost of living.
He explained that the Head of State considers an efficient transport system an important driver of economic growth. Immediately after coming to office, he directed a raft of measures at the port of Mombasa that have greatly improved the clearance and movement of goods along the Northern Corridor.
“In Qatar, the President will tour the current port and the new port in Doha, which is under construction. Qatar’s ports authority is among the world’s most effective managers of maritime installations. Kenya will seek to benefit from its expertise in the development, management and modernization of Lamu and Mombasa ports,” he said.
He said that the President will also meet Qatari Transport Minister Jassim Seif Al-Sulaiti to exchange ideas on how the two countries can work together to improve their transport sectors.