European Interest

Development MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to Kenya

Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana @MEP_PHF

Development Committee MEPs were in Kenya from 3-5 April, led by Committee Vice-Chair Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Greens/EFA, DE). Over the course of their three-day mission, the six-member delegation engaged with local partners on key development challenges such as education, job creation and sustainable growth and the devastating human and financial cost of climate change and food insecurity. Kenya has faced multiple droughts in recent years that have pushed more and more people into poverty and hunger, and which have severely damaged the country’s biodiversity.

In first-hand exchanges with parliamentarians, ministers, businesses, civil society and humanitarian NGOs, the Development Committee MEPs communicated key messages about the EU’s support for the country, and how the EU and Kenya can act as true, respected and equal partners. European investment remains vital, and MEPs visited an EU/European Investment Bank-funded mango factory providing jobs and income to local farmers. The EU’s Global Gateway initiative is also intended to support infrastructure projects in Kenya. In the course of their mission, MEPs saw that, despite enormous challenges, Kenya is a young and innovative country, a world leader when it comes to the use of renewable energy – solar, hydro, wind and geothermal – and it is a highly digitised society, particularly in urban areas. Kenya also plays an important stabilising role in a volatile part of the continent.

Ms Pierette Herzberger Fofana (Greens, DE) 1st DEVE Vice Chair and chair of the mission said: “We have seen first hand how EU humanitarian and development funding is supporting Kenyan efforts in tackling the effects of severe drought and climate change. It is vital to address its far reaching consequences in order to improve gender equality, access to education, sustainable growth and better resource management.”

Mr Carlos Zorrinho, (Portugal, S&D), Co-Chair of the ACP joint parliamentary assembly said: “We have much to learn from each other, and Africa is our partner of choice given our close geographic and strategic links. We can offer a values-based partnership in line with the Post-Cotonou agreement, which we are eager to sign.”

Members of the delegation: Pierrette HERBERGER-FOFANA (Greens/EFA, DE), Chair, Eleni STAVROU (EPP, CY), Hildegard BENTELE (EPP, DE), Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES), Carlos ZORRINHO (S&D, PT) and Stéphane BIJOUX (Renew, FR).

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