Kenyan President William Ruto vowed Thursday to open an embassy in Morocco before the end of the year, signaling an ongoing focus on strengthening ties with one of North Africa’s biggest players.
He announced the plan to consolidate the presence of the Kenyan Embassy, which opened in 2019 and is currently headed by Biore Muhendi, after the launch of the Kenyan Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.
The embassy in Senegal became Kenya’s first in French-speaking West Africa and originally opened as a lesson learned by Nairobi after a failed attempt to win the votes of Amina Mohamed, candidate for the 2017 African Union Commission chair.
On Thursday, a statement from the Presidential Communications Service (PCS) indicated that Kenya wants to “open trade and investment opportunities for Kenyans,” expand its diplomatic presence across Africa, and “maintain mutually beneficial relationships.”
Opening a mission in Rabat, Morocco means Kenya is raising the bar from an honorary consulate to a full-fledged embassy. This means Kenya will have embassies in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, three of the largest economies in the north of the continent.
“We will continue to push the boundaries for our investors and entrepreneurs to access more markets in Africa,” he said.
President Ruto’s relations with Morocco have been clear since his first day in office.
Its officials tweeted a controversial statement pledging to cut ties with SADR and annex Nairobi’s longstanding policy of supporting self-determination.
The Saharawis claim part of Western Sahara, which Morocco considers part of its territory. A day later, Kenya reversed its position and said it still supported the African Union’s position of calling a referendum to decide Western Sahara’s future.
According to the PCS, President Ruto also met with Kenyans living in Senegal.
And tell them that the embassy will help facilitate services to them and will be their liaison with the government of Senegal and the private sector.