President Macron Inspires Young Kenyans At University of Nairobi
In a lively debate between the President of the French Republic, H.E. Emmanuel Macron and the youth in Kenya on Thursday March 14, 2019; President Macron encouraged the youth that through global partnerships the challenges faced in Kenya can be overcome. “You may think that here in Kenya you have more challenges than we have in France; Challenges are common. Through coming together we can write a different story for our countries and our world.”
In the first ever townhall meeting when a sitting French President visited the country and the University of Nairobi; President Macron expressed hope in the nation of Kenya and especially the youth, “This is one of the key emerging countries with a lot of hope. This is a youthful country and I can feel the energy even in this room.”
President Macron highlighted Innovation as one of the ways that the economic projects that they have signed with President Kenyatta will provide solutions in different sectors of the economy; special mention to Education, Agriculture, Health and Transport.
“Let’s start to build a new balanced partnership for Africa and create a new economy”
President Macron encouraged the youth to visit France; citing his government’s commitment to easen the burden on cross mobility of talent. He mentioned a project that will be launched in July dubbed, ‘Welcome to France’ where students can go to France during their studies. This project will allow Kenyans to be exposed to the French culture, learn the language and have a different perception of France. He also promised for more French citizens to learn English and Swahili.
H.E. Macron expressed his commitment to implementation and monitoring of projects, “I believe in the sustainability of the partnerships, it’s a commitment that the two teams have made.”
There is a France-Africa Summit that France will host in 2020 and the focus will be on Smart Cities. Smart cities is about mobility, digital and environment. “We will come up with innovative solutions on how to ease traffic in cities and exchange ideas on how to improve the situation in our countries,” President Macron remarked.
On her part,CS Education, Amb. Amina Mohamed extended a warm welcome to the President of France and noted that the young people of today encounter a lot of challenges emanating from within and outside our national boundaries. The young people share similar aspirations across the globe, they are very innovative and sometimes very impatient. But more importantly, the young people have solutions for their problems. What they need is support in form of identifying opportunities and creating spaces for their innovative ideas to thrive.
On his part the UoN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi acknowledged that this is the first visit by the President of the French Republic to the University of Nairobi. He expressed hope that the visit will open more opportunities for collaboration in key areas of research, science, technology and innovation.
When giving the vote of thanks, UoN Chancellor,Dr. Vijoo Rattansi said, “ Mr. President, we feel most honoured to be the University of choice for this town hall event which particularly served to unpack the French-Kenyan partnership in developing skills, knowledge and innovation. Taifa Hall continues its rich heritage as a venerated pedestal wherefrom world leaders and other men and women of substance project their message to Kenya and to the world.”