Kenya, Mozambique to Revive Cooperation

Maputo, Mozambique, Friday, March 30, 2018, (MFA Press) – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma and her Mozambique counterpart H.E. Jose Condungua Pacheco today held bilateral talks on the sidelines of President Uhuru Kenyatta state visit to Mozambique.

The two Ministers held bilateral talks on a wide range of issues of cooperation. The meeting was a follow up to earlier discussions between President Kenyatta and his host President Filipe Nyusi which directed the Ministers to fully engage in the areas of cooperation between Kenya and Mozambique.

During the meeting, it was observed that the Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) entered into and signed in 1991 had not taken off. The State Visit had provided a new opportunity to operationalise areas of cooperation between the two countries earlier discussed. The joint JCC will now translate into Joint Technical Committees (JTC) that will commence work immediately in preparation for talks to be held in Nairobi in June 2018.

Minister Pacheco thanked Kenya for the pledge to open a consulate in Maputo to further deepen the ties that exist between the two countries, and giving citizenship to Mozambicans who lived in Kenya and now form the 43rd tribe of Kenya.

On Defence pact, it was agreed that Kenya will provide training opportunities for the Mozambican army through the National Defence College (NDC) and National Staff College. On their part, Mozambique said that they were ready to cooperate and share their experiences on defence matters.

On mineral resources, Minister Pacheco disclosed that they have huge deposits and reservoir of natural gas in the southern region of the country most of which is exported to South Africa. Mozambique invited Kenya to consider importing the gas. Mozambique also has huge deposits of coal and is ready to export it to Kenyan through Beira Port.

As part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda, Amb Juma said the President has made a commitment for the government to increase the GDP share of mining from 7 to 15 percent in the next five years. Through cooperation in mining, therefore, Kenya will borrow best practices from Mozambique.

On the issue of correctional services, Mozambique expressed interest in learning the best practices on Kenya’s Justice Reforms system. Mozambique seeks training on how to manage the reintegration process practised in Kenya.

The two Ministers also discussed areas of cooperation in infrastructure, culture and tourism, youth and sports, bilateral air services and food security. Mozambique invited Kenya investors in Agribusiness to take advantage of the available vast tracts of land for floriculture, apiculture and horticulture farming and processing within the value chain.

To increase the volume of trade between the two countries, CS Juma, urged Mozambique to take advantage Kenya’s scrapping of visa requirements for Mozambicans travelling to Kenya which takes immediate effect.

CAS Ababu Namwamba Invites Greece to Invest in the BigFour

TOAST STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE INDEPENDENCE DAY OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, MARCH 28, 2018

