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Germany upgrades Nairobi embassy

Germany is upgrading its embassy in Nairobi to make it one of its biggest missions on the continent after South Africa.

The measure is the latest among several being implemented by the German government to reinforce its presence in Kenya.

Plans are underway by the country’s biggest carrier-Lufthansa Airlines to resume its flights to Nairobi from October.

Another German carrier, Condor Airlines is also set to introduce weekly direct flights from Munich to Mombasa, to boost tourism.

Lufthansa Airlines will fly to Nairobi four times a week from October 27. The trips will increase to five times a week from December 11, just before the Christmas holiday season.

On Wednesday, outgoing German Ambassador to Kenya Andreas Peschke said they plan to upgrade its mission in Kenya to the equivalent of that in Pretoria, South Africa, currently the largest in Africa.

“Kenya is the gateway to this region and we feel as an entry point the status of the embassy will be upgraded,” the envoy said when he met Deputy President William Ruto in the latter’s office in Nairobi.

Mr Peschke said the embassy will be of equal status to that of Pretoria.

Mr Ruto said the Kenya government has shifted its diplomatic policy from being an aid recipient to attracting investors.

“We have embraced the private sector to be the new engine to drive development,” he said.

He said the Government was investing more in the improvement of infrastructure, reducing the cost of power and curbing insecurity to boost private sector investments.

He said terrorism remains a key challenge to Kenya.

“We are putting in more resources to deal with insecurity mainly the terrorism menace. We have to work with our partners to eliminate it,” he said.

The Deputy President added: “Human capital is critical to development and we are ensuring that other than university graduates, we invest in middle level technical training colleges.”