President Uhuru Kenyatta today held talks with South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
During the meeting, Mr Kenyatta and Deputy President Mabuza deliberated on a wide array of subjects of mutual interest to Kenya and South Africa, including cooperation in agriculture, education, geothermal power generation and youth empowerment.
The Head of State briefed the visiting South African Deputy President on Kenya Commercial Bank’s 2jiajiri programme and other government initiatives geared towards equipping youth with technical and entrepreneurial skills to empower them.
“We are investing in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) to equip the youth with technical skills that will enable them to engage in income generating activities instead of relying on the increasingly diminishing white collar jobs,” Mr Kenyatta said.
Deputy President Mabuza said the exchange of technical skills was one area where Kenya and South Africa could cooperate, saying his country has a programme where the youth get technical skills through on-the-job training under the supervision of professionals like engineers, at the end of which they get a certificate.
On electricity generation, President Kenyatta talked of the progress Kenya has made towards attaining 100 percent transition to green energy. He emphasised that Kenya is focused on moving away from thermal power generation because it is expensive and harmful to the environment.
The President cited the examples of the recent 83.3 Megawatt unit 6 of the Olkaria 1 Geothermal Power Plant whose construction he launched recently as one of the latest projects that are underway to boost Kenya’s generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.
Other recent renewable energy projects include the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power that is billed to be the largest in wind power project in Africa and the 54 MW Garissa Solar Plant.
“Currently, geothermal accounts for 40 percent of our electricity. By the time we finish with the projects that are currently underway, it will be at almost 50 percent,” President Kenyatta said.
Deputy President Mabuza, who was accompanied by South Africa’s High Commissioner to Kenya Koleka Anita Mqulwana, said Kenya was a torch-bearer and must lead development initiatives in East African region.
In June this year, Deputy President Mabuza was in the country to attend the Madaraka Day celebrations that were held in Meru.
The Deputy President was back in the country in October where he briefed President Kenyatta on the progress made in the peace process in South Sudan after visiting Africa’s youngest nation and meeting President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar.
Present at today’s meeting were Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau.
Later, President Kenyatta held talks with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at State House, Nairobi.
The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has been working with the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), supporting in building capacity to ensure an effective framework to monitor delivery of flagship Government projects including those aligned to the Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030.