The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 4 October 2023.
High Commissioner to Kenya, Neil Wigan, made his first visit to Bomet, Kericho, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties on 3 and 4 October 2023 to advance the already strong UK partnership with the region.
The UK and the Rift Valley including Western Kenya are working together to deliver mutual benefits for the people of the UK and of the region, building upon strong cultural, economic and security ties.
The High Commissioner met the Governors of Bomet and Kericho, Prof. Hillary Barchok and Dr. Erick Mutai. He heard about the challenges facing these communities, including sexual and gender-based and discussed opportunities to further the partnership with these counties, particularly in relation to trade and investment.
He also discussed with Governor of Elgeyo Marakwet H.E Wisley Rotich, the impact of the UK’s Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) programme. This five-year, almost 13 billion KES (£70 million) programme is helping identify vital investment opportunities in 12 Kenyan counties to increase economic growth and create jobs.
In Nandi County, the High Commissioner met Nandi County Governor and chair of North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) H.E. Stephen Sang. UK support to NOREB is ensuring economic growth in the region and the pair discussed further means of strengthening cultural ties between Brits and Kenyans. He also heard about the rapid progress being made to digitise service provision.
While in the region, the High Commissioner also met representatives of the Borowo, Kipsigis, Koitalel and Talai clans, as well as the Nandi Council of Elders. He heard first-hand the experiences of these communities under British rule and agreed to continue an open and honest dialogue.
Speaking at the end of the visit, High Commissioner Neil Wigan said:
From my visit to the Rift valley, it is clear that the UK-Kenya partnership stretches far beyond the capital city.
UK programming, engagement and private sector investment in Bomet, Kericho, Nandi and the region is improving lives and livelihoods, in partnership with county governors.
With further planned programmes and investments on the horizon, I’m already looking forward to my next visit to Rift Valley and to exploring other parts of this great country.