 Your Excellency, Amb. Konstantinos Moatsos,

 Excellences Ambassadors and High Commissioners

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. It is a great honour and pleasure to join you on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya to celebrate the Independence Day of the Hellenic Republic of Greece. This important day commemorates the historic moment on March 25th 1821 when Greece began its campaign for independence after nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. I warmly congratulate our Greek brethren on this auspicious occasion.
  1. Greece, perched at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia, stands proudly in the pantheon of nations as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, and its contributions to literature, science and culture have left an indelible mark on the world as we know it today. 
  1. This gathering offers us an opportune moment to reflect on the strong bonds of friendship that exist between Greece and Kenya. The Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Nairobi was established in 1966, three years after our own liberation struggle culminated in independence. Since then our partnership has continued to blossom as exemplified by the high level exchange of visits in the recent past.
  1. These include the visit to Kenya in 2016 by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr. Dimitris Mardas, who led a business delegation of 14 Greek companies from across various sectors inter alia agriculture, tourism, construction and machinery. In September, 2017 the then Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Amina Mohamed visited Athens to participate in the Athens Democracy Forum.
  1. Greece is an important trade and investment partner for Kenya, with over 40 Greek companies active in Kenya. The total volume of trade between the two countries stood at 1.3 billion shillings in 2016, an increase of 124% compared to 2010. Imports from Greece currently make up 77% of total trade between our two countries, and therefore as we redouble our efforts to increase the volume and value of trade and investment, we also need to address the trade imbalance currently in favour of Greece, for the long-term benefit of both countries.
  1. The full potential of our economic cooperation remains untapped, with immense potential for enhanced engagement in the energy, construction, infrastructure and tourism sectors. The Hellenic – Kenyan Chamber of Industry, Commerce, Development, Tourism & Culture, established in 2014, is a platform through which relationships between business entities in Kenya and Greece can be cultivated and elevated further.
  1. H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term Big Four agenda offers a roadmap the Government’s priorities and a potential reference point to guide future cooperation between Kenya and Greece. The Big Four priority areas as you may be aware are Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing, and Affordable Healthcare.
  1. In the manufacturing sector, the Government’s focus is on value addition to enhance our competitiveness and fingered four key subsectors, namely the Blue Economy, Agro-Processing, Leather and Textiles. In Housing, His Excellency the President’s vision is to up-scale homeownership to more than 500,000 Kenyans. On Food Security and Nutrition, the Government is keen to encourage and facilitate large-scale commercial agriculture to diversify food staples through irrigation and other technologies. In relation to Healthcare, the Government is committed to ensuring access to quality and affordable medical cover to all Kenyans by 2022.
  1. It would be remiss of me not to mention the historic signing last week of the African Continental Free Trade Area treaty by 44 African states. Not only will the AfCTA spur intra-African trade and stimulate competitiveness of African industry, it will also create positive multiplier effects for companies from Greece and elsewhere that choose to invest in Africa due to the liberalization of our markets. In this regard, Kenya’s position in East and Central Africa makes it an ideal launch pad to access the markets of East and Central Africa (EAC) with over 150 million people, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), with over 430 million people, and indeed the wider African Continental Free Trade Area.
  1. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, away from the economic sphere, we are happy to note the strong Greek community presence in Kenya, particularly through the Greek Orthodox Church, which under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Makarios has expanded to include 300 parishes actively involved in missionary work throughout Kenya. 
  1. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I now request you to join me in a toast to the warm and cordial relations that exist between Kenya and the Hellenic Republic and to the good health and long life of E. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic.

 

CS Monica Juma Delivers President Kenyatta’s Message Calling for Expeditious Implementation of AfCFTA

KIGALI, Rwanda, March 21, 2018 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for expeditious implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty that was signed in Kigali, Rwanda today.

In a statement read on his behalf by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Monica Juma, President Kenyatta said the new trade agreement will engender the growth of African multinationals, placing the continent at par with other Free Trade Areas in the world.

The President said the landmark treaty offers Africa a competitive edge by creating a united economic bloc that will boost trade across the continent and help create an African value chain.

It will also accelerate the growth of Africa’s Small and Medium Enterprises and power industrialization, he said.

President Kenyatta was among Heads of State and Government who led delegations from 54 countries who attended an African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali where the AfCFTA pact was signed by 44 State parties.

The AfCFTA pact aims to establish a single liberalized market that will spur industrialization, infrastructural development, economic diversification and trade across the continent that is home to some 1.2 billion people.

The pact also seeks to promote industrial growth through diversification, regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security.

The President urged all African States to sign and ratify the new agreement so that the continent can move together towards the realisation of the Pan African vision of an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa” as envisioned in the AU’s Agenda 2063.

I am privileged to sign the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area on behalf of the Republic of Kenya because I firmly believe in our shared destiny and in the fulfilment of the African dream,” President Kenyata said.

The President termed the occasion as a historic moment and thanked all the chief negotiators and technical experts who made the African dream towards the new treaty to be a reality.

President Kenyatta later in the evening left Kigali for Nairobi.

He was seen off at the Kigali International Airport by Kenya’s Ambassador to Rwanda Amb. John Mwangemi alongside senior government officials from Rwanda.

The plane carrying President Kenyatta departed Kigali International Airport shortly after 6.00 pm (Kenya Time).

President Uhuru Kenyatta Signs African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali

Kigali, Rwanda March 21, 2018 — President Kenyatta today signed three agreements namely; the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to free movement of persons, right of residence and right of establishment and the Kigali Declaration for the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area during the10th Extraordinary session of the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit at Rwanda Convention Centre, Kigali,Rwanda

President Uhuru Kenyatta was among 44 heads of delegations who ratified the landmark African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty in Kigali, Rwanda.

