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Kenyan First Lady hosts mother of Colombian President

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[First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi with Mrs Juliana Marquez Tono. Photo/courtesy]

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday at State House, Nairobi met Mrs Juliana Marquez Tono, mother of President Iván Duque Márquez of the Republic of Colombia.

Mrs Tono is in the country on a maiden visit to Africa and Kenya during which she is visiting various tourist attractions in the country among them the globally renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve in Narok County.

During the meeting, Mrs Tono and the First Lady discussed several subjects of mutual interest to Kenya and Colombia among them tourism promotion, cultural exchanges and people-to-people interactions.

Mrs Tono, who offered to promote Kenya’s tourist attractions in Colombia, congratulated the First Lady for her transformative programs for disadvantaged women and children and invited her to visit the South American nation to share her experience.

“I read about you and I love it. This is great work that you are doing and we want to come and talk about it,” Mrs Tono told her host.

She said Kenya and Colombia have a lot to learn and gain from each other in the fields of culture, environmental conservation, trade, agriculture, city transport systems and health.

“The traffic jams in Kenya are nothing compared to Colombia because in Colombia one can spend about two hours to reach a short distance,” Mrs Tono said.

She however noted that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, provides residents with efficient and safe mass transportation that Kenya can emulate.

Mrs Tono also spoke about Colombia’s fight against Covid-19 saying her country’s immediate target is to vaccinate 90 per cent of its 55 million people including teenagers within this year.

On her part, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta welcomed Mrs Tono to Kenya and wished her a successful tour of the country’s tourist attractions.

The First Lady said Kenya and Colombia enjoy cordial bilateral relations dating back to 1975 it set up a diplomatic mission in Nairobi and challenged Kenyans to leverage on the good ties to explore growth opportunities in the South American nation.

Mrs Tono was accompanied by Colombian Ambassador to Kenya Monica De Greiff Lindo while the First Lady was joined at the meeting by her Chief of Staff Constance Gakonyo and Director of Communications Vivianne Ngugi.