Hungary has agreed with Kenya to launch a 50 million US dollar tied aid programme, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Thursday after meeting his Kenyan counterpart Monica Juma. Szijjártó told a news conference that Hungarian companies are building two hospitals in Kenya for 35 million dollars, while a food development scheme worth 10 million dollars will also be soon under way. Hungarian companies are investing 5 million dollars to upgrade irrigation systems there, he added.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said the challenges facing the European Union had a strong security dimension, so there was increasing importance attached to cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa to prevent migration and the associated risk of terrorism. He said it was vitally important to cooperate with African countries that partner in addressing the root causes of migration and coordinate in the fight against terrorism, while enhancing their ability to retain their populations. Kenya is such a country, he said, adding that bilateral cooperation was therefore highly prized. Emphasis is placed on economic and educational cooperation in a bid to reduce emigration from Kenya and strengthen the country’s role in stabilising the region, Szijjártó said.
Kenyan students have access to 100 scholarships to study at Hungarian universities every year. Besides Hungarian-Kenyan cooperation on improving diplomatic training, Hungary and Slovenia are providing medical equipment to Kenyan hospitals worth 33 million forints (EUR 100,000), he said.
Given Kenya’s stabilising role, Hungary supports the country’s application to join the UN Security Council in 2021-22, he said. Also, Hungary is helping to establish a regional counter-terrorism centre in East Africa, he noted.
Szijjártó noted that the UN is outsourcing its global services from New York, and the four cities in contention to host the facilities include the Hungarian and Kenyan capitals, so both strive to back the endeavour.
Juma noted that Hungarian President János Áder will pay an official visit to Kenya in January. She said that hopefully a diplomatic mission would soon open in Budapest. She also welcomed the increasing number of young Kenyan people coming to Hungary to study. The two officials signed an agreement on cooperation between Hungary’s National University of Public Service and the Kenyan Diplomatic Academy.