Kenya to Open Embassy in Dakar, Strengthen Ties With Jamaica

President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya is set to open its first embassy in Francophone countries in Dakar, Senegal, within four months.

In talks with Senegal's President Macky Sall at the weekend, President Kenyatta noted that the opening of the embassy in Dakar will be a big step in raising the level of engagement with that part of the world.

President Kenyatta said Kenya sees Senegal as an important entry point in its quest to expand trade in terms of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

"The AfCFTA we agreed in Kigali has to be supported by bilateral actions. And so we are reaching out to Senegal to expand our trade frontiers and boost people-to-people relations necessary for trade," the President said.

President Sall invited President Kenyatta to visit Dakar in January as keynote speaker at a major conference and to continue to solidify ties.

President Kenyatta also separately held talks Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica at the weekend where the leaders agreed to get tangible bilateral relations moving between their two countries.

They discussed a wide range of areas of cooperation including exploring quick wins like code share for airlines with Kenya Airways due to start non-stop flights from Nairobi to New York in October. Connection to Kingston, Jamaica, is 3 hours from New York.

Exchange of athletics coaches also featured at the talks between President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Holness. Jamaican athletes are top in short races while Kenya is top in long-distance running.

On boosting trade between the two countries, President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Holness agreed that Kenya could export its tea and coffee to Jamaica and in turn import their peanuts.

President Kenyatta also pledged commitment to work with Jamaica in ensuring the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) speak with one voice and is not splintered along continent lines.

"We must strive to speak in one voice. We are weaker when splintered," President Kenyatta said.

The leaders also discussed culture and entertainment as a bedrock for promoting tourism in the two countries.

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