Among the delegations from 54 African States that attended the African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali, 27 leaders including President Kenyatta also signed the African Free Trade Area Agreement and protocols on goods and services as well as rules and procedures for dispute settlement.

In addition, the Kenya leader was among the 43 heads of delegations who also signed the third protocol dubbed the “Kigali Declaration” to formally launch the AfCFTA.

All the East African countries (except Burundi which did not attend the Summit) signed all the three protocols.

Kenya was recognized as a great nation when President Kenyatta completed his turn to sign the three protocols.

It was a great moment for the continent as the African leaders appended their signatures to the protocol creating the AfCFTA which they termed as the greatest step since the formation of the AU.

Only 22 member countries were required to sign the agreement to make the AfCFTA treaty operational.

The AfCFTA aims to establish a single liberalized market that will spur industrialization, infrastructural development, economic diversification and trade across the continent that is home to some 1.2 billion people.

The pact also seeks to promote industrial development through diversification, regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security.

When the AfCFTA pact is fully operationalized in the signatory State Parties, residents of these nations will enjoy the convenience of a single passport and currency.

The AfCFTA binds all State parties to eight objectives including the progressive elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods.

The signatory State parties are also expected to progressively liberalize trade in services, cooperate on all trade trade-related and on investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy.

The State parties also committed themselves to cooperate on customs matters and the implementation of all trade facilitation measures.

Additionally, African States will establish a mechanism for the settlement of disputes concerning their rights and obligations.

The African nations will further establish and maintain an institutional framework for the implementation and administration of the AfCFTA pact.

Speaking at the ceremony hosted by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who doubles as the African Union (AU) Chairman, various leaders agreed that the new milestone will end the balkanization of the continent into fragmented economies and markets.

President Kagame said the new agreement expresses unity in moving the continent forward with the hope of restoring the dignity of African farmers, traders and entrepreneurs who will be able to market their value-added goods globally.

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, who is also the leader of the AfCFTA, described Africa as the continent of the future which will now enjoy higher growth.

“Africa is stronger when we work together. Under the AfCFTA, Africa will be able to export her goods globally at competitive prices,” he said adding, that the new dawn heralds great opportunities for investment.

With the population of Africa projected to rise by 600 million people by 2030 bringing the continent’s total population to 1.8 billion, President Issoufou said the continent’s market is set to expand and create more opportunities for its people.

CS Monica Juma, Morocco Foreign Minister Hold Talks

Amb. Monica Juma, last evening held bilateral consultations with Mr Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco on the sidelines of the Business Forum of the AfCFTA.

During the discussion, the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs recalled the historical ties between Kenya and Morocco dating from the close personal ties between President Jomo Kenyatta and King Hassan II. Among other bilateral matters, the meeting reiterated the need to expand the relations on areas of mutual consensus whilst keeping lines of communications on issues of divergence. 

In this context, the Ministers noted with satisfaction impact of the direct air links as currently serviced by Air Marocco. The Cabinet Secretary pointed out that Kenya Airways was keen on plying the Nairobi-Casablanca route as well. To develop and consolidate the viability of these links, however, the two Ministers reiterated the need to enhance people-to-people exchanges through scholarships, tourism and visits.

CS Juma invited the Moroccan Minister to visit Nairobi soon saying she looked forward to hosting him.

Ababu Namwamba in India for WTO Mini-Ministerial

Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Hon Ababu-Namwamba, has arrived in India to attend the Informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) Mini-Ministerial Conference that opens on March 19, 2018, in New Delhi, India.

Hon Namwamba is leading Kenyan delegation that includes Dr Stephen Karau, Kenya’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to UN, WTO in Geneva who also chaired the Agriculture talks at the 11th WTO Conference in Buenos Aires last year.

Kenya’s High Commissioner to India Amb Florence Weche and high-ranking officers of the Indian government received Hon. Namwamba on arrival and later hosted him to dinner that was attended by African ambassadors in New Delhi including Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan. The CAS thanked the African diplomatic corps in India and reiterated the Pan-Africanist spirit of Kenya’s foreign policy, which is at the core President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda for the continent.

