Kenyan And Austrian Parliamentarians Root For Deeper Cooperation
By Samuel Ouma
Members of the Defence, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations Committee of the Kenyan National Assembly and a delegation from the Austrian Parliament have lobbied for further collaboration between the two nations.
Led by Mr. Axel Kassegger, a Member of the Austrian National Council, and Austrian Ambassador to Kenya Dr. Christian Fellner, the visiting delegation said the two countries should pursue deep collaboration in areas of defence, climate change and industry for the mutual benefit of their citizens.
Among key partnership areas discussed are military cooperation, parliamentary diplomacy, climate change education and industrialization.
“The European Union wants to fast movers in taking measures to avoid climate change. Austria is one country that does not use coal or nuclear energy, and we are very actively involved in efforts to cut on fossil fuels consumptions,” said Mr. Kassegger.
Committee Chair Hon. Nelson Koech said Austria can take advantage of Kenya’s ranking stature as the region’s peace, security and industrial power hub to pursue broader cooperation with the East-African area.
“We are already actively involved in peace restoration efforts in neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia for the greater good of the region. We welcome all allies on board, including Austria,” Said Koech.
Committee Vice-chair Hon. Maj. Rtd. Bashir Abdullah said the Austrian National Council and the Kenyan Parliament should initiate a parliamentary diplomacy model anchored on a parliamentary friendship to benefit both countries mutually.
“The idea of Political Party academies that you have mentioned is extremely good in nurturing democracy. We can achieve this and a lot more if we initiate a Kenya-Austria Parliamentary Friendship for the larger benefit of our countries,” said Hon. Bashir.
Also discussed during the meeting was the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which has occasioned a sharp rise in global fuel prices due to energy supply chain disruption.
Dr.Fellner lauded Kenya’s growing focus on Technical Vocational and Educational Training institutes as a remarkable step in accelerating the country’s industrialization and increasing the potential for labour export to the European Market.