You’ve helped us increase access to Europe market, Ruto tells outgoing EU envoy

Kenya values its collaboration and partnership with the European Union, “especially in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure, climate change adaptation and counter-terrorism”, Deputy President William Ruto has said.

“Our engagement has increased access to export markets in Europe, enhanced the volume of trade between Kenya and EU member states and strengthened support for the blue economy and maritime security,” Ruto said on Tuesday, when he bid farewell to outgoing EU ambassador Stefano Dejak.

Dejak is leaving after finishing his tour of duty, which he started on September 15, 2015. His departure comes at a time when there is anxiety over Brexit, which is due on October 31. UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey is also leaving in a week’s time.

The European Union is Kenya’s second-largest export market, with horticulture products and floriculture sector forming 70% of Kenya’s export to the EU.

In his remarks during a luncheon hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 26, Principal Secretary. Amb Macharia Kamau commented Dejak for his role in building close partnership between Kenya and the European Union.

“Kenya and the EU share deep and long history of relations characterized by mutually beneficial cooperation for the past 43 years,” Kamau said.

Kamau added that the partnership cuts across sectors in infrastructure development, energy, security, education, healthcare, economy and agriculture.

Other significant milestones witnessed during Dejak’s tenure include political dialogues held between CS Monica Juma and the EU ambassadors accredited to Kenya, and engagements between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the EU Ambassadors, and development cooperation agenda, which is structured under the Kenya-EU Joint Cooperation.

Ambassador Stefano in his remarks thanked the Kenya government for the support accorded to him and his delegation during his tour, and said issues of security in the region were close to his heart and that he will continue championing for support in the strengthening of security operations in Somalia, including Amisom to achieve its mandate

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