• The second French Naval Ship Frigate le Surcouf docked at the port of Mombasa with 150 sailors on board.
• Kenya and France have an interest in the balanced and controlled development of the maritime economy in the Indian Ocean.
The second French Naval Ship Frigate le Surcouf on Wednesday docked at the port of Mombasa with 150 sailors on board.
This is amid efforts to enhance continued good relations between Kenya and France particularly related to maritime security.
The Surcouf has a multirole in the Indian ocean especially drugs enforcement operations, maritime and aeronautical control, counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations as well as citizens evacuation in the seas.
Receiving the crew at the port, French Ambassador to Nairobi Aline Kuster-Menager said following President Macron’s visit in March, France and Kenya jointly committed to a road-map aimed at building a partnership for cooperation in the areas related to Blue Economy.
She said considering the two countries share the Indian Ocean shores, both Kenya and France have an interest in the balanced and controlled development of the maritime economy in the Indian Ocean and must enhance surveillance of their respective maritime areas, which are constantly facing threats linked to terrorism, piracy and smuggling, illegal deep-sea fishing, pollution and damage to the maritime biodiversity.
She said the two countries signed the MASE Agreement (Maritime Security) during the Blue Economy Conference in November last year in Nairobi.
"The Blue economy presents quite an immense opportunity and that both Kenya and France are committed to exploiting its potential while protecting the marine life," she said.
She added, "France and Kenya are committed in the protection of marine environment and the two countries will cooperate to better protect Kenya’s maritime environment through protection of the fragile coastline ecosystem, particularly the Kenyan Mangrove swamp".
According to her, two French research institutes (CIRAD and IRD) will undertake a project roadmap to classify the areas concerned in Kilifi and Lamu.
Dubbed “Mikoko Project” the objective is to manage and restore the mangrove ecosystem of Kenya and it is a project that will be handled in partnership with the Kenya Forestry Services, The Kenya Wildlife Services, the National Museums of Kenya and the Institute of Climate Change Adaptation at the University of Nairobi.