The Kenyan president arrives in Paris for a five-day visit to France. A business-oriented move. The head of state, accompanied by five ministers, attends a conference for the public investment bank, meets with French employers and signs contracts.
Uhuru Kenyatta is accompanied by a strong delegation of ministers and is expected to attend several economic events. A conference at the headquarters of BPI France, the institution responsible for promoting French companies abroad, but also a meeting in Medef, the French employers. Because this visit should give rise to some signing of contracts, we are hoping for the Elysee for almost two billion euros.
In March 2019, Emmanuel Macron visited Kenya,first official voyage of a French head of state in Kenya since independence. The two presidents were involved in several infrastructure projects. Despite the very strong Chinese presence in the Kenyan economy, France is attracted to this strategic country whose growth for a decade has brought it into the middle-income club.
Three main infrastructure projects
The time has now come to make these agreements a reality, they say in diplomatic circles. Paris hopes to complete the motorway concession project connecting Nairobi with Nakuru and the Mau summit. A contract worth 1.6 billion. Euro, where Vinci is the main operator. This important road axis is used by trucks with goods imported from the coast. Fairly tough discussions due to a difference in the terrorist risk that the sovereign country usually takes into account in this type of contract. However, Nairobi does not want to take on this risk. It will therefore be the subject of further negotiations.
Another project is the rail link between the Kenyan capital and the airport. Paris has already drawn up the financing agreement for the rehabilitation of the old existing railway line, it is still signed to the value of 130 million euros.
Finally, France offers its know-how to connect the Menengaï geothermal power plant to the country’s electricity grid. That is, 30 km line performed by the French branch of General Electric. A project is expected to bring in 110 million euros.
Offer an alternative to all Chinese
In short, so many projects calibrated to be environmentally friendly, beneficial to the people and economically viable.
Paris therefore confirms its rapprochement with Nairobi. “The two presidents have good contact. They call each other regularly and have overlapping interests, especially with regard to regional stability issues, ”indicates an expert on the subject. Paris thus voted for Kenya to gain its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. France reckons with the Kenyans’ desire to diversify their partners in light of China’s economic ubiquitous. “The Kenyans want to spread, and they are dissatisfied with the way Beijing treats them,” said one economist, adding that the Chinese have repeatedly tried to counter this Franco-Kenyan rapprochement.
As a pledge of goodwill, the French development agency will offer its services to develop the network of rural roads. Budget support is also relevant.