Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Wednesday December 6 held a meeting with United Kingdom High Commissioner to Kenya Neil Wigan at his official residence in Karen.
During the meeting, Gachagua defended the coffee reforms instituted by the Kenya Kwanza Government saying the reforms were not prohibitive or punitive as has been portrayed by those against the changes
The DP extended an invitation to coffee business companies in the United Kingdom for open discussions on the reforms in the subsector, to be able to understand what the changes are all about.
“We have explained what we are doing to many people and they have understood. There is a lot of activity now at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange.
"We would be happy if you can create a forum for us to talk to coffee companies in the UK so we explain to them what we are doing and they can share their ideas. We would be happy to have that engagement,” said Gachagua.
He pointed out that the interventions in the subsector were to rescue it from collapsing following sustained low production over the years.
Gachagua also disclosed that the Government is keen to ensure the success of the Kenya-United Kingdom 2020-2025 partnership which is crucial in deepening the relations between the two nations.
He noted the two nations were eager to explore new areas of cooperation under the Partnership on top of strengthening the existing cordial ties.
“Our ties date back to the 19th century when the British came to Kenya. Since then we have partnered in the development of our country in many sectors. This is a friendship and partnership we would like to see grow in strength,” said Gachagua.
He added, “We have thwarted many attempted terrorist attacks because of our close cooperation with the United Kingdom.”
DP Gachagua urged urged for more markets for Kenyan products in UK to ensure balance in trade between Kenya and UK.
Wigan on his part appreciated the cordial ties saying his country was ready to strengthen them for the mutual benefit of the nations.
“The relations are strong, and we look to do much more in technological advancements, innovation, climate change, and renewable energy. We want to keep the security cooperation even stronger,” he said.