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IAfrica News Kenya Focus 

April 19 - 25, 2013


 Coastweek   Kenya

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President Uhuru Kenyatta holds first meeting with foreign envoys

South Korea looked forward to working with the new government in ICT investment through education exchange programs between the two countries

By David Musyoka NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s new President Uhuru Kenyatta held a series of meetings with regional leaders and envoys on his first day in the capital Nairobi to seek cooperation, especially foreign investments in the East Africa nation.

During his meeting with Chinese National People’s Congress Vice- Chairman Zhang Baowen on Wednesday, Kenyatta invited more Chinese investors to the country, assuring them that Kenya has a highly skilled human resource base that can be exploited to facilitate trade between the two countries.

President Kenyatta further said his government is keen on increasing the flow of local exports into the Chinese market, singling out green tea and coffee as products that can be taken to another level for the benefit of the Kenyan population,” the statement said.

Through the existing Joint Trade and Economic Commission between Kenya and China, Kenya said the two governments will continue exploring ways of enhancing trade and investment through value-addition and capacity building that addresses the trade imbalance.

On his part, Zhang, who is special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, delivered congratulatory and goodwill messages from Xi to President Kenyatta and the people of Kenya.

The Chinese special envoy said the two countries will continue to cooperate in areas such as climate change and United Nations (UN) reforms and looked forward to continued collaboration on other international matters.

Given Kenya’s strong agricultural potential, the special envoy said there is a wide scope for cooperation in agricultural technologies, farming mechanization and use of better seed,” the statement said.

The Kenyan leader’s talks with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame focused on issues of mutual interest at the bilateral and regional levels.

During talks with the Malawi’s Vice-President Khumbo Kachali, Kenyatta said Kenya had a lot to learn from Malawi’s government policy intervention on food production.

President Kenyatta noted that the decision by the Malawi government to reintroduce fertilizer subsidies as part of the 2005 Fertilizer Subsidy Policy contributed to the turnaround from a food deficit to a country producing surplus food.

In response, Kachali said Malawi was keen to learn from Kenya’s successful implementation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” the statement said.

Kenya and Malawi in January resolved to establish resident diplomatic missions in Lilongwe and Nairobi as a matter of priority as a commitment to strengthening and consolidating the bilateral relations enjoyed by the two countries.

Kenyatta’s predecessor Mwai Kibaki and Malawian President Joyce Banda also directed the relevant government agencies in the two countries to, as a matter of priority, work out modalities of opening the resident diplomatic missions without further delay.

During a meeting with U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, President Kenyatta said issues of peace, national unity and reconciliation were top on the Jubilee government’s list of immediate priorities.

Jackson on his part congratulated President Kenyatta and the Kenyan people for conducting a peaceful election and emphasized the need for reconciliation after last month’s general election.

The civil rights activist added that mutual respect was a pre- requisite in international relations.

Meeting India’s Human Resource Development Minister Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Kenyatta said Kenya was keen on strengthening technical cooperation especially in health and agricultural sectors.

Tharoor expressed confidence that being a young leader, President Kenyatta will propel the East African nation into greater heights in development.

In his talks with South Korea’s special envoy Choung Byoung-gug, President Kenyatta noted that although Kenya and South Korea started on the same footing in the 1970s, massive investment in human capital and technology had made South Korea one of the most industrialized countries in the world.

On his part, Choung said South Korea looked forward to working with the new government in ICT investment through education exchange programs between the two countries.


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