British High Commissioner-designate, Neil Wigan OBE, has arrived in Nairobi to take up his position as Head of Mission at the British High Commission.
He succeeds Jane Marriott who was appointed the British High Commissioner to Kenya, and began her consular duties in 2019.
In a statement Neil said he is looking forward to working with the Government of Kenya on the priorities of UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership, particularly the Ksh 500 billion of UK investment in clean, green infrastructure projects including Nairobi Railway City, Menengai Geothermal Plant, Grand High Falls Dam and the Malindi Solar Expansion project.
“These projects, among others, will improve the lives of Kenyans, boost sustainable development and help tackle climate change. I look forward to seeing these projects and other UK-Kenya partnerships for myself. Across the partnership, there are further opportunities for us to go far, together. Tafaulu Pamoja!”
Speaking on his arrival, the new British High Commissioner to Kenya, said: “It has been a long-term ambition of mine to lead the team at the British High Commission in Nairobi. I first visited Kenya in 1977, my children went to school in Nairobi, and I have visited Kenya many times, for work and pleasure. I am delighted to have returned, and am looking forward to exploring magical Kenya.”
Neil takes up his post at an exciting time for UK-Kenya relations, with the relationship between both countries and peoples going from strength to strength.
Rapid progress is being made across all pillars of the Strategic Partnership, signed in 2020 between the UK and Kenya – tackling climate change, increasing mutual prosperity and sustainable development, building stronger people to people links, and strengthening vital security cooperation.
Neil said the UK is working with the Kenyan Government to improve lives and livelihoods, while our defence partnership ensures the safety and security of our two peoples and promotes Kenya’s role as a stabilising force in the region.
“The UK and Kenya share a deep and complex history; one that has created strong bonds between our countries, governments and people. Our people to people bonds are the foundation of our relationship. This year we celebrate 40 years of Chevening, our scholarship programme, which has enabled more than 600 Kenyans to study at UK universities. Through the British Council, we have strengthened Kenya’s creative and cultural industries and the UK-Kenya Tech Hub is working with entrepreneurs and tech talent to build a sustainable digital ecosystem.”
The UK is the largest international investor in Kenya and is Kenya’s fifth largest export market.
The envoy said progress on key green infrastructure projects, backed by UK investment, is securing Kenya’s place as a climate leader in the region adding that the upcoming Africa Climate Summit and next year’s UK-African Investment Summit will provide further opportunities to strengthen Kenya -UK vital partnership to the benefit of both Kenyans and British people.