Kenya-Somalia Discuss Improved Relations

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED BY H.E. AMB. (DR) AMINA MOHAMED, CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND H.E. MR. YUSUF-GARAAD OMAR, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MID TERM REVIEW OF THE KENYA-SOMALIA JOINT COMMISSION FOR COOPERATION.

 JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ

  1. At the invitation of E. Amb. (Dr) Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar, Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia attended the Midterm Review of the 1st Session of the Kenya-Somalia Joint Commission for Cooperation held in Nairobi on 26th July, 2017.
  2. In their opening statements, the two Ministers hailed the warm, fraternal and cordial relations that exist between the two countries. They emphasized on the need to deepen and enhance the excellent bilateral cooperation existing between the two countries.
  3. The two Ministers discussed a wide range of issues touching mainly on the various sectors of Kenya-Somalia bilateral cooperation. These sectors include Trade, Agriculture, Security, Refugees, Immigration, Economic and Political affairs among others.
  4. The two Ministers recalled the deliberations of the two Heads of State during the State Visit to Kenya in March 2017 by the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and appreciated the progress made so far in implementing the agreed actions. These actions include the resumption of direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi which has already commenced. Regarding the training of 200 nursing students from Somalia, the first batch of 50 students will be admitted to the Mandera Medical Training College as from September 2017. In this regard, the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has been requested to submit the names of the 50 students who meet the Nursing Council of Kenya requirements. The second batch of 50 students will be admitted in March 2018, and the third batch of 100 students will be admitted in September, 2018.
  5. Kenya will offer training of Foreign Service Officers and Protocol Department Officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia
  6. The two Ministers noted that resumption of direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu has been effected and is operating smoothly.
  7. The two Ministers further agreed that the two Governments will share comprehensive details regarding the regulations guiding the issuance and use of Diplomatic and Service Passports for consideration of waiver of Visa.
  8. The two Ministers agreed to work on the modalities of developing user friendly customs and immigration documents for communities along the common border in order to facilitate ease of movement for people, goods and services.
  9. The Ministers agreed to have a full-fledged Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) in Mogadishu at a date to be mutually agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

Issued in Nairobi, on July 26, 2017.

 

‘Belgian Government Key Development Partner of Kenya’

Relationship between Kenya and the Kingdom of Belgium are characteristic warm and cordial at both bilateral and multilateral levels, Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed has said.

In  speech read on her behalf by Europe and Commonwealth Director at the Ministry Amb. Ben Ogutu during a farewell luncheon in honour of outgoing Belgium ambassador to Kenya H.E. Roxane De Bildering, CS Mohamed said the two countries relationship had been enhanced through exchange of high level visits.

Below is the full speech read out during the luncheon:

STATEMENT BY  AMBASSADOR (DR) AMINA C. MOHAMED, EGH, CAV, CABINET SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS  DURING THE FAREWEL CEREMONY FOR H.E ROXANE DE BILDERING, THE OUTGOING AMBASSADOR OF THE KINGDOM  OF  BELGIUM

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, Your Excellency Roxane de Bildering,

Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor for me, on behalf of the Government and People of Kenya to host this Farewell Luncheon in honour of H.E. Roxane De Bildering who is leaving us after a successful completion of her three -year tour of duty in Kenya. I thank you all for gracing this occasion as we gather here to say goodbye to her and wish her well in her next assignment.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Relationship between Kenya and the Kingdom of Belgium are characteristic warm and cordial at both bilateral and multilateral levels. Development co-operation between the two countries dates back to the 1970s and have been growing ever since indeed. Excellency, your tour of duty has solidified and strengthened this relationship. Our two countries have indeed witnessed enhanced cooperation and interaction at high levels including the visit by H.E. the President to Brussels in June, 2016, during which he held bilateral talks with the Prime-minister and his Majesty King Philippe. This was followed by visit to Kenya by the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs in November 2016. These high – level engagements are testimony to our desire to enhance mutually beneficial co-operation and further enrichment of our long history of collaboration.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The Belgian Government is a key development partner of Kenya. The enhanced collaboration is demonstrated  by increase of  Official Development Assistance from the Kingdom of Belgium to Kenya during your tenure in Kenya by the commitment of Kshs 4.5 billion worthy of development initiatives for the period 2016/17, compared Kshs 2 billion for the period 2015/16.

Suffice to mention a few areas of cooperation between the two Governments in the area of Information, Communication and Technology sector including:

  • Enhancing the connectivity between Nairobi and 47 County administrations.
  • Private Network County Connectivity ICT project at the Treasury.
  • Wind energy generation and rural electrification.
  • Medical equipment with installations for diagnosis to cover at least one hospital in each county, Water distribution.
  • Upgrading of firefighting equipment in Nairobi.
  • Humanitarian activities mainly on social-cultural activities aimed at slum upgrading.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I, in particular wish to applaud the efforts that the Belgian Government has made to support Kenya in Drought Relief Projects in Turkana with Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium (VSF), and Education partnerships with Kenyan institutions such as the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) that has enabled the marine research organization to train more than 70 research scientists. The donation of the Marine Research Vessel, RV. Mtafiti has strengthened KMFRI’s capacity to carry out marine studies and research.

