Dr. Korir Singoei, Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, on July 14, 2023 graced the Bastille Day celebrations at the French Embassy in Nairobi, following an invitation by the French Ambassador, H.E. Arnaud Suquet.
Bastille Day commemorates the 1790 “Fête de la Fédération” This celebration occurred on the first anniversary of dismantling the Bastille fortress on 14 July 1789. The Storming of the Bastille was an essential symbol of a new era in the country. It preceded the First Republic.
The PS gave a toast statement during the celebrations, a statement that reiterated the warm and cordial relations between Kenya and the French Republic, and highlighted the significance of this day to the People of France.
In his toast, the Principal Secretary conveyed on behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya and on behalf of H.E. President William Ruto, warmest wishes to the brave people of the French Republic, and its progressive leader, H.E. President Emmanuel Macron.
He noted that Bastille Day marked the unity and resilience of ordinary French citizens that rose up against the forces of feudalism and triumphed 234 years ago. Out of this brave accomplishment, emerged a new order founded on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens which entrenched a new French Republic based on equality, solidarity and liberty. This foundational charter would go on to influence constitutions in many jurisdictions.
The PS informed that Kenya has also had its own struggle for a more united, democratic and equitable society, which has led to the birth of the 2010 Constitution, a supreme law that strives for the embodiment of a free and open society.
PS Singoei appreciated the Ambassador and his team on their commitment towards fostering bilateral relations between France and Kenya. He further reiterated the immense growth of this relationship across various sectors ranging from Energy, Water and Sanitation, Roads and Transport, Environment, Education, Agriculture and Private Sector Development.
France is the 5th largest investor in Kenya representing around 10% of direct and indirect commercial interests, and Kenya is France’s leading trading partner in the entire Eastern Africa Region, which echoes the depth of Kenya-France relations.
Kenya and France have also worked closely in multilateral Foras, including at the UN Security Council and climate adaptation summits. The recent New Global Financing Pact Summit hosted by President Macron in Paris which sought to reconfigure the global financial architecture to make it responsive to the challenges of our time typifies the leadership of France in a rapidly changing global order.
The PS informed that Kenya is confident that the two countries will continue to work concert in the search for global solutions at the forthcoming Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi and subsequently at COP 28 in Dubai, and in regional and global peace and security.
In conclusion, the Principal Secretary thanked the Ambassador for inviting him to share in this significant Day for the People of the Republic of France and wished good health and long life for H.E. President Emmanuel Macron and the prosperity of the people of the French Republic.