French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Nairobi today, where he will meet with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, before attending
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Nairobi today, where he will meet with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, before attending the Climate One Planet Summit tomorrow. The pair are expected to discuss improving education and employment exchanges, as well as French investment in a proposed rapid transit train service.
The visit comes as part of a larger push by Mr Macron to revitalise the Franco-Kenyan relationship, as governments from around the world rush to strengthen ties with the rapidly developing nation. France, Africa’s third-largest trading partner in 2006, fell to seventh in 2018, though relations remain extremely positive.
Since 2017, Kenya has become an increasingly important target for China, with Chinese firms securing cash-rich infrastructure contracts, including the multibillion-dollar Standard Gauge Railway. Meanwhile French companies have faced challenges due to corporate governance and integrity issues. French companies like Peugeot, Total Kenya and Bollore have been mired in scandal for alleged corruption and monopolistic behaviour.
Mr Macron has stated he wants to boost France’s trade volume with Africa. Agreements signed over the coming 48 hours can build on already positive relations, especially if France can secure a significant role in the rapid transit project. Despite this, France will continue to trail China in terms of economic and political influence in the East African powerhouse.
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