Others sectors that have benefitted from this support include;

  • Telecommunications Equipment (PABX) telephone systems to government institutions and Ministries,
  • Urban Transport Survey (UTS) to the Garissa Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) project consultancy
  • The Nairobi bypass road project,
  • Energy Generation Wind farm in Ngong Hills with a capacity to produce 5.1 MW of clean energy.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The latest statistics show that Kenyan exports to the Kingdom of Belgium were valued at Kshs. 5.3 billion against imports valued at Kshs. 13 billion with the balance of trade at KShs. 8 billion in favour of Belgium. This trade imbalance presents an opportunity for that we find innovative ways of closing the gap. I that we to make use of commercially available business opportunities like diversification of exports, value addition, foreign direct investment in the emerging areas of ICT, gas, coal and oil.

Tourist numbers for the year 2016 showed a slight decrease of 0.2% from 6,350 to 6,335 in year 2015.  Our two countries therefore need to double efforts to enhance tourism. Kenya  has a wide  variety  of  Fauna  and flora   and  many diversified tourist attraction  sites  which offer a  wide  range of  experiences. Indeed Belgian   companies should be encouraged to invest and enter into partnerships with Kenyan tour operators to tap into this market.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Excellency as you leave Kenya to take up your new assignment, we hope that you will continue to cultivate your goodwill and friendship to Kenya and treasure the wonderful memories and many friends that you have made during your stay here.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

May I now request you all to join me in a toast to the warm and cordial relations between Kenya and the Kingdom of Belgium and to the good health of His Majesty King Philippe and to the prosperity of the people of the Kingdom of Belgium.

Thank you.

CS Amina Mohamed Tribute to the Late Hon. Nicholas Biwott

Yesterday we lost a great son of Kenya and Africa who was held in high esteem across the world. I was privileged and lucky to have worked with Hon. Nicholas Kipyator Kiprono Biwott and to have considered him a friend.

The late Minister was highly respected in international trade circles where he made many friends among his peers. He counted the trade Ministers of the African Continent, US, EU, Japan, Australia, the Middle East and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries among close friends. They sought him out during and in between sessions of Ministerial meetings for counsel and support.

Most of them often traveled to Nairobi to consult with him. Hon. Biwott graciously and without fail met each of them whether expected or on a detour from a visit to a neighboring country. Through all this, the late Minister insisted that one should always portray their country and office in the best possible light.

It was amazing to watch him work, never giving up on positions he felt were critical for the trade and investment growth of our country. He was thoroughly disciplined and instilled a sense of purpose in all who worked closely with him. He never tired of defending our great country and for that reason, never left a meeting room before business was over just in case Kenya lost an opportunity. In many of the conversations I had with him even as he negotiated AGOA and ensured that Kenya was the first country to sign and ratify it, he worried about the youth and the need to create opportunities. AGOA for the late Minister would help us export our way out of poverty.

The WTO Doha Ministerial Conference in 2001 could easily have been given his name instead. No one worked harder or more diligently to make sure that a deal was struck. He earned the world’s respect and admiration as a tough but fair negotiator who stayed on issue until resolution. During the negotiations, he saved the ACP-EU trade arrangement which was threatened by two groups of countries who objected to the provision of an exemption under the WTO Trade Rules. He negotiated through the night for the exemption and got it. I am convinced that without him, the ACP-EU trade arrangement as we know it, would have changed dramatically in 2001.

He would fly thousands of miles for a one hour meeting if he was convinced that it would help our farmers, businesses or just open new opportunities.

That in fact is a very brief account of my recollection of a truly hard working public servant who I was honored to have met and worked with.

May the Almighty comfort his family and friends during this difficult time and may his soul rest in eternal peace.

 

Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed, EGH, CAV

CABINET SECRETARY

Cheap Channels of Remittances Mooted for Kenya Diaspora

Kenyan Diaspora will from now on be able to send money and invest back home through safe, affordable and convenient channels.

Speaking during the launch of a book titled, “Send Money and Invest in Kenya:  A Guide for Diaspora Remittances and Investment,” Diaspora and Consular Affairs Directorate Director Mr. Washington Oloo said the booklet acts as a guide on how local savings, payments, donations, and investments can be made while abroad.

“One of the mandates of Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to seek ways in which the Kenyan Diaspora can be empowered to invest back home and how the Government can leverage on the remittances from Kenyans residing abroad and channel them towards national development,” Mr. Oloo said.

The Government of Kenya has over the years recognised the importance of the contribution of the Kenyan Diaspora to the economy and development in general.  Kenya’s Economic Blue Print “Vision 2030” considers diaspora remittances as one of the flagship projects.

Both the Foreign Policy and Diaspora Policy underscore the importance of Government’s engagement with Kenyan Diaspora.

The booklet provides key information on different channels of Diaspora remittances including the players in the financial sector.

“It is our hope that the booklet will provide useful insights and will empower Kenyans abroad on issues of sending remittances and investing back home through the fastest, safest, and least costly ways of transferring money,” Mr. Oloo said.

The guide which is the first of its kind in Kenya was produced in collaboration with International Organisation for Immigration (IOM), Kenya Country Office and the ACP–EU Migration Action.