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One of the signs that Ger­man busi­nesses are in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in Africa is the up­com­ing Ger­man-African Busi­ness Sum­mit in Nairobi in Fe­bru­ary 2017, the first of its kind

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices - JUTTA FRASCH Ger­man Am­bas­sador in Kenya

To­day Ger­mans cel­e­brate their Na­tional Day. This day com­mem­o­rates the fall of the Ber­lin Wall in 1989 and Ger­man re­uni­fi­ca­tion. The coun­try was re­united on Oc­to­ber 3 1990. Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Germany and Kenya are ex­cel­lent. In April this year Pres­i­dent Keny­atta paid a suc­cess­ful visit to Germany, ce­ment­ing our po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions and boost­ing our eco­nomic re­la­tions. The pres­ence of Ger­man com­pa­nies in Kenya is in­creas­ing: Volk­swa­gen an­nounced the open­ing of a factory in Thika where the Polo Vivo will be as­sem­bled for the Kenyan mar­ket. Lufthansa, the Ger­man air­line, is back with reg­u­lar di­rect flights be­tween Nairobi and Frank­furt. Al­lianz, the in­sur­ance com­pany, has also opened an of­fice here and will soon ex­pand its ac­tiv­i­ties to other re­gions. All these en­ter­prises will cre­ate jobs and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for vo­ca­tional train­ing, thereby help­ing to qual­ify young Kenyans for em­ploy­ment in to­day’s highly com­pet­i­tive mar­kets. This will ben­e­fit both Kenya as a whole and Ger­man com­pa­nies look­ing for in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in this coun­try.

One of the signs that Ger­man busi­nesses are in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in the African mar­ket is the up­com­ing Ger­manAfrican Busi­ness Sum­mit in Nairobi in Fe­bru­ary 2017, the first of its kind.

Germany con­tin­ues to be firmly com­mit­ted to fos­ter­ing eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. Fol­low­ing a visit by Dr Gerd Müller, Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment in March this year, Kenya and Germany agreed to adopt a new fo­cus area in their bi­lat­eral pro­gramme of co­op­er­a­tion: “Sus­tain­able eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment – pro­mo­tion of youth em­ploy­ment and vo­ca­tional train­ing.” Two weeks ago, ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the two coun­tries de­tail­ing the con­tent of the next twoyear-cy­cle of de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion were con­cluded suc­cess­fully. Germany has pledged to pro­vide tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance amount­ing to a sum of over €250 mil­lion for the fi­nan­cial years 2017 and 2018. In all ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion it is our aim to give spe­cial at­ten­tion to the pri­vate sec­tor and to stim­u­late its in­volve­ment. It is in this spirit of ever closer co­op­er­a­tion that Germany sup­ports Kenya’s com­mit­ment to fur­ther re­gional in­te­gra­tion within the East African Com­mu­nity. We re­main hopeful that other mem­ber states will soon fol­low the ex­am­ple of Kenya in sign­ing the part­ner­ship agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union.

Germany con­tin­ues to en­cour­age ini­tia­tives in the re­gion in the in­ter­ests of or­der and se­cur­ing peace, an im­por­tant pre­con­di­tion for pro­mot­ing fur­ther eco­nomic growth. We roundly con­demn ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties on Kenyan soil and praise Kenya’s ef­forts in sta­bil­is­ing neigh­bour­ing So­ma­lia and its will­ing­ness to help defuse the cri­sis in South Su­dan. These ef­forts have not gone un­no­ticed and are highly val­ued by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Germany cur­rently hosts more than a mil­lion refugees and there­fore knows how big the chal­lenges of at­tend­ing to the needs of refugees are. We also know that there are no easy so­lu­tions to the refugee prob­lem. It is in this light that we see Kenya’s ef­forts in Kakuma and Dadaab.

We are pleased to note that the Kenyan govern­ment has an­nounced that repa­tri­a­tion of refugees from Dadaab will be on a strictly vol­un­tary ba­sis, dig­ni­fied and in full ac­cor­dance with in­ter­na­tional law. Germany is ready to sup­port Kenya to this end. So far this year we have con­trib­uted sub­stan­tial funds to projects aimed at im­prov­ing refugees’ liv­ing con­di­tions in Kenya. Come 2017, it will be an elec­tion year for Kenya and Germany and we will see tough cam­paigns and heated de­bates in both coun­tries, as is nor­mal for any democ­racy.

We warmly welcome the re­cent com­pro­mise reached be­tween the Kenyan govern­ment and the op­po­si­tion for re­form­ing the IEBC and elec­toral pro­ce­dures. This agree­ment aims at bal­anc­ing the in­ter­ests of all par­ties con­cerned and im­prov­ing trust in the elec­toral process.

GERMANY CON­TIN­UES TO EN­COUR­AGE INI­TIA­TIVES IN THE RE­GION IN THE IN­TER­ESTS OF OR­DER AND SE­CUR­ING PEACE

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