NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – France values Kenya as a strategic, economic, diplomatic and development partner in the region, the incoming French Ambassador to Kenya, Antoine Sivan, has said.
Ambassador Sivan said France is proud of its privileged dialogue and relations with Kenya – one of the key players in Africa.
“We are both committed to a strong economic partnership and close political engagement for peace and stability in the region of the great Eastern Africa,” Ambassador Sivan said.
The new French Ambassador to Kenya spoke Friday when he presented his credentials to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
Ambassador Sivan assured that France stands by Kenya and its neighbours in their efforts to ensure regional peace and security, especially in Somalia and South Sudan.
He said a dynamic relationship existed between the two countries with more than 70 French companies currently operating in Kenya, including the Peugeot Group which resumed the assembling of passenger vehicles early this month.
“Their turnover of the 70 companies amounts to more than Sh250 billion and they directly employ more than 10,000 Kenyans,” the French envoy said.
He added: “The Ruiru Dam project implemented by Vinci and Egis, Lafarge Bamburi (the first French investor in Kenya), Bollore which employs 1,500 Kenyans, the Total with 165 petrol stations countrywide and Schneider Electric which has 300 local employees are some of the perfect examples.”
On security, the French envoy assured of France’s commitment to fighting terrorism in whatever form it takes.
President Kenyatta also received credentials from five other envoys including Mohamed Abdulghani Khayat of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ernesto Gomez Diaz of Cuba, Agrina Mussa of Malawi, Slaiman Arabiat of Jordan and El Mokhtar Ghambou of Morocco.
Presenting his credentials to President Kenyatta, Ambassador Ghambou of Morocco delivered the greetings of King Mohamed VI who expressed deep respect for the historic relations symbolized by the strong friendship between the two countries’ founding fathers the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the late King Hassan II.
On his part, Ambassador Arabiat of Jordan said it was a great pleasure for him to present his credentials as the first resident Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Kenya.
“Opening a Jordanian embassy in Nairobi will definitely expand and strengthen the bonds of friendship and further cooperation between our two countries in different fields, including political, cultural, economic, trade and tourism,” the Jordanian Ambassador said.
Receiving credentials from the new envoys to Kenya, President Kenyatta said he looked forward to working closely with them to enhance the strong ties existing between Kenya and their countries.
The Head of State assured them of his support to make their tour of duty in Kenya successful.