Barbados opens its flood gates to Kenyan banks as Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley winds up first colourful state visit to Kenya

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados (L) with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R)
  • PM Mottley is on a state visit to Kenya attending the 9th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Summit of Heads of State and Government which concluded 10 December 2019. 
  • The PM was speaking on Monday evening, when President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a reception in her honor at State House.
  • President Kenyatta, who was joined by Deputy President William Ruto, said PM Mottley’s visit will go a long way in bringing Kenya and Barbados closer in trade and culture.

In the next two weeks, a delegation of Kenyan financial sector representatives will visit the Island nation of Barbados to explore business opportunities and try to set a foothold in the eastern-most Caribbean island.

The delegation which will comprise Central Bank of Kenya officials and representatives of the Nairobi Securities Exchange among others are heeding an invite by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados to visit her country in a bid to deepen business ties between Kenya and the Caribbean nation.

PM Mottley, who is on a state visit to Kenya attending the 9th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Summit of Heads of State and Government which concluded 10 December 2019, reckons having Kenyan financial firms operating in Barbados will act as an anchor for Kenyan businesses that can then use the country as a hub to trade in the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region.

“When Kenyan banks and financial institutions get a foothold in Barbados and the Caribbean, Kenyan businesses will have familiar faces to deal with,” said PM Mottley.

The PM was speaking on Monday evening, when President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a reception in her honor at State House.

Direct air and sea links between Barbados and Kenya expected to spur trade between East Africa and the Caribbean is part of several agreements between the two heads of state.

On Wednesday, she expressed her admiration of Kenya’s Safaricom’s M-Pesa lauding it as a noble innovation while on a tour of Safaricom products with Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge.

Some of the products showcased included Safaricom-KCB M-Pesa platform, Kwara, Lami, M-KOPA Solar, Pula, Stawi and Digifarm.

President Kenyatta, who was joined by Deputy President William Ruto, said PM Mottley’s visit will go a long way in bringing Kenya and Barbados closer in trade and culture.

PM Mottley echoed his sentiments saying the people of the Caribbean have been separated from Africa for centuries, but today’s technology is bridging the divide.

“Our people are moving forward, and the technology of our time is bringing us together. It is an idea whose time has come,” the Prime Minister said.

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