Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua Hosts Colombian Vice President in Nairobi

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is hosting his Colombian counterpart Madam Francia Elena Márquez Mina to discuss trade relations between the two countries.

Rigathi Gachagua and Madam Francia Elena Márquez Mina
Rigathi Gachagua and Rebecca Miano on the right; Madam Francia Elena Márquez Mina and her Colombian entourage on the left

The visit comes at a time when Kenya and East Africa at large are aiming to strengthen ties with South America. Kenya’s exports to Colombia reached an unprecedented $2.1 million in 2021, while Colombia exported goods worth $1.34 million in the same year.

These figures, supported by growing economies of the two countries, demonstrate the importance of strengthening trade and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Apart from the trade relations, Colombian and Kenyan governments share a lot in common.

The regimes of both countries came into office in the second half of 2022 after overcoming significant huddles. Both administrations got to power with the promise of supporting those in the bottom of the economic echelons of their respective nations.

Ms Elena Márquez Mina rose from being a housekeeper to being the second-in-command in Colombia. Her campaign was based on the slogan “It’s time for the nobodies.” This resonates well with the “Kazi ni Kazi” slogan used by the Kenya Kwanza political coalition to ascend to power in Kenya.

To further strengthen the relationship between Kenya and Colombia, the Vice President of Colombia began a three-day official visit to Kenya on Sunday. She will be hosted by Deputy President of Kenya Rigathi Gachagua, alias Riggy G.

The Vice President was welcomed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by the East Africa and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano.

Mina’s visit follows an MOU signed by Kenya and Colombia in 2021 whose main objective was to enhance partnership and engagements between them.

Colombia has a policy called “Reconnecting with Africa,” which aims to bring Africa closer to Colombia and other South American countries.

Speaking ahead of Elena Márquez Mina’s visit, Kenya’s Deputy President said, “It is a great honour to host Her Excellency the Vice President of Colombia on her historic and maiden tour to Africa, which aims to bring Africa and particularly our two countries closer together.”

Rigathi Gachagua and Mina will head a business forum in Nairobi before heading to Statehouse where they will be hosted by President William Ruto. It is expected that several bilateral agreements will be signed by representatives of Colombia and Kenya.

To show the strength of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Colombia supported Kenya’s candidature at the United Nations Security Council as a Non-Permanent member between 2021 and 2022.

Colombia now expects Kenya to return the favour when seeking candidature of the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2025 to 2027.

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