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NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Visitors attend the 5th Edition of China Trade Week at Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) in Nairobi. China Trade week is a series of successful Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Government (B2G) trade platforms across the Middle East and Africa covering multiple industries including building and construction materials, lighting, furniture and interior, technology, agriculture, textiles and auto parts. XINHUA PHOTO - CHARLES ONYANGO


China Government donates over 11,000 tonnes
of rice to Kenyans in drought affected areas

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- China has donated 11,835 tonnes of rice to Kenya’s drought victims, a Chinese envoy said on Monday.

Wu Peng, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, told journalists in Nairobi that the first batch has already been distributed and is currently benefiting the drought-affected people.

"The shipment for the second batch of 1,500 tonnes will start by the end of this month," Wu said during the Handover Ceremony of the China-aided project of emergency humanitarian rice donation to Kenya.

Wu added that the Chinese embassy is working closely with the Kenyan government to ensure quick transportation and efficient distribution of the more batches to come.

He added that in 2017, the Chinese government announced a 22 million dollars worth of emergency humanitarian food aid to Kenya.

He noted that 21,366 tonnes of rice were shipped to Kenya within one year and has supported millions of drought-affected people.

"Now, I am very glad to see that the project is officially completed and handed over," the Chinese envoy said.

Wu said that China hopes and believes that all the emergency food assistance provided by the Chinese side will effectively alleviate the difficulties of Kenyan people and help the vulnerable rebuild their normal life.

He observed that China is one of Kenya’s most important development partners and its assistance to Kenya will be closely aligned with the Big Four Agenda, especially the manufacturing industry.

He added that since Kenya gained independence in 1963, China has financed nearly 100 projects through grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, supporting the development of vast areas such as infrastructure, health, education, and agriculture.

The Chinese diplomat said that the two governments are also working together on the China-Africa Trainers College of Vocational Education, which aims at training teachers with vocational skills, thus cultivating the "seeds" for skill enhancement, job creation and income improvement for the local people.

"We look forward to the day that the seeds grow into big trees that nourish Kenya’s national development and China-Kenya relations," he added.

Eugene Wamalwa, cabinet secretary of the ministry of devolution and arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) said that China has always stood with Kenya whenever it has faced challenges.

He noted that in 2016/2017 financial year, many Kenyans had been facing drought and China come to the aid of Kenya.

"The rice donation was timely; it came at the time when the country was faced with a prolonged drought which had put the lives of three million people on the verge of starvation."

"Distribution of the rice together with other quantities of relief food ensured that, no deaths were reported. The gesture of China is commended," he added.

He observed that Kenya faced drought in January due to the failure of the October to December rains in 2018.

"However we have been lucky in May as we have experienced some rain across the country that has brought some relief especially to the arid and semi arid counties," he added.

He observed that experts have indicated that the rains will come to an end at the beginning of July and so the country is expected to experience a biting drought not just in the arid areas but across the country.

"We want to thank China for the brotherly hand that has reached us in time to provide food to less fortunate Kenyans," he said.


Kenya launches second phase of China Trade Week amid positive reception

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The second phase of China Trade Week was launched in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Monday amid positive reception from local consumers keen to purchase high quality goods.

Guo Ce, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya was joined by executives from local private sector lobby groups during the launch of phase 2 of China Trade Week that will run from June 10 to 12.

Thousands of visitors from Kenya and neighboring countries are expected to attend the trade week that will showcase consumer goods, automobile parts, IT solutions and agricultural machinery.

"China Trade Week has been growing up year by year," said Guo, adding that China-Kenya economic cooperation has become more robust in the last four years since the launch of China Trade Week.

The first phase of the event that ran from June 5 to 7 was attended by more than 500 exhibitors who showcased construction materials, textiles, packaging materials, furniture and water treatment technologies.

Nemaisa Kiereini, chief executive officer of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that phase 2 of China Trade Week will also have a positive impact on the local economy.

"We welcome the hosting of China Trade Week in the country and believe it will benefit local consumers and entrepreneurs looking for partners who can facilitate importation of goods from China," said Kiereini.



NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy speaks during the official opening of the 2019 China Trade Week Kenya Phase 2 at Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. XINHUA PHOTO - CHARLES ONYANGO
She said that China Trade Week phase 2 will also feature workshops as well as business to business meetings, offering a platform to discuss innovative ways to stimulate flow of goods, capital, services and technology between two long-standing bilateral partners.