CAS Namwamba applauded the service rendered to Kenya by the Foreign Service officers. He assured them of full support by the Headquarters in Nairobi. Highlighting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘Big4 Agenda’ and Afro-centric foreign policy, the CAS urged our diplomatic officers to aggressively market Kenya and secure strategic partnerships to help achieve the agenda of universal healthcare, affordable housing, food security and expanded manufacturing anchored on value addition.

 

President Kenyatta Concludes Successful Cuba State Visit

HAVANA, Cuba, March 18, 2018, —President Uhuru Kenyatta last evening concluded what by all standards was a hugely successful State visit to Cuba.

The President departed Jose Marti International airport shortly after midnight local time, with the assurance that his Universal Healthcare programme is taking shape.

During the visit, an agreement was reached to bring in 100 medical specialists, each county getting at least two, in an effort to realise President’s goal to universal health provision for all Kenyans. Kenya will also send 50 doctors to Cuba for specialised training in coming days.

The President’s agenda on health is being supported by all leaders especially the council of governors.

Governors Mohamud Mohammed Ali (Marsabit) and Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu) who accompanied the President expressed their support on what the President is doing.

They both agreed on the need to accelerate the programme to minimise loss of human and animals especially from common diseases, which can be tackled, with minimal costs.

“What we discovered is that these people are very concerned and very dedicated to research and have a very strong research department and they have had many firsts, they have eliminated malaria from the face of Cuba all together,” said the Marsabit Governor.

Governor Ali also said with a number of livestock vaccines developed in Cuba pastoralists would not need to suffer as its now possible to partner and save both the animals and the environment from the chemicals they currently use.

“For us pastoralists, they have told us they are able to vaccinate our livestock and therefore they would not suffer from ticks rather than spraying animals with the normal chemical that we normally use they have an alternative for us,” he said.

Governor Nyong’o lauded the President for his determination to implement the universal healthcare programme for Kenyans saying it was long overdue.

He said Cuba’s philosophy of giving priority to human development is a sure way to prosperity.

“They achieved all this not only because of the embargo from the US but also because of their own philosophy that human being is the first item on the agenda for development. Once you get that equation correct others will follow. I think I could summarize this way, I have seen the future and it works,” said Governor Nyong’o who accompanied the President on the State visit.

He said for Kenya to achieve its desired goal of the universal healthcare programme, Cuba is the place the country can emulate in terms of building a strong healthcare system able to take care of its people.

“I have been here, this is my sixth time to come here. As a health minister in the Coalition Government I actually proposed some things that we needed to do for example malaria vector control, collaborating with genetic engineering biotechnology centre and all that but unfortunately we didn’t get far,” said the Governor.

“What gives me satisfaction this time is that the President is determined that we implement these long-standing proposals of collaboration with Cuba,” he said.

He said Cuba has one of best health systems in the world and best record in terms of human development statistics.

“They have very good primary health care, they have excellent referral facilities, and I think that for us who want to implement the universal healthcare coverage, this is the place to come to and to learn from,” said Governor Nyong’o.

Cabinet Secretary Raphael Tuju said Kenyans could be able to achieve what Cuba has done by strengthening their unity in diversity and working together towards a common vision.

“They have been very good in managing their diversity, they have the blacks, they have the whites and those in between but they have been able to manage those divides,” said CS Tuju.

The sum total of the agreements agreed upon between the two countries, is that Cuban experts will come into Kenya within the next few weeks, and working hand-in-hand with their Kenyan counterparts, will roll out a range of medical interventions that will radically change how the country manages a large number of life-threatening diseases.

Kenya Invites Cuba to Co-Sponsor Blue Economy Conference

Saturday, March 17, 2018 (MFA Press) – Kenya has invited Cuba to co-sponsor the High-Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy Conference scheduled to be hosted by Kenya in November 2018.

 Speaking when she met the Cuban Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr Rodrigo Malmierca, Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said the Conference will provide a platform to engage on action-oriented strategies pertaining to a sustainable blue economy that is people-centric with ocean driven investments. 

