LONDON, 20th APRIL 2018, (PSCU) —President Uhuru Kenyatta wrapped up his second Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting with an attendance at an exclusive retreat at the Windsor Castle where leaders spoke frankly about issues that are a priority for their nations and for the commonwealth as a group.
The President, who arrived in London on Monday, has attended high-level forums being held at the sidelines of the commonwealth summit where he has marketed Kenya as a preferred investment destination.
The President has held meetings with the UK leadership including Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May. President Kenyatta also held a meeting with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
Queen Elizabeth presided over the CHOGM leaders meeting on Thursday and Friday. She also hosted the leaders for dinner on Thursday.
President Kenyatta and the Queen shared a table during the dinner where they spoke of the shared heritage of Kenya and the UK.
The Kenya Government has also held ministerial engagements with Foreign and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma holding meetings with UK Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Boris Johnson, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, and Australian minister for international development and the Pacific, Ms Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
The President used the commonwealth summit to encourage investors from the UK and other commonwealth nations to invest in Kenya.
CS Juma said Kenya has fully engaged in the Commonwealth summit and the expected outcomes for the country were as planned.
“Kenya has participated effectively and has achieved its anticipated outcome which we are ready to implement,” she said.
She said the biggest takeaway for Kenya is the endorsement and support for the global blue economy conference Kenya is hosting in November.
Kenya has already got support from Canada with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offering to co-host the conference. The President and PM Trudeau held a bilateral meeting at Lancaster House on Thursday afternoon.
The CS said almost half of African cities are located at sea level and climate change is a big threat to them and that is one of the reasons protection of oceans should be a priority.
She said oceans have the potential to play more important roles in the economies of African nations.
The President kicked off his visit by being given the honour to open the market at the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning where he was joined by the UK Secretary for International Development, Penny Mordaunt.
The London Stock Exchange and the Nairobi Securities Exchange entered into an agreement to facilitate dual listing of companies and also entered into a pact on a program called “Elite program” for supporting Small and Medium Enterprises.
The Chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group, Donald Brydon, said the London Stock Exchange will support infrastructure and SME development.
President Kenyatta said London has been a strong source of capital for Kenyan investment and developments.
A recent floating of a sovereign Kenya bond was oversubscribed seven-fold, giving an indication of the appetite for Kenyan investment in the UK.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Kenyatta attended a UK-Kenya business forum where UK Investors in Kenya such as Quantum Power said they are eyeing to increase their investment five-fold in the near future.
CS Juma said the forum was attended by select high-end investors who are interested in Kenyan business.
While in London, President Kenyatta also delivered an address at the Chatham House where he spoke on his PanAfrican view and finding Africa’s place in the world.
“The President’s message at Chatham House was big and keenly followed all around the world. He spoke on his Pan-African view and Africa’s place in the world,” said CS Juma.
She said the commonwealth summit provided an opportunity for the member countries to discuss shared values and the strengthening of democratic institutions to provide a fairer world to all communities.
The summit comes to a close this afternoon and will adopt agreements to boost intra-commonwealth trade to $2 trillion.
The leaders will also strike a deal on supporting multilateral trading systems and rejecting any form of protectionism in the global economy.
The leaders will also sign agreements on sustainable development of Oceans, mechanisms for preventing and countering violent extremism and enhancing peace.