Joyce Kibet, business development adviser at East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture said the second phase of China Trade Week is expected to unleash mutual benefits to Chinese investors and local entrepreneurs.

"We believe this expo will create a win-win situation for both the Kenyan host and Chinese business community," said Kibet.

"Additionally, we foresee direct skill transfer and sustained trade and investment opportunities between our two countries," she added.

Chinese firm launches shopping festival in
Kenya to boost linkage with consumers

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Chinese construction firm China Wu Yi on Friday launched an inaugural shopping festival on the outskirts of Kenyan capital Nairobi to showcase its signature products like construction materials and home furnishings to local consumers.

The three-day shopping festival is held at China Wu Yi’s Coloho Mall alongside China Trade Week Kenya underway in Nairobi.

The festival that is expected to attract hundreds of visitors from Kenya and across the east African region will showcase high-quality construction materials as well as furniture and sanitary equipment.

"The shopping festival is timely as Kenya continues to deepen our bilateral trade with China and it will help local entrepreneurs cut down on the cost of travelling to China’s manufacturing hubs to purchase building materials," said Moses Ikiara, managing director of the Kenya Investment Authority.

Ikiara said that China Wu Yi’s shopping festival was a reflection of growing bilateral trade between Kenya and the world’s second largest economy.

"We would like to see more Chinese companies invest in the manufacture of building materials to help realize the affordable housing agenda," said Ikiara.

"The next decade is likely to experience huge demand for construction materials and we are encouraged by China Wu Yi for setting the pace in this arena," he added.

Zhang Jie, chairman of China Wu Yi Precast (Kenya) Company Limited, said the shopping festival that will include products exhibition alongside business-to-business meetings will help raise the visibility of made-in-China building materials, furniture and fittings in Kenya.

"This is the first professional exhibition of home furnishing and building materials in Kenya that will open the door for better exchanges between Chinese companies and local clients," said Zhang.

Kenya to promote electric vehicle to reduce air pollution

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to promote use of electric vehicles in order to reduce air pollution in the country, a government official said on Monday.

Martin Eshiwani, director of road and railway transport in the ministry of transport, infrastructure, housing and urban development told a forum in Nairobi that standards for electric vehicles and motorcycles were put in December 2018.

"Kenya wants to move towards green vehicles so that it can also achieve its commitments under the Paris climate agreement," Eshiwani said during the Urban Mobility Summit.

Eshiwani said that Kenya has approximately 350 electric vehicles and motorcycles on the roads.

He noted that the government is considering implementing a number of fiscal and regulatory measures that will increase e-mobility in the country.

Eshiwani observed that most vehicles standards are geared to the fossil fuels that are most prevalent in the country.

According to the government official, the number of motorbikes licensed is increasing every year due to their affordability and are therefore an emerging source of green house gas emissions.

Eshiwani said that the infrastructure to support electric vehicles on the roads will also be required for a robust e-mobility sector to develop.

He revealed that data from the ministry of health indicates that upper respiratory illness has been on the increase in urban cities due to vehicle emissions.

"The high rate of urbanization coupled with a growing middle class is likely to increase the number of vehicles and so reforms are required to transit the country to a low carbon development pathway," he said.

United Nations pledges to support countries in embracing electric mobility

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Monday pledged support to member countries in embracing electric mobility programs.

Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Africa Regional Director for UN Environment, said that the UN agency will provide support to countries in developing policies and exchange best practices.

"We are helping the countries in tracking electric vehicle uptake and calculate emissions and economic benefits," Koudenoukpo told a meeting on harmonization of vehicle emission standards with the East African Community (EAC).

The official noted that the UN is helping countries based on the fact that mobility is a key component of sustainable development because of the direct link between development opportunities and movement of peoples, goods and services.

"Sustainable mobility provides socio-economic and environmental opportunities such as good health, employment, investment, social inclusion and a general high quality of life to communities," Koudenoukpo added.

She told delegates drawn from the five regional countries and South Africa that unsustainable mobility systems are associated with lagging economic development, missed opportunities, low quality of life and adverse negative impacts on environment.

East Africa is rapidly motorizing and filling the market with used, polluting vehicles that rely heavily on fossil fuels.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is responsible for approximately 7 million deaths globally every year, 600,000 of which are from Africa.

The UN official noted that besides air pollution causing a public health and climate change threats, it also has a major implications on economies.

"It is important that countries in the region intensify efforts towards phasing out polluting used and aging vehicles from the road," she added.



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