“Kenya is fully committed to exploiting the blue economy in a sustainable manner. As coastal countries, Kenya and Cuba have enormous opportunities to optimally exploit the water resources in the crucial areas such as fisheries, aquaculture, shipping and maritime transport, tourism, renewable and non-renewable energy as well as blue carbon,” CS Juma said.

 Amb. Juma who is with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Havana, Cuba for a state visit, informed the Minister that Kenya will also be co-chairing the 2020 Oceans Conference with Portugal which will be hosting the Conference.

 Prior to this important Conference, Kenya will have another opportunity to host the preparatory meetings of the Conference.

 In view of the importance of the water resources to Cuba, I invite the government of Cuba to participate at the highest possible level,” said CS Juma.

 Minister Malmierca said his government was more than willing to share experiences gained over the years in areas of health and disease control and provide technical expertise the country has gained through many years of research and development (R&D).

 The two Ministers also agreed to urgently come up with a comprehensive economic agreement that will be structured to allow for two alternating meetings between Nairobi and Havana every year by technical teams to review progress.

 Kenya is also seeking to benefit from Cuba’s well-documented tick vaccine that completely eliminates the vectors in livestock.

 CS Juma also reiterated Kenya’s commitment to strengthening mutual support both at the bilateral and multilateral levels. To this end, the two Ministers agreed to work together to bring on track the collapsed World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations mainly on agriculture. They agreed to give full support to upcoming WTO mini-ministerial that will be held in India in coming days.

 Kenya and Cuba will at the same time collaborate on issues of Climate Change to mitigate future disasters such as the recent hurricane Irma which affected Cuba and the Caribbean region,” said CS Juma.

President Kenyatta Officially Opens Kenya Embassy in Havana, Cuba

President Kenyatta today officially opened the Kenyan Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

During the opening of the Chancery, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Monica Juma and her Cuban counterpart, Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla signed a Memorandum of Understanding on visa exemption for the citizens of the two nations.

The visa exemption will allow Kenyan holders of diplomatic passports and civil servants who are holders of ordinary passports to enter, remain and exit without restrictions for a period not exceeding 90 days.

CS Juma said the embassy is the first in the Caribbean region and is important not only in terms of Africa’s heritage but in also establishing people-to-people interaction.

She said a number of areas will be covered under the MOU taking care of high-level delegations between the two countries.

“The signing of the MOU on Visa Exemption opens great opportunities for both Kenyans and Cubans to do business and we should, therefore, exploit this opportunity,” she said.

Kenya, Cuba to Build on Historical Ties to Benefit Citizens, says CS Juma

HAVANA, Cuba, March 15, 2018 – Kenya and Cuba are keen to build on their historical ties to improve on the soci0-economic welfare of their citizens, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Monica Juma has said.

Amb. Juma said being the first State visit of a Kenyan President to the Caribbean country,  it is aimed at realising the ‘Big Four’ agenda especially in health, agriculture, blue economy, tourism and sports.

“We are in Havana today for the first State visit by President Kenyatta after his inauguration for the second term. This is very deliberate. We are here to strengthen what are historical ties between this country and Kenya but also between Cuba and Africa,” said the Foreign Affairs CS.

The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said Kenya would want to draw lessons from the Caribbean nation in terms of preventive and curative health even as the country gears towards rolling out the programme to reach out to all its citizens under the ‘Big Four’ agenda.

She said Kenya would also want to develop its pharmaceutical industry especially in the area of vaccines for both human and animals in order to improve their health.

Pointing out that Cuba has also excelled in the agricultural sector, the CS said Kenya would want to learn more on how to improve its food security so as to boost its capacity in food production.

She singled out research on a number of seed varieties and successes in the sugar industry as other key areas, which Kenya would want to draw lessons from the Caribbean nation.

The CS also said the President’s State visit would culminate in the signing of a number of Memorandums of Understanding to cement and actualize the agreed areas of cooperation so as to enhance the bilateral relations.

“Cuba has a very rich tourist attraction areas so we would want to visit and see what they are doing to attract huge numbers of tourists,” she said.

“We are looking at culture and sports and we are keen to tighten that area by signing a number of MOUs,” she added.