Macron in East Africa: France seals business deals worth $2.26bn in Kenya

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FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron, who was travelling with a business delegation in Kenya, witnessed the signing of infrastructure contracts worth more than 2 billion euros ($2.26bn) on Thursday.

The deals include a 1.6 billion euro 30-year concession for a Vinci-led consortium to operate a highway between Nairobi and Mau Summit.

Renewables firm Voltalia also sealed a 70 million euro contract for two solar power plants, while an Airbus-led consortium won a 200 million euro contract for coastal and maritime surveillance.

The contracts were signed during a visit by President Emmanuel Macron, who is seeking to boost trade in the East Africa region.

Kenya is east Africa’s most advanced economy with a liberal business environment and entrepreneurial culture. French businesses however account for just a 1.4 percent market share.

French exports to Kenya in 2017 amounted to between $170 million and $225.80 million, while China, Kenya’s number one trading partner, exported goods worth $3.8 billion.

‘France has supported Kenya for several years in development projects … but we are not sufficiently economically and industrially,’ Macron said on Wednesday night in a news conference with Kenyatta.

Kenyatta tweets French, thanks to Macron

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed his counterpart, Emmanuel Macron with a tweet in French, to the amusement of his millions of followers on the popular social networking site.

‘Je suis ravi d’accueillir mon ami Son Excellence Président Emanuel Macron de la République de France à State House, Nairobi,’ read part of the tweet.

The historic visit, a first ever to Kenya by a French president, was fruitful as the two presidents witnessed the unveiling of a locally assembled Peugeot 3008 at State House in Nairobi.

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