Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on one-day State Visit

Nairobi, Saturday February 18, 2017 (MFA Press) — President El-Sisi today made a one-day State Visit and held bilateral talks with his host President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya and Egypt ties go back to pre-colonial days, when President Gamal Abdel Nasser provided assistance to Kenyan freedom fighters through Kiswahili broadcasts from Cairo.

The friendship is so deep that Kenya now regards Egypt as one of its most valued strategic partners. In order to add impetus to help forge closer strategic cooperation and partnership, Kenya and Egypt have agreed to elevate the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) into a Joint Ministerial Commission, under whose auspices Ministers will meet biennially to explore new areas of mutual opportunity, and to deepen existing ones. It is essential that economic ties and investment continue to grow for enhanced trade.

Kenya and Egypt enjoy cordial relations and have resident Ambassadors in their respective capitals. Kenya’s Embassy in Cairo was opened soon after independence in 1964, becoming the second Kenyan mission abroad after London.

The total volume of trade between Kenya and Egypt is at about Kshs 42 billion in 2014 while the highest value was Kshs 51 billion in 2012 according to official statistics.

Kenya’s total exports to Egypt were valued at approximately Kshs 17.5 billion with a negative trade balance of Kshs 8 billion in 2014. Kenya commands a very minimal market share of only about 0.4% . These exports comprise a limited number of products dominated by tea at 96% of total exports.

Egypt is the second largest importer of Kenya tea. However, there has been a decline in tea exports over the last few years. This may be attributed to the high cost of Kenya tea and aggressive marketing by India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Kenya and Egypt have a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation.  Since its establishment, six (6) sessions have been held, alternating between Nairobi and Cairo. The 6th Session was held in Nairobi on January 12-14, 2015 during which five Agreements/MoUs were signed.

Within the framework of the JCC, Kenyans continue to receive specialized training in the fields of medicine, agriculture, security and diplomacy in various Egyptian institutions.

The Egyptian economy is the second largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia and the third largest in Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria. In 2015, Egypt’s GDP stood at about US$ 286.5 billion with a per capita income of US$ 3,187.

Egypt is a significant oil producer and a rapidly growing gas producer. The Suez Canal and Sumed pipeline are strategic routes for Persian Gulf oil shipments, making Egypt a strategic focal point in world energy markets. Its main revenue, however, comes from tourism as well as the traffic that goes through the Suez Canal.

Dialogue on Humanitarian Assistance Held  

Thursday, February 16, 2017, (MFA Press) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination on Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Africa Policy Institute (API) held a consultative dialogue on the development of a strategic humanitarian assistance on February 16, 2017 at a Nairobi.

The framework is meant to guide the direction and administration of Kenya’s international assistance where a draft will be developed through inputs from focused group discussions and validated by stakeholders through a meeting planned for the end of March 2017.

In a statement read by the Political and Diplomatic Secretary Amb. Tom Amolo on behalf of the Principal Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Monica Juma said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was privileged to lead the policy dialogue framework development which Kenyan humanitarian assistance will be fashioned.

“In a post-World Humanitarian Summit era, where the humanitarian discourse has taken global center stage, there is need to galvanize our humanitarian efforts and firmly put into perspective, Kenya’s humanitarian footprint, which is historical in nature and character,” she said.

MFA, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Africa Policy Institute (API), other government ministries and the private sector addressed the technical, political and financial capacities based on how they could be improved and enhanced to help retrieve the alarming trend in decrease of human security in Africa as a whole.

Director, Liasion, Parliamentary and County Affairs, Amb. Eliaphas Barine noted that Kenya has an opportunity to leverage its position and in the highest esteem it enjoys in the region by exploring ways to assert its power to the rest of the continent through measures to support countries emerging from conflicts.

The Humanitarian Diplomacy aims to structure Kenya’s long history of humanitarian cooperation, align the engagement with Kenya’s Foreign Policy and vision 2030.

Present at the dialogue were Prof. Peter Kagwanja, CEO API, Arindom Mookerjee, Humanitarian Affairs officer UNOCHA, nominated Senator Naisula Lesuda, Eldas Member of Parliament Adan Keynan and Officials from the Ministry.

 

Foreign Service Cadets Stage Cultural Festival

Tuesday February 14, 2017, (MFA Press) — The newly recruited Foreign Service cadets currently undertaking a three-month induction course at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) held a Cultural Festival yesterday to display diverse Kenyan cultures through traditional artifacts, song, dance and regalia.

