Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai today hosted the French Ambassador to Kenya Arnaud Suquet, who paid a courtesy call on him at the County Headquarters.
The Ambassador and Governor Lomorukai held talks on collaboration in the integration programme of refugees and host communities, climate change mitigation, vocational training and developing tourism products related to archaeology and human evolution.
The two agreed on the need to revive plans to establish a museum on human evolution in Turkana, which will house all fossils discovered and promote tourism in the county. They agreed to hold discussions with the National Museums of Kenya on the initiative as well as engage in the preservation of key tourist sites including Kenyatta House in Lodwar.
The Governor called for partnership to grow expertise in Turkana on archaeology, through supporting Turkana University College to establish a department of archaeology to promote studies in the field and through scholarships for Turkana youth to study abroad.
Governor Lomorukai said the county appreciated the contribution of the late Dr. Richard Leakey, who was responsible for fossil discoveries on human evolution, including the discovery of skeleton remains of early man, popularly known as Turkana Boy. He revealed that he had held discussions with the Leakey family to implement plans the late paleoanthropologist had in Turkana.
Ambassador Suquet said France was ready to share best practices on tourism to understand the balance between preservation and revenue growth.
He informed the Governor that France was providing financial support for the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Programme (KISEDP), and stated that the €1million funding contained a component of support to the host community.
The envoy said the embassy will work with Turkana on climate mitigation programmes, as one of the counties in the ASALs region where the impact of climate change was greatly felt.
He briefed the Governor on the FEMIDEV programme being implemented by LakeHub along Lake Turkana to train women on digital literacy, web and software development, and Mobile APP development. Additionally, the Embassy was working with the Toolkit Foundation to support women in the refugee camp to acquire knowledge and skills in renewable energy and solar services and products.
Governor Lomorukai appreciated France’s support in Turkana and said the County Government was committed to developing strategic partnerships to achieve its development objectives for Turkana.
The Ambassador was accompanied by Deputy Head of Cooperation Mathieu Guerin.
County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Executive for Education Leah Audan, Chief Officers Robert Loyelei (Vocational Training and Sports), Paul Lodunga (Office of the Governor), and Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe attended the meeting.