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Kenya and France resolve to strengthen diplomatic and socio-economic ties

Apr 6, 2024
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Mudavadi lauds the Europe and Foreign Affairs Minister of the French Republic, Stéphane Séjourné’s visit to Nairobi, as his first tour of Africa.

Kenya and France have resolved to strengthen bilateral relations, even as the two countries finalized an agreement to enhance the infrastructure and transport sector.

Prime Cabinet Secretary, also the Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi has said the agreement finalized will facilitate funding to upgrade the Nairobi commuter railway.

“The project aligns with Kenya’s sustainable urban development initiatives, aiming to enhance transport services and mobility in the Nairobi metropolitan area. On matters of Infrastructure and Transport, the French Government has made a significant mark in the development of Kenya’s roads and railway systems,” said Mudavadi.

He made the remarks at his office after meeting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic to Kenya, Stéphane Séjourné on Saturday.

Mudavadi also said the two countries have agreed to expedite implementation of a key project to create 8 socio-sports and cultural complexes in the country.

The project, worth Sh10 billion will be co-financed by the two countries.

The construction, which will leverage the Agora model, will facilitate access to sports and culture by creating tailored local infrastructures in communities across the country.

Mudavadi, who described Séjourné’s visit is symbolic since its his first to Africa in his capacity as the Foreign Minister, lauded him for his political goodwill in cementing Kenya-France relations.

“Africa is becoming a global power-house. Kenya and France have shared destinies and challenges. We want to always engage on mutual respect and what is beneficial to the people of both countries.” remarked Séjourné

“Kenya and France share a strong bond of friendship evidenced by the exchange of several high-level visits between our two countries. The high-level outbound and inbound visits and the successful conclusion of bilateral frameworks for cooperation form part of a link of Kenya-France engagements aimed at fortifying bilateral ties between our two countries,” the CS said.

During the meeting, the two Ministers deliberated on the key sectors of relations including transport and sports infrastructure, climate change, green energy transition, water and sanitation and regional and multilateral cooperation, among others.

On environment and climate action, the two countries expressed their concerns on existential threat of climate change and underscored the need for a concerted effort to address climate-related challenges.

They agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries on climate action and step up on efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity by prioritizing green growth.

They underscored the need to urgently scale up global climate finance and noted the need for an increased level of climate finance, including contributions from the private sector and other innovative sources.

“We have agreed to work collectively to advocate for a more reformed and inclusive global climate financing framework,” Mudavadi said.

“Climate change is a global phenomenon. It is not an African issue or Kenyan neither French obligation but a global challenge that we need to address in solidarity. When we talk about climate finance it is a collective responsibility.” said Séjourné.

The CS and Séjourné emphasized the urgency to implement the UAE consensus, including on the just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.

“Kenya and France recognize the need for global solidarity in addressing climate challenges. We therefore invite all countries to join the task force on international taxation launched by France, Kenya, and Barbados to scale up development and climate action, as well as the Expert Review on Debt, Nature, and Climate led by Colombia, France, Germany and Kenya,” Mudavadi said.

They emphasized the urgency to effectively, concretely and rapidly implement the UAE Consensus, including the just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels, calling for the adoption of a clear timeline that would start with the phasing out of coal.
Given that electric mixes are highly decarbonized, they called for deployment of decarbonised technologies and the need for a just transition that leaves no one behind.
They pledged support for global renewable energy and energy efficiency pledge launched at COP28, recognizing the critical role of renewable energy efficiency and nuclear to the achievement of sustainable development including ensuring economic growth, job creation, and improved lives and livelihoods.

Additionally, they called for the need to strengthen access to sustainable energy and welcomed the Africa’s green industrialisation initiative and transition launched by Kenya.

On peace and security, the CS said France is a strategic and valuable partner adding that France Government in cooperation with Kenya, has played a vital role in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism on the bilateral and multilateral fronts.

He lauded France for convening, together with Germany and the European Union (EU), the upcoming International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its neighbors later this month.

Mudavadi was optimistic that the outcomes of the conference will positively contribute to the efforts to find a solution to end the conflict and alleviate the suffering of Sudanese.

“The crisis is Sudan is unprecedented. We thank France for reflecting on the importance of humanity. Many people including us in Africa are talking about the Russia- Ukraine conflict, the Gaza conflict but they forget Africa also has its share of conflicts that need to be addressed.” said Mudavadi.

“Where we need to rally together financially, logistically and show the willingness to strive with hope and trust, France will stand with Africa.” noted Séjourné.

At the same time, the Ministers called for adoption by the end of this year, an ambitious, effective and legally-binding international treaty to end plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.

They committed to address the full lifecycle of plastics and plastic pollution in all its dimensions, including primary plastic polymers and associated chemicals.

The also emphasized the need to further preserve, protect and restore critical ecosystems, including forests and other wooded land, wetlands such as peatlands and mangroves and ocean, that are the main natural carbon sinks and biodiversity reservoirs.
The Ministers agreed to work together towards protection of 30 per cent of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, both at bilateral and multilateral levels, in line with the Kunming Montreal global biodiversity framework agreed the CBD COP15 and through the conclusion and implementation of “country-packages”.

They also called for high integrity carbon markets and standards to increase much-needed financial flows for climate and biodiversity while fostering sustainable development, in addition to reaching the highest level of ambition in protecting the ocean at the next UN Ocean Conference in Nice in June next year.

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