The Director of Administration, Mr. Henry Obino, speaking on behalf of Principal  Secretary Amb. Monica Juma congratulated the cadets for the excellent cultural presentations.

Mr. Obino said that the course was meant to expose the cadets to one of the  Kenya’s Foreign Policy pillars – Cultural Diplomacy – stating that the work of a foreign service officer is to promote Kenya’s interest abroad by projecting Kenya’s image as well as promoting the interests of Kenyans in the Diaspora.

The cadets showcased what they have learnt through projecting Kenya’s cultural values, norms and way of life. The cultural groupings include: The Maa community (Maasai, Ilchamus, Rendile, Samburu): the Rift Valley (Teso, Turkana, Keiyo, Kipsigis, Ogiek, Pokot); Gema (Kikuyu, Embu, Meru, Akamba); Nomads ( Somali, Garreh, Borana, Gabbra, Nubi, Bajun); Western Bantu (Kisii, Luhya, Kuria); Nyanza (Luo); Mita (Mijikenda, Taita, Taveta).

KSG Director General Dr. Ludeki Chweya urged the Cadets to defend and protect Kenya’s rich and diverse culture abroad as it represents Africa’s uniqueness.

Cultural diplomacy is one of the five pillars of the Kenyan Foreign Policy developed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at improving the country’s  image. It involves exchange of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture among nations.

The training is being  facilitated by the Foreign Service Academy.

Present during the event were Head  East Africa Directorate Amb. Ruth Solitei, Head of Cultural Diplomacy Ms. Hellen Gichuhi, Head Welfare Eunice Ndulu, Training Coordinator Sarah Ngethe and Ministry staff.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska on Three-Day State Visit

President of Slovakia, H.E. Andrej Kiska, on a three-day State Visit to Kenya arrived on Sunday evening and was received by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed and Tourism CS Najib Balala.

This is the first Presidential level visit from East and Central Europe. The visit will focus mainly on economic cooperation in the areas of ICT, energy and agriculture.

Slovak Republic is keen on expanding bilateral cooperation with Kenya and has proposed the reinvigoration of development cooperation between the two countries.

The Slovak Republic is a high-income advanced economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and Kenyan businesses will be looking to leverage the Slovak Republic’s areas of relative strength as well as look for more trading partners. The President is accompanied by a big business delegation.

Slovak economy is mainly driven by Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Major industries include metal and metal products, paper and printing, food and beverages, electricity, gas, oil, nuclear fuel, transport vehicles, textiles, electrical and optical apparatus, rubber, and machinery.

Kenya’s exports to Slovakia include ornamental carvings, jewellery, furniture (wooden) and textile products. Kenya’s imports include paper and paper products, pharmaceuticals (Including veterinary medicaments), iron and steel products and rubber products.

In 2015 Kenya’s exports to Slovakia were estimated at Kshs. 19,745,198 against imports from Slovakia valued at Kshs. 530,192,807.

Kenya, Germany Sign Two Declarations

Nairobi, Thursday February 9, 2017 (MFA Press) — Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohamed and Germany Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries today held bilateral meeting on the the sidelines of Kenya 2nd German-African Business Summit in Nairobi.
 
The meeting discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries. Earlier, Kenya and Germany signed two joint declarations;
i) On establishment of Eastern Africa German University of Applied Sciences between Treasury and German Government, and
ii) Declaration of intent aimed at supporting vocational and technical training in Kenya between Ministry of Education and German Government.This will help in developing appropriate skills for Kenya youth to meet the demands of job market.
 
Present were CS Dr Fred Matiangi and Treasury CS Henry Rotich.

Kenya Hosts 2nd German-African Business Summit

Nairobi Thursday February 9, 2017 (MFA Press) — Kenya is hosting 460 private sector and government officials from the Federal Republic of Germany and Government delegations from African countries currently convening in Nairobi for the 2nd German-African Business Summit (GABS) taking place at Intercontinental Hotel from February 8-10, 2017.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech read on his behalf by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed congratulated Germany for the long-standing political, cultural and economic relations with the continent of Africa stressing that the summit provides an opportunity to deepen the cooperation and enhance growth and prosperity of the nations.

He said that German business interests are well represented in Kenya through the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Office in Nairobi, the German Carrier, Lufthansa and the Volkswagen Car maker in Thika, which are contributing to the achievement of Kenya’s industrialisation goal of Vision 2030.

President Kenyatta noted that the summit will be discussing issues such as Africa’s economic growth prospect, regional economic integration, innovation and financing opportunity stating that “these are critical issues to achieving our aspirations as a continent that is seeking to be an important global player.”

He welcomed the German Business Community to explore further opportunities for investments in sectors such as ICT, Manufacturing, Agriculture, mining, finance, transport, infrastructure and energy.

President Kenyatta emphasized that German companies that have invested in Africa will confirm that many opportunities exist to create markets and establish long-term relationships especially in consumer related industries, agriculture and infrastructure.

The President thanked Germany for agreeing to partner with Kenya in developing centres of excellence for technical and vocational training and applied sciences at the university level noting that this will support a large and well educated young population.

He assured the Summit organisers that Kenya will take on board the recommendations arising from the summit in order to further enhance the cooperation between Germany and Africa.

 

Turkish Government Donates IT Equipment to MFA

Wednesday February 8, 2017 (MFA Press) — The Ministry today received ICT equipment’s from the Turkish Government aimed at supporting technical infrastructure in the ministry.

While receiving the equipment for the Ministry, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed expressed gratitude to Turkish Government for continued support and cooperation noting that the relationship between the two countries has grown in scope.

She highlighted exchange of high level visits starting with that of President Uhuru Kenyatta to Turkey in 2014 and the subsequent return visit by Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Kenya in 2016 as a sign of the cordial relationship between the two countries.

The CS stressed the support in the Agricultural and Health Sectors by the Turkish Government was enormous.

The Turkish Ambassador to Kenya, Amb. Deniz Eke, reiterated her Government’s commitment to continue working and supporting Kenya to improve the welfare of the Kenyan people.

Equipment donated included, Ipads, Macbooks, colour printers, scanners, camera, UPs, firewall and Cisco Switch.

Present during the handing over ceremony were Principal Secretary Monica Juma, Political and Diplomatic Secretary Tom Amollo and other senior staff at the Ministry.

Down to the Wire for AU Chairperson Position

Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Tuesday February 2, 2017 (MFA Press) –The spirited campaign for election of Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to African Union Chairperson came to a close in Addis Ababa Ethiopia when her worthy competitor, Mr.  Mahamat Moussa Faki, wriggled out a win on the seventh round.

The Chadian was declared the winner after garnering 38 votes in the seventh solo-round having garnered 28 votes against Kenya’s 25 votes in the sixth round.

On behalf of the Government of Kenya, State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu congratulated the new chairperson; “We congratulate him on a race well won. We pledge to work with him to defend the pan-African agenda of integration of Africa as well as democracy.”

Kenya’s Amb Amina ran a valiant race. Her candidacy marked the re-emergence of Kenya at the very heart of the pan-African project. Kenya is grateful for the strong campaign she ran, which put pan-African themes — of self-reliance, of sovereignty, of openness to trade — at its very heart.

The campaign was spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto together with a seven-man cabinet sub-committee headed by Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi, which  traversed the continent visiting a record 51 African countries.

The aim of the visits by the special envoys was to seek support and convince Africa that the Kenyan candidate was best qualified for the job and would make a difference at AUC.

Amb. Mohamed was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta after wide consultations with other African Heads of State and Governments. He said that the government of Kenya believed that her experience and knowledge would promote consensus and drive African agenda forward.

Speaking during a luncheon hosted in her honour by Kenya Women Leaders at Intercontinental hotel on February 1, 2017, Amb. Mohamed said that “Kenya respects the sovereign decision of African Union member States and will uphold Pan African ideals as well as uphold strong positive relations with all AU member states notwithstanding the outcome of the AUC vote.”

The luncheon reviewed and celebrated Kenya’s brave contest for the AUC chair, noting that “our performance is an inspiration for young women seeking to break the glass ceiling in all areas of human endeavour,” Amb. Mohamed said, adding that “we should endeavour to bequeath upcoming generations of women a legacy greater than our heritage.

Other candidates in the race included Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson – Mitoi, Equitorial Guinea Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily.

In July 2016 the elections flopped after the candidates failed to garner the two-thirds majority vote in Kigali, Rwanda

AUC is the secretariat of the Union entrusted with executive functions. It is composed of 10 officials; A chairperson, a deputy Chairperson, eight commissioners and staff   members. It is made up of 8 portfolios namely; peace and security; political affairs; Trade and Industry; Infrastructure and Energy; Social Affairs; Rural Economic and Agriculture; Human Resource; Science and Technology; Economic Affairs.