Dr. Alfred Mutua, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs made an official visit to Canada where he met with his Canadian Counterpart Hon. Mélanie Joly, on May 15, 2023 and deliberated on the progress made toward achieving the common goals as envisioned under the Kenya-Canada Binational Commission.
The two Foreign Ministers agreed to jumpstart the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) and further discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, agriculture, education (TVET), immigration, climate change, the blue economy, culture tourism, international politics, peace and security, water (dams) development and production of Green hydrogen.
They agreed on several measures to encourage Kenyans to live and work in Canada. CS Mutua informed that both teams would finalize on a system where Canadian curriculum will be incorporated in Kenya’s Technical Training Colleges (TVETs) so that by the time a student graduates they are prepared and have the Canadian minimum star fares necessary to quickly integrate in the Canadian labor market.
The CS highlighted that Canada has been a tremendous development partners for Kenya and thanked them for their assistance, saying he looked forward to a stronger relationship in several areas, including the development of water (dams), the creations of green hydrogen and others.
PASSPORTS, IDs, BIRTH CERTIFICATES IN THE DIASPORA
CS Dr. Alfred Mutua launched the Mobile Consular Services (MCS) in Canada on May 16, 2023. The initiative intends to make Consular Services more accessible to Kenyans living abroad, wherever they may be. The services offered include processing of E-Passports, National Identity Cards, Birth Certificates, counselling, advise services on pressing matters and any other engagements with the Diaspora. The MCS kicked off in the USA in April 2023. Similar mobile consular services are intended to be launched in the Middle East, Australia, Africa and Europe.
Later, CS Mutua met with Kenya High Commission staff in Ottawa and expressed his gratitude for the excellent work they continue to do in promoting and projecting of Kenya’s interests in Canada. He committed to ensure that all Kenyan missions abroad are well facilitated to deliver on their respective mandates.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR KENYANS IN CANADA
On May 16, 2023, CS Mutua met with the Honourable Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. They agreed on the various migration opportunities for Kenyans to live or work in Canada.
“I was pleased to learn that there are job opportunities in Canada in variety of economic areas and that Kenyans can visit Canada for work or study.” CS Mutua said.
The CS advised Kenyans to exercise caution while dealing with agencies that claim to be recruiting for Canadian companies. He claimed that some rogue agencies have duped several Kenyans and called on people to use vigilance to avoid fraud. He promised to offer a list of
Canadian Government approved consultants according to the College of Immigration and Citizenship.
ATTRACTING CANADIAN TRADE AND INVESTMENTS
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua met with Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Businesses, Export Promotion and International Trade of Canada, in Ottawa City. They talked about ways to expand trade and investments connections between Kenya and Canada.
They agreed to pursue negotiations on Kenya-Canada Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) to pave way for a new wave of FDI and Trade for Kenya and committed to have the framework signed before the end of 2023.
CS Mutua commended the Canada Government’s assistance for The Hustler Fund, the flagship bottom up Kenya Kwanza economic model of His Excellency the President William Ruto that provides credit to small and medium enterprises. Kenya will also work together with Canada for expanded trade and economic collaboration under the Canada Africa Economic Cooperation Strategy.
The CS asked Canadian investors to take advantage of Kenya as a strategic gateway to Africa to make investments in Konza Technopolis and Special Economic Zones and get access to the continent’s market of more than 1.3 billion people, particularly in the agricultural sector.
The CS also urged Canada to advocate for favourable international finance system within the G7 to enable developing countries to access affordable credit within the Multilateral system.
The two Ministers committed to work together in the fight against climate change by investing more in renewable energy for sustainable development.
DISCUSSION ON KENYA’S PRESENCE IN CANADA
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua held discussions with Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion for Canada, on May 14, 2023. Discussions centered on how Kenya can gain a better footing in Canada and how a strengthened diplomatic relationship would benefit both Kenyans and Canadians.
The Former Immigration Minister, described to CS Mutua the numerous ways Kenyans can migrate and quickly get jobs in Canada. They also discussed ways to attract investors in the housing and other sectors.
“Canada is a rich and powerful nation, a member of the G7 and a major player in the economic order of the world. Unfortunately, Kenya has not capitalized on this advantage that Canada provides,” CS Mutua said
The CS congratulated the Honorable Minister for his efforts to make Canada a magnificent nation for all people, noting that he is a friend of Kenya and Africa.
The Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada, Amb. Immaculate Wambua, the Kenya Honorary Consul for Kenya in Canada, Mr. Sunir Chandaria, and other Foreign Affairs representatives accompanied the Cabinet Secretary on his official visit.