From May 7 to 13, 2023, Dr. Korir Singoei, Principal Secretary, State Department for Foreign Affairs, made a fruitful trip to London, where he met with senior officials of the United Kingdom.
On May 9, 2023, as part of the visit, the Principal Secretary paid a courtesy call on Lord St. John of Blesto, a member of the House of Lords, the Upper House of the British Parliament. The two explored opportunities in an array of cross-cutting areas of mutual benefit to Kenya and UK including climate change, renewable energy, digital transformation and smart cities, trade and investment.
PS Sing’oei and Sir Phillip Robert Barton, the Permanent Undersecretary for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs met on May 10, 2023. The PS hailed the Kenya – UK relations as being one of the strongest anchored on Kenya – UK Strategic Partnership 2020 – 2025, which was launched on January 21, 2020 in London.
The PS underscored the necessity of reviving bilateral collaboration between the two nations was stressed by Dr. Singoei, who also revealed that the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership is anticipated to undergo a midterm review to define areas that demand more focus in terms of bilateral engagements.
Sir Barton stated that Kenya is a crucial ally of the UK in the Eastern and Horn of Africa region. He indicated that the UK is committed to collaborating closely with Kenya on major international issues like terrorism, cybercrime and climate change. He praised Kenya’s function as a regional peace anchor.
Later, the Principal Secretary held a meeting with Prof. Luis Franceschi, Assistant Secretary General of the Commonwealth. Discussions centered on issues of mutual interest within the framework of the Kenya- Commonwealth relations. PS Sing’oei expressed his gratitude for the continued support and partnership between Kenya and the Commonwealth in areas of constitutional reforms, institutional building and supporting of the national reconciliation and development.
The PS commended the Commonwealth for choosing Kenya as its East African hub for the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC). He stated that the Council will promote trade and investment by positioning the region strategically. He underlined Kenya’s commitment to working closely with the Council to put in place initiatives that will encourage international investors and partners to capitalize on the opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement within the region.
In a meeting with Mr. Xiaojie Zhang, the Director of Technical Cooperation at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). PS Sing’oei thanked the IMO for working closely with Kenya in the areas of technical cooperation especially in strengthening institutions tasked with supporting and regulating maritime activities.
The PS emphasized that, Kenya has taken the initiative in Africa towards climate change mitigation and hosts the Maritime Technology Cooperation Center (MTCC) Africa, one of the five centers that make up the Global Maritime Network, which was established to support the strategy to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. He expressed gratitude to the IMO for providing training and scholarships to Kenyan seafarers and maritime personnel.
The PS visited the Kenya High Commission staff in London on May 9, 2023, and offered his condolences for the passing of their colleague David Gatuthu. He stated that the Ministry will continue to take steps to ensure the wellbeing of employees at both Ministry headquarters and overseas Missions.
He praised the personnel for their productive work and asked them to keep serving as the forerunners and frontline representatives of Kenya’s interests in the UK. Additionally, he discussed H.E. President William Ruto’s foreign policy priorities, which include addressing climate change, increasing trade, resolving regional security issues, and reforming global governance institutions to make them more fit for purpose.
Further, Dr. Sing’oei gave a keynote speech at both the Chatham House as well as the AfricaDebate 2023, London. Discussions at Chatham House focused on Kenya’s perspective on regional, bilateral and multilateral issues. The audience appreciated that dynamism of Kenya’s Foreign Policy and Kenya’s leadership role in advancing the peace and security agenda at the regional level.
During the AfricaDebate, the Principal Secretary strongly vouched for Kenya as a favourable trade and investment destination in Africa. He shared Kenya’s success story in technology and innovation as well as the green energy grounding this success on institutional strength and strategic political visioning.
H.E. Manoah Esipisu, Kenya’s High Commissioner to London, Mr. James Kiiru, Director Africa and AU Directorate, Ms. Mwende Mwendwa, Deputy Director of the Principal Secretary’s Office, and Mr. Wario Guyo, Europe and Commonwealth Directorate, accompanied of the Principal Secretary during the official visit.