Kenya seeks revised commercial relations with EU

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday urged the European Union (EU) to reorganize its trade relations with Africa to focus more on the private sector-led economic relationships and trade, an official source said in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenyatta made the call while speaking during a virtual summit with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.

He said Kenya is keen on strengthening trade and investment ties with Europe, especially on the commercial side of business.

“As you know for sure, not only do we share a common historical heritage, but the European Union is, without doubt, our largest single trading partner.

“And that does not only apply to Kenya, it applies basically to the entire continent (Africa),” President Kenyatta said.

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He urged the European Union to work closely with Kenya to give private-sector players the confidence to invest in Kenya and create jobs for the youth.

“This is where we can work together to see how we can encourage private-sector players to come in and through their investment fill in our development gap, grow prosperity, create employment and create hope for our young people,” President Kenyatta said.

He proposed a change of approach in the Africa-Europe cooperation model to make it more commercially oriented where the private sector will invest on the basis of returns and create opportunities for the continent.

Michel agreed with President Kenyatta that there is the need for Kenya and the rest of Africa to deepen their mutually-beneficial partnership with Europe.

He said the global Covid-19 pandemic presented Africa and the European Union an opportunity to strengthen their ties in sectors such as health, infrastructure and governance.