, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Visiting French President Emanuel Macron has committed to support Kenya’s quest for stability in the region, and ongoing counterterrorism efforts.
Macron who spoke at a joint news conference with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi on Wednesday said his government would support ongoing efforts towards peace and stability in Somalia where Kenyan soldiers are part of an African Union peace mission.
“We’re deeply committed in working together with Kenya on security and counterterrorism which is a regional agenda. We work very well together but we want to improve the cooperation from the security and defence point of view,” he said.
Macron praised Kenya’s commitment to regional security and integration, saying France will collaborate with Kenya to secure gains made.
“I’m a strong believer in regional stability and in the African Union. Kenya is a strong believer in regional integration and in such a framework I believe we can deliver much more,” he said.
The French leader also lauded Kenya’s commitment to the use of renewable energy noting the efforts made to grow the sector.
Macron said France would sign agreements on the use of renewable energy on Thursday in a bid to further increase the contribution of renewable energy sources to the national grid.
“You delivered tremendous results regarding the fight against climate change. Your power mix is now 70 per cent based on renewable and we’ll work together with you,” he said.
Macron and Kenyatta formally unveiled a locally assembled Peugeot 3008 SUV during the State House event, with President Kenyatta saying the French car manufacturer had undertaken to upscale its Kenyan operation with the assembling of 1,000 units this year.
According to President Kenyatta, the firm had set an annual target of 15,000 vehicles for the regional market.
“Two additional models Peugeot 2008 SUV and Peugeot 308 SW are envisioned to commence in April and September this year. I’ve been informed that the manufacturer will assemble at least 15,000 vehicles annually once the assembling plant is fully operational,” he said.
Kenyatta said government agencies would buy locally assembled cars in a bid to promote the industry and create job opportunities.
He said the government had adopted a “buy Kenya build Kenya” policy that will boost the four-pillar development agenda of manufacturing, food security, universal healthcare, and affordable housing.
During bilateral talks also attended by Deputy President William Ruto, Kenya and France signed a Partnership Agreement on Promotion and Exchange of Skills and Talents, and the Agreement on the Roadmap on University, Innovation, Research and Professional Training.
Kenyatta and Macron are Thursday scheduled to co-host the One Planet Summit at the ongoing United Nations Environment Assembly in Gigiri.
The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly tagged UNEA-4 commenced on Monday under the theme “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.”
Kenya will be seeking to upscale discussion on sustainable use of natural resources in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We’ve begun to frame Nairobi as the world global environmental capital because we host UNEP. It has become an assembly of all UN member States and there are a lot of discussions going on around environmental management in Nairobi,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma had told Capital FM News last December.
UNEA-4 will also build on global consensus and commitments made at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, Kenya’s inaugural ocean economy conference held in Nairobi in November last year.
A concept note for UNEA-4 identifies the integration on SDGs as set out in a UN General Assembly Resolution 70/1 as a key outcome of the Nairobi meeting.
The resolution titled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” sets out an ambitious agenda aimed at protecting the planet from degradation and addressing climate change.
“We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations,” the resolution adopted in September 2015 states in part.
The 2015 commitment laid a 10-year framework to mitigate depletion of natural resources.
The resolution aims at halving per capita global food waste at retail and consumer level by 2030 and further cut down on losses along production and supply chains.
The resolution also aims at achieving sustainable management of chemicals within an agreed international framework as well as reduces waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.
UNEA-4 will also seek to cement commitments made during last year’s blue economy conference, which Kenya co-hosted with Canada.