News24

Brazil to help Kenya produce biodiesel

2010-07-06 14:28

Nairobi - Brazil, the world's leading ethanol exporter, will help Kenya produce biodiesel and improve its agriculture sector, the two nations' leaders said on Tuesday.

Kenya is an investment hub that Brazilian companies and entrepreneurs can use to seek business opportunities in the wider East African Community, a five-nation economic bloc of more than 125 million people, Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva said at a news conference with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

Silva's visit is the first by a Brazilian president to the East African nation. Silva and Kibaki did not give more details about how Brazil will help Kenya develop biodiesel or improve its agriculture. For several years, however, a growing number of Kenyan farmers have been increasing the amount of land they dedicate to plants known to be good sources of biofuel. The production of such fuel remains small scale in Kenya.

Earlier in the day, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula and his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, signed five agreements to act as a framework for future investments and assistance. The agreements include one that will allow Kenyan students join a university the Brazilian government will build in its northeastern state of Ceara to train 5 000 African and 5 000 Brazilian students in various fields.

Silva and a delegation of Brazilian Cabinet ministers, officials and businesspeople arrived in Kenya on Monday. They go to neighbouring Tanzania later on Tuesday and then to Zambia before ending their six-nation African tour in South Africa.

The Brazilian leader began his tour last week in Cape Verde, where he attended a meeting with the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States. He then visited Equatorial Guinea before arriving in Kenya.