Kenya: PM May's Visit Presents New Openings for Growth, Collaboration

Photo: Capital FM
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a State Banquet he and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted in honour of the visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.
30 August 2018
opinion

This week, Theresa May becomes the first British Prime Minister to visit Kenya in over 30 years. The historical ties that connect these two nations mean that such an event would always hold special significance. However, today's meeting with President Kenyatta comes at a time of profound transformation for both countries, presenting new opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Much has changed since the last time a sitting British Prime Minister visited. Kenya has developed into a dynamic digital economy, with a vibrant democracy and assertive foreign policy. This new role in the world has placed Kenya at the forefront of a rapidly changing continent. In the UK, the prospect of Brexit has caused a dramatic rethink of international relations that hasn't been seen since the 60's.

This trip has been more than a basic exercise in diplomacy. It is the embodiment of the new "Global Britain" strategy - which has often been accused of lacking substance and concrete examples of how it will work in the practice. The UK Government will hope today's meeting proves fruitful, and that Kenya can become the posterchild for an exciting new international trade policy.

Accompanied by a large delegation including the Ministers for Trade and Africa, the Lord Mayor of London, and 29 leaders from the business community; Theresa May's message to Kenya is clear: the UK is open for business and it brings investment, knowledge and unique expertise.

This is the opportunity Brexit brings to African countries - and which has often been overlooked by commentators focused on the politics and implications around the decision.

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