On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, Spain lauded Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta over his unwavering war against corruption and economic crimes in the country.
During his visit to the President in Nairobi, Spain’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borell Fontelles, said the current determination to end graft will go a long way in building confidence among investors across the world.
On the government’s Big Four agenda, President Kenyatta and his guest agreed to explore a partnership on social housing for the low-income earners especially in urban areas. The Big Four agenda prioritizes agriculture, affordable housing, universal health coverage, and manufacturing.
The minister said Spain is ready to engage and participate towards the achievement of the affordable housing pillar of the Big Four Agenda.
“We have many firms that can be good partners in affordable housing,” said the visiting minister.
Spain has a unique social housing model where construction, renovation and buying of houses are subsidized by the state through reduced interest loans to providers.
Houses developed under this scheme, dubbed ‘Vivienda de Proteccion Publica’ (publicly protected housing) are provided to the public almost entirely on owner-occupation terms, rather than for rent.
Under the affordable housing pillar of the Big Four agenda, Kenya plans to put up at least 500 000 affordable houses by 2022.
The Spanish minister welcomed Kenya’s continued efforts to improve operations at the Port of Mombasa saying his country welcomes the reforms the country has taken to enhance efficiency at the facility.
Kenyatta assured Spain that Kenya is doing everything possible to streamline operations at Kenya’s Mombasa gateway besides de-congesting the port.
“The port was a big loophole for us. We are working on it and soon all the systems will be streamlined,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta also welcomed Spain’s proposal for a partnership to develop Kenya’s tourist sites and enhance tourist experiences especially in scuba diving, a hobby that’s becoming a major tourist attraction in the country.
Kenya and Spain also agreed to pursue partnerships in the areas of renewable energy, particularly in solar and wind energy, to enable Kenya to lower the cost of electricity, especially in the nascent industrial parks that are aimed at building the country’s economic muscle.