Ruto says Kenya to open new embassy in Morocco
Kenya’s President William Ruto on Thursday pledged to open an embassy in Morocco before the end of the year, signalling a continued focus on strengthening ties with one of North Africa’s biggest players.
He announced the plan after launching the Kenyan Chancery in Dakar, Senegal, to cement the presence of Kenya’s embassy which was opened in 2019 and is currently headed by Purity Muhindi.
The embassy in Senegal became the first for Kenya in Francophone West Africa and was initially opened as lessons learnt by Nairobi following a failed campaign bid to win votes for Ms Amina Mohamed, the African Union Commission chairperson candidate in 2017.
On Thursday, a statement from the Presidential Communication Service (PCS indicated Kenya wants “to unlock trade and investment opportunities for Kenyans” by expanding its diplomatic presence across Africa and “to nurture mutually beneficial relations”.
From consulate to full embassy
Opening a mission in Rabat, Morocco means Kenya is elevating relations from an honorary consulate to a full embassy. It would mean Kenya will have embassies in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, three of the biggest economies in the north of the continent.
“We will continue to push the limits for our investors and businesspeople to access more markets in Africa,” he said.
President Ruto’s ties with Morocco were clear from day one in office.
His officials had tweeted a controversial statement vowing to cancel ties with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and appending a long-held policy by Nairobi to support self-determination.
The Sahrawis claim a part of Western Sahara which Morocco considers part of its territory. Kenya would, a day later, rescind the position, indicating it was still siding with the African Union position that calls for a referendum to decide the future of Western Sahara.
According to PCS, President Ruto also met Kenyans living in Senegal.
He told them that the embassy will help ease services for them and be their link to the government of Senegal and the private sector.