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President Kenyatta meets Canadian Minister, UNHCR High Commissioner
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 18:42:35 CST by kwpnews


NAIROBI,(PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta today met Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen and UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi who paid him a courtesy call at his Harambee House office.

The Canadian Minister 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.

Mr Hussen also said Canada will announce a $ 6 million grant to help people affected by drought to normalise life, particularly in areas hosting refugees.

He 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. The other pillars of the big four are improving the quality of life through the provision of universal health care, increasing access to affordable housing and ensuring food and nutritional security.

The Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship 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.

Mr Hussen assured that Canada is prepared to take more Kenyan students, noting that the numbers have remained low even when Canadian institutions charge lower fees than the UK and US.

The meeting also discussed the refugee situation where President Kenyatta asked the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to come up with projects that will assist local residents as it undertakes the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees.

The President said the interests of local communities in areas hosting refugee camps should not be overlooked as the global refugee body caters for the needs of the refugees.

“As we carry out the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees, we must not ignore the interests of the local communities,” President Kenyatta said.

UNHCR High Commissioner Grandi assured President Kenyatta that his organisation is working with the World Bank and other partners to ensure that local residents in areas hosting refugee camps are assisted through vocational training to give them skills that will ensure they continue earning a living after closure of the camps.

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