Kenya, Colombia commit to trade, knowledge exchange
Kenya and Colombia have signed agreements that will allow both countries to boost trade and knowledge exchange in various sectors of the economy.
The Memorandum of Understanding for establishment of Joint Commission for Cooperation, and another on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment were signed alongside declarations to work together in training of Spanish, promotion of culture, tourism, higher learning, trade and investment and mining, among others.
This was a culmination of discussions between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and visiting Colombian Vice President Madam Francia Elena Marquez Mina who is in Kenya on a four-day visit.
“Our Government is focused on increasing a two-way trade and investment cooperation between Kenya and Colombia, Gachagua said at the Deputy
President’s official residence in Karen, Nairobi where he hosted his guest and her delegation.
He added; “This by prioritising commercial programmes and promotion of business interactions between in the MSMEs, the Private Sector and Business Management Organisations.”
The Deputy President said Kenya stands to benefit more from the trade relations with Colombia, moreso in the coffee subsector and bamboo technology in the affordable housing.
Vice President Mina said Kenya and Colombia have gone through similar socio-economic challenges and opportunities for collaboration will benefit the people of the two countries towards sustainable development. She said Colombia is ready to offer technical training to Kenyans on the use of bamboos in housing.
“We want to see more entrepreneurs from Kenya and Colombia investing in either country. Kenya is ahead in tourism. We want to work with you in this field,” she said.
With the coffee being one of the biggest import and export of the commodity for Colombia, Gachagua said learning from the South American country will help in the ongoing reforms in the subsector in Kenya.
On her part, Ms Mina said her country is ready to support Kenya.
“We will be at your disposal in sharing production techniques and supporting coffee farmers.
The Deputy President accepted an invitation to Colombia to understand how the production and distribution chain work for the farmers to reap more.
On the other hand, Vice President Mina lobbied Kenya to support calls for financial climate fund. She said while Kenya suffered under prolonged drought, Colombia faced floods, which led to damage lives and livelihoods.
She proposed that developed countries swap debts owed by developing world to help them mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
She praised Novel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai for putting Kenya on the map in environmental conservation.
To strengthen trade ties between the two nations, the two leaders committed to engage the relevant national authorities on establishment of direct flights.
The relations will further be strengthened through scholarships in specific areas of expertise.
“Your Government’s assistance through provision of technical support in health, cooperation in Technical, Vocational and Education and Training, Culture and most importantly technical cooperation in the coffee sector will go a long way in enabling Kenya attain her development aspirations,” Gachagua said.
On her part, the Vice President said Colombia has a lot to learn from Kenya, especially on gender and equality and her Government’s agenda to deepen relations with Africa is a priority.
Ms Mina is on the first visit to Kenya since she became Vice President following polls in 2022, in which Gustavo Petro won was elected as President. Ms Mina is the first woman of the African-descendants to be elected to the office of the Vice President. President Petro’s government is keen on “reconnecting” with Africa.