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A taste of Austria in Kenya

Wednesday November 6 2019

From left: The Kenyan government representative

From left: The Kenyan government representative at the Austrian National Day 2019 celebrations was Amb. Michael Oyugi, who is the Director, Diaspora and Consular Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and his Mrs Diana Oyugi ( in red) are joined by Austria’s Ambassador to Kenya Dr Christian Fellner and his wife Mrs Ursula Fellner. PHOTO| COURTESY  

THOMAS MATIKO
By THOMAS MATIKO
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Eliud Kipchoge’s triumph is the first thing that comes to mind when Kenyans think of Austria.

He proved that no human is limited by running a sub-2-hour marathon in Vienna what was dubbed the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

The organisers of the marathon chose Vienna because of a number of reasons key being its similarities with Kenya like the time zone and climatic conditions.

During Austria National Day celebrations held on October 25at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Nairobi, Austria’s Ambassador to Kenya

Dr Christian Fellner acknowledged Kipchoge’s success as well as use the opportunity to explore on the cordial relationship Austria and Kenya have enjoyed  for thepast decades.

“Eliud Kipchoge ran that incredible marathon in my home town Vienna and I’m really proud of that. Although I am not as fast as Mr Kipchoge I promise to finish my speech in less than two hours. Let us have a look a back at the events of the past 12 months,” he said.

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The ambassador took cognizance of the high level Forum Africa-Europe meeting held in Vienna December 2018 that was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s counterpart Paul Kagame upon invitation of the federal Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz.

The forum centred on discussions about how the two nations would take their cooperation to the digital age.

PRESENTED WITH MAP

It’s at this forum that Austria President Alexander Van der Bellen presented President Kenyatta with a new map of Mount Kenya National Park that was developed by Austrian Alpine Association in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife service (KWS).

“The map is currently the most accurate map of its kind of the Mount Kenya National Park. It’s also a good example of effective cooperation in science and research,” added Dr Fellner.

The ambassador went on to note on the excellent business relations between the two nations and also drew similarities in a number of things that they are both engaged in like being members of the United Nations, environmental protection and strong tourism sector which is Kenya’s second largest foreign exchange earner after agriculture.

Dr Fellner also spoke about development cooperation between the two states which includes several projects like the Nawiri Maternal and Child Nutrition program financed by Austria and European Union in Siaya county as well as UNFPA-UNICEF joint Programme to eliminate  Female Genital Mutilation program.

The Ambassador also mentioned an Austrian funded project that establishedCompetence Centers for Knowledge Management Service in Nairobi and Kampala, a project aimed at providing knowledge management services to the public and private sectors in a professional and self-sustained way.

The Ambassador alsomentionedanAustrianinitiative in theinformal settlementKorogocho in Nairobi, that set up a bakery called “Angel’s Bakery”.

The bakery was completed in July 2015 on the initiative of the Austrian Backaldrin company. It has employed 26 staff members from Korogocho and provides snacks for about 2,800 children in the area.




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