• De Sousa said Nairobi is best suited as the entry point for Portuguese commercial interests in Africa.
• “We share the same principles regarding major problems facing humanity,” President de Sousa said.
Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa intends to reposition Kenya as the anchor for his country's growing investments on the African continent.
In a media address after a bilateral meeting with a Kenyan delegation led by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Lisbon on Tuesday, De Sousa said Nairobi is best suited as the entry point for Portuguese commercial interests in Africa.
He said Kenya’s stellar profile on the International stage, including its membership of the UN Security Council, leadership of the East African Community, and the role it plays at the African Union, makes Nairobi a perfect commercial partner for the southern European nation.
“We see Kenya as an intermediary in major international issues. Kenya has been the co-host of this major conference, the UN Oceans Conference. This demonstrates that this is a young country with a future. A country that looks far ahead into the future,” President de Sousa said.
The Portuguese leader also spoke about Kenya's credentials as a guarantor of peace and stability on the African continent, describing the country as a mediator and arbiter whose "role in regional and world peace cannot be overlooked".
He said Kenya and Portugal are enjoying a growing friendship fueled largely by their shared history of being platforms for contact between different civilisations and cultures.
“Our relationship has been growing constantly bilaterally and multilaterally and therefore we were able to co-host this UN Oceans Conference. It would have been impossible for Portugal to organise this conference without Kenya’s help"
“We share the same principles regarding major problems facing humanity,” President de Sousa said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said his visit to Portugal and meeting with President de Sousa would help cement the strong ties between Nairobi and Lisbon through increased flow of investments and people-to-people exchanges.
He applauded Portugal’s support in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa.
“I also congratulate you (President de Sousa) and Portugal’s support for multilateralism. We believe in a multilateral system. We believe in compromise, and Portugal is the same. I congratulated you on what I term as Portugal’s calming voice. A voice of calm that is going to become more and more important in a very intransigent world that we are facing," Uhuru said.
During the visit, he also met the Prime minister of the Portuguese Republic, António Costa at São Bento Mansion.
Uhuru led a Kenyan delegation that included Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Najib Balala (Tourism) at the meeting that culminated in the signing of three bilateral agreements on air services, political consultations and diplomatic training.