President Uhuru Kenyatta with Canadian government representatives.[Photo/PSCU]
Canadian interests in Kenya’s energy and mining industries featured prominently in yesterday’s meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the North American country’s Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen, according to a press statement released from State House.
Hussen said his country was looking to boost trade ties with Kenya especially to increase its footprint in the mining, oil and gas sector as part of its strategy to invest more in Kenya and Africa.
The meeting was also attended by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official Filipo Grandi. Canadian firms are heavily invested in the two sectors which the current administration has paid special attention to as it seeks to grow employment and increase foreign currency earnings.
In oil and gas, Canadian oil explorer Africa Oil holds joint shareholding with Tullow Oil and Maersk Oil in oil blocks located in Turkana basin. The three firms and the government are set to begin exporting oil this year.
Barrick Gold, another Canadian firm is the anchor shareholder in Acacia Mining, the London Stock Exchange-listed mining firm that struck gold in Kakamega. The UNHCR commissioner said Canada will support President Kenyatta’s initiative to host a major conference on the Oceans.
The blue economy features prominently in the President’s big four growth agenda that includes enhancing job creation and opportunities for young people by focusing on the expansion of the manufacturing sector. Hussen said his country would like to encourage more skilled Kenyans to seek employment and training in Canada and he would be discussing Visa modalities with his Kenyan counterpart.