German President Steinmeier pledges Ksh.328M to help fight locust invasion

German President Steinmeier pledges Ksh.328M to help fight locust invasion

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has announced plans to support Africa in combating the desert locust invasion is threatening food security.

Speaking at State House, Nairobi on Monday, the German Head of State said his country will provide 3 million Euros (Ksh.328million) to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

This is to support ongoing efforts to defeat the locust invasion in several African nations including Kenya.

Following a bilateral meeting between delegations led by President Kenyatta and his visiting German counterpart, it was also announced that the two nations will partner in the transfer of technical skills and education focusing on applied sciences.

Key among several initiatives announced is set up of an applied sciences university and the European nation’s commitment to continue supporting technical and vocational training in the country.

“German universities can help Kenya set up an applied sciences university,” the German leader said during a joint press conference at State House, Nairobi.

On technology, President Steinmeier said his country was keen on partnering with Kenya’s vibrant technological startups saying the country had distinguished itself as Africa’s Silicon Valley through its globally celebrated innovations.

The German leader who is in the country for three day State Visit is accompanied by representatives of the German business, education and sports sectors.

President Kenyatta, who was joined by Deputy President William Ruto said Kenya is developing an elaborate system of technical and vocational training to bridge an identified skills gap saying a sciences university would help empower Kenyan innovators.

“We will work together in applied sciences. There is still a gap for those who want to go further and become our future innovators. The applied sciences university will not just be for Kenya but for the entire region,” President Kenyatta said.

He noted that three centres of excellence have been established under the Kenya-German TVET Initiative.

“The programme is in two phases and is co-financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Kenya. Phase one will be co-financed at a total cost of Euro 26.43 million (Ksh.2.9billion) while phase two will be co-financed to establish 4 other TVET centers, at a total of Euro 13 million (Ksh.1.4billion),” the President said.

On Kenya’s prominent role in regional stability, President Steinmeier said Germany respects the balancing role Kenya has played in the region over the decades especially its interventions Somalia and South Sudan.

“Kenya is still the anchor of stability and we will continue partnering for peace,” said the German President.

Commenting on AMISOM, President Steinmeier said “there should be no setback in the normalisation process in Somalia”.

President Kenyatta asked for German support in Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council during elections scheduled for June this year.

“We will stand for the collective will of the international community. Peace and security are at the centre of our policy,” President Kenyatta said as he urged the German Government to ensure that Kenyan immigrants are shielded against laws that forbid dual citizenship.

The Kenyan leader said the historic state visit by the German President, the first of its kind to Kenya, will help strengthen ties between the two nations.

On arrival at State House, President Steinmeier was received by the President Kenyatta before he inspected by a Guard of Honour mounted by the Kenya Airforce. He was accorded full military honours including a 21-gun salute.

Germany was the first country to recognize Kenya’s independence in 1963 and, therefore, holds a special position in Kenya’s diplomatic history.

Over the years, more than 100 German companies have set up operations in Kenya with a portfolio of over Ksh. 54 billion.

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