President Emmanuel Macron on said France supports the regional integration agenda championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and other regional leaders.
Speaking when President Kenyatta hosted a State Banquet on Wednesday night, 13 March 2019, in honour of the visiting French leader, who is in Kenya for the first State Visit by a French leader, Macron said he believes in the Kenyan leader’s vision for a fully integrated Eastern Africa.
The two Presidents were also joined by President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We do believe in your strategy of building a new vision to bring peace and stability not only for Kenya but for the whole region,” said President Macron in his speech.
“I want France to be part of your regional agenda. You are a champion of regional integration and we support you,” he added.
He said the EAC is one of the most integrated regions in the world and that France supports the agenda to achieve full integration in the region.
President Macron also encouraged the new DRC President to embrace the integration agenda.
“What you want to build for East Africa and Central Africa is feasible,” Macron said.
He said Kenya is a world leader and a reference for many nations in various fields including innovation, environment, scientific research and support for humanitarian efforts.
Macron said France wants to strengthen its partnership with Kenya, noting that in the past the French business community has been more perceptive than the French government in its relations with Kenya.
He said Kenya and France have already signed deals worth more than three billion Euros during his visit.
Earlier in the day, President Kenyatta and President Macron launched a Peugeot car assembled in Kenya targeting the Kenyan and regional markets.
The two Presidents also toured the Nairobi Central Railway Station and spoke on the planned construction of a commuter rail line that will connect the Nairobi Central Business District and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The rail system will be built in partnership with a French Consortium and is expected to be completed in two years.
President Kenyatta said Macron’s visit was historic since it is the first by a French President to Kenya.