, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta jetted back into the country early Sunday morning from Taormina, Italy, where he addressed the 43rd, G7 summit.
The plane carrying President Kenyatta and the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 1am.
At the JKIA to receive the President were Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Samson Mwathethe, among other senior Government officials.
In his address to the Group of 7 (G7), President Kenyatta asked the most industrialised countries in the world to enhance their collaboration with Africa to address global challenges including poverty, immigration, climate change and terrorism.
The President said Africa is a vital partner in solving the world’s most pressing challenges.
“This is the time to put Africa’s aspirations at the heart of your plans.” President Kenyatta said.
He pointed out that Africa’s transformation is driven by innovation in which Kenya is a celebrated pioneer on the continent, especially in ICT.
“That’s why we have strengthened connectivity through the Smart Africa initiative, putting ICT at the centre of our development agenda. That’s why the continent is developing an ICT policy and infrastructure to support one seamless digital market, to serve a billion people,” President Kenyatta said.
The President also held talks with G7 leaders, focusing on forging a closer cooperation in trade, investment, security, technology-sharing and development.
The President held separate meetings on the margins of the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, host Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and newly elected President Emmanuel Macron of France.
During his meeting with President Kenyatta, Japanese Prime Minister Abe thanked Kenya for hosting a successful TICAD conference in 2016.
Prime Minister Abe informed President Kenyatta of Japan’s intention to support South Sudan through its official development aid. He expressed a desire to continue working with Kenya at the multilateral level including on the threat from North Korea.
The meeting between President Kenyatta and Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni discussed cooperation in security, fighting terror and maritime matters.
They also discussed increasing the volume of Kenyan exports to Italy, which currently include coffee, tea, hides and skins, fish, leather, fruits and vegetables, and cut flowers.
With Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, President Kenyatta discussed support for healthcare – an area in which Canada has great interest, democracy, investments and innovation. President Kenyatta extended an invite to the Canadian Prime Minister to visit Kenya.
At the meeting with Chancellor Merkel, President Kenyatta emphasised strengthening ties between Kenya and Germany. Chancellor Merkel took the opportunity to officially invite President Kenyatta to attend the G20 Summit in July.
President Kenyatta also held talks with President Macron of France and discussed investment, migration and trade. President Kenyatta also congratulated President Macron on his election victory.