Uhuru, May talks seek to boost economic ties

Seth Onyango @SethManex

Kenya is looking to boost economic cooperation with Britain ahead of the bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and United Kingdom Premier Theresa May on Thursday in Nairobi.

May’s visit to Kenya will mark the first by a UK prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in 1988 and is primed to cement ongoing efforts to deepen trade relations between the two nations.

It comes amid growing desperation by Britain to establish new socio-economic cooperation with other nations following its unprecedented exit from the European Union.

UK is particularly keen to strengthen ties with Africa at a time the continent is attracting a lot of attention from global powers, especially China.

May is visiting Africa for the first time since she became prime minister in 2016, the same year of Brexit.

Today, she will fly to South Africa before travelling to Nigeria on Wednesday and then jet to Kenya on Thursday as part of a trade mission aimed at boosting post-Brexit fortunes. Both Kenya and UK are looking for strong economic cooperation through better and  mutual trade ties.

She told the state broadcaster BBC her trip to Africa is a “unique opportunity at a unique time for the UK” adding that Britain wanted to “deepen and strengthen its global partnerships” as it leaves the EU next year.

“A prosperous, growing and trading Africa was in all of our interests,” she said, adding that the continent’s incredible potential will only be realised through a concerted partnership between governments, global institutions and business.

Kenya is seen as one of the economic pillars of Africa with most Western countries seeing it as a  gateway to other countries in the region.

May, will be visiting Kenya at a time China is becoming entrenched in the country as both a trading and development partner.

The British prime minister will be accompanied to the three countries by a 29-strong business delegation that could be a source of the much-needed foreign direct investment.

Currently, UK remains one of Kenya’s top tourist source market according to data by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB).

Kenya has, however, suffered from travel advisories imposed by Britain at the height of terrorist attacks that bedevilled the country in previous years.

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