Kenya has signed two bilateral agreements with Poland aimed at boosting relations between the two countries.
The signing of the agreements on agricultural cooperation and tax solidarity at state house in Nairobi on Monday was witnessed by President William Ruto and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.
“These Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) will cement our aspirations to promote bilateral partnerships ... and open up new avenues for collaboration,” said President Ruto as he hailed the good relations between the two countries.
Dr Ruto further noted that several other deals with Poland are in the pipeline and “we are committed to ensuring their successful implementation”.
Later in the day, the two presidents participated in the Kenya-Poland business and economic forum, which realised the endorsement of various instruments of collaboration between Ken Invest and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, as well as between the respective national chambers of commerce.
Polish technology on the use of virtual reality to support smart welding operations critical in industrial development and the deployment of drone technology to monitor Kenya’s vast wildlife conservation parks was also showcased.
The two leaders agreed to collaborate in agriculture to bridge the gap in the demand for wheat and grain products in Kenya.
President Ruto noted that Kenya serves as the gateway to the East African Community (EAC) market and boasts the largest seaports in the region as he invited Poland to consider Mombasa and Lamu ports as possible logistical hubs for exporting products, including grains, to the region and beyond.
But even as Ruto said this, fears abound that the punitive tax regime in the country has made Kenya become a launchpad of investments by foreigners to neighbouring countries.
This means that, once investors have landed in Kenya, they head to neighbouring countries where the tax regime is not as punitive.
The discussions between the two presidents also included the possibility of developing a labour mobility framework to expand job opportunities available “for our highly skilled young labour force while narrowing the labour deficit in Poland.”
During the visit, President Ruto also requested President Duda to consider supporting the Call to Action that was adopted by world leaders through the “Nairobi Declaration”, the outcome document of the Africa Climate Summit that was held in September last year.