Foreign Affairs honors Ms Sahle-Work Zewde UN DG

Foreign Affairs Ministry led by CS Amb Monica Juma hosted a luncheon in honor of the outgoing United Nations Office Nairobi Director General Ms Sahle-Work Zewde at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Ms. Zewde who started her tour in 2011, was lauded for raising the profile and strategic importance of the UNON office in Nairobi and her contribution in nurturing a strong working relationship between the government of Kenya and the United Nations.

Ms. Sahle moves on as Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), following her appointment by the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres.

PRESS BRIEFING: “THE STATE OF OUR DIPLOMACY”

Amb. Monica Juma, DPhil, CBS

CABINET SECRETARY

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

5th July 2018

 

 

Distinguished Members of the Fourth Estate

Colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Good Morning

 

  1. I am delighted to welcome you to the 2nd Press Briefing session of the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the state of our diplomacy. I thank each one of you for honouring our invitation and turning up in large numbers on a cold July morning.

 

  1. As a progressive open and democratic nation, we are always attuned to the dynamics of global and regional geopolitics that define the state of our diplomacy. My briefing today attempt to respond to three key geopolitical questions that influence our foreign policy. First, how are Kenya’s relations with other countries given the rapidly evolving geo-political balance of power? The second set of issues, is, as a thought and demonstrative leader, how do we strengthen Africa’s value proposition in addressing security and other cross-cutting development challenges? And thirdly, how is and will Kenya, a democratic sovereign country at the heart of the fragile Horn of Africa and volatile Great Lakes region, continue to leverage its posture for regional stability and secure its development trajectory (aspirations in the light of the Big Four)?

 

  1. As I have indicated before, our diplomacy seeks the pursuit, promotion and protection of our unique identity, national aspirations/interests and our sovereignty from the inevitable foreign influence whilst building and consolidating our competitive edge. In this regard, we have in the last three months sought to expand opportunities for Kenya and mitigate the risks that confront us. In a dynamic, fast-evolving and complex world, our foreign policy has always been guided by key principles that anchor the pillars of our diplomacy. First, Kenya has to be successful and vibrant – and hence our aspiration to become a competitive nation. Second, Kenya must preserve the ability to make independent sovereign decisions based on her own national interests. Third, Kenya aims to be a friend to all; we do not wish to be forced to choose sides or be caught in proxy battles. Fourth, we promote and believe in a global, rule-based order within the framework of international laws and norms. Fifth, Kenya must be a reliable, credible and consistent partner. We do not have the luxury of flip-flopping and changing our views for immediate convenience. Purposeful application of these principles, guided the Ministry’s articulation of foreign policy over the last quarter and should form the basis for the measurement of our performance.

 

  1. Looking back to the last three months, I can confidently confirm that our state of diplomacy and our standing among the community of nations is sound:

 

  1. We continue to deepen bilateral relations through enhanced engagement at the technical and political and diplomatic levels,
  2. Play our rightful place in participating in, and driving regional and global agenda within the various multilateral for a
  3. Offering leadership on matters of global concern
  4. Strengthening our management and operational systems

 

I:       ON DEEPENING BILATERAL RELATIONS

 

  1. During the period under review particular focus has been on sharing information and clarifying the elements of the Big Four Agenda of the President, namely: low cost housing, Food security, Universal Health care and Manufacturing. Significantly, a number of memorandums of understanding and frameworks of engagement have been concluded and signed between Kenya and a number of countries to give traction to the Big Four agenda.  These engagements have been from the highest political levels to the technical levels.  We have organized 2 outward bound Presidential State visits, and 5 inward bound high levels visits (by the PM of Ethiopia, President of Djibouti, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Chairperson of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the US American Chamber of Commerce.

 

H.E THE PRESIDENT’S ENGAGEMENTS

 

CUBA

  1. In March 2018 HE President Uhuru Kenyatta made an inaugural State Visit to Cuba. Out of this state visit, 100 Cuban medical experts have been deployed across Kenyan public health facilities, 50 Kenyan postgraduate doctors will be trained in Cuba starting September 2018; the development of preventive health curriculum for our medical schools is underway and the two countries will collaborate in malaria vector control, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and research sectors.

 

  1. On food security and safety, an MOU between the two Ministries of Agriculture was finalized and signed on 24th April 2018, for cooperation in testing and performance trial of bio-fertilizers in crop production; field trials and commercialization of Cuba ‘bio-rodent’ to reduce post-harvest losses; urban agriculture; field trials and use of Cuba tick vaccine (GAVAC); improving aquaculture production and quality through trials and piloting of Cuban natural fish growth enhancer product; crop germ plasm exchange (for sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cashew nuts, rice, sugarcane) for fast maturity and increased yields; small scale agro-processing, sugarcane production and value addition technologies.

 

  1. The four (4) Agreements/MOUs concluded and signed during the visit are:
    1. Agreement on Visa Exemption.
    2. MOU on Sports Development Cooperation.
    3. MOU on Cultural Exchange Cooperation.
    4. MOU between Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba.

 

MOZAMBIQUE 

  1. President Kenyatta’s State visit to Mozambique was themed – from Lamu to Maputo, connecting the Swahili coast. But besides this historical and cultural linkage the state visit of April 2018 led to an agreement to establish diplomatic representation in Maputo, reciprocal waiving of visa requirements to facilitate free movement of persons and goods for increased bilateral trade and socio-economic development and to deepen regional integration. More significantly, were agreement to import Mozambican coal for power generation