Increased Qatari investments in renewable energy, affordable housing and telecommunications were top of the agenda when President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani at State House, Nairobi Tuesday.
The President who expressed satisfaction with the growing bilateral relations between Kenya and Qatar said the country is open to more Qatari investments especially in renewable energy, affordable housing and telecommunication sectors.
He cited the establishment of a shipping line plying the Mombasa and Doha route as well as the recent launch of the Qatar Airlines flights to Mombasa twice a week as some of the ways that were increasing people-to-people interaction between the two countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who delivered greetings to the President from the Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said his country valued its friendship with Kenya and has been keen on supporting its growth over the years.
“We remain a solid partner to Kenya on all fronts. We are ready to work even more closely to take our cooperation to a higher level,” the premier said.
The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by the Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti and Qatar Ambassador to Kenya Jabr Bin Ali Al Dosari.
He assured President Kenyatta of his government’s support to the Big 4 Agenda aligned programmes and singled out the housing sector as one of the areas of interest to Qatari investors.
On peace and security, President Kenyatta briefed the Qatari leader of the progress made in entrenching stability in the region including the situation in Somalia and the recently signed transitional government agreement in Sudan.
“Without peace, there can be neither development nor prosperity. We are hopeful that the willingness portrayed during signing of the agreement in Sudan will go a long way towards the restoration of normalcy in that country,” President Kenyatta informed the Qatari leader.
In the hospitality industry, President Kenyatta and his visitor discussed the possibility of a working plan to integrate Arabic as a foreign language course at Utalii College to enable more young people from Kenya to secure jobs in Qatar.
President Kenyatta expressed optimism that with new areas of cooperation opening up, the trade volume between Kenya and Qatar is set to increase.
The meeting was also attended by State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita as well as Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Fred Matiang’i (Interior and Coordination of National Government).