Kenya and Britain have renewed their commitment to pursuing relations based on trade and investment as opposed to aid.
At a meeting between Deputy President William Ruto and the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey in Nairobi, it was pointed out that areas that could be of mutual benefit include energy, infrastructure, agriculture and water.
Mr Ruto encouraged British firms to invest in Kenya’s energy sector particularly in geothermal and oil. He said there was great potential in agriculture where British firms could invest in agro-processing.
"We would like to have a win-win situation best fashioned on trade and investment as opposed to aid,” said Mr Ruto.
“We believe strongly that investment in the energy sector and in infrastructure will be the engine of growth of our economy.”
The leaders agreed that the UK could play a leading role in the modernisation of the port of Mombasa.
Mr Ruto noted that British companies had invested in Kenya’s tourism industry, banking, tea, coffee and horticulture saying this investment should be leveraged further by value addition especially in agricultural produce.
He noted that in 2014, exports from Kenya amounted to Sh35.9 billion while exports amounted to Sh47.03 billion.
Mr Hailey acknowledged the pivotal role British companies play in Kenya’s economy noting that the top 10 taxpayer companies in Kenya are British.
“We are the number one source of tourists to Kenya and we would like to maintain that position. We also feel that continued increase of investment in the energy sector, particularly in geothermal and in oil will create job opportunities for Kenyans.”
He said the UK will continue partnering with Kenya in the fight against terrorism.
Mr Hailey condoled with Kenya following the attack on the AMISOM military camp in Somalia where Kenyan soldiers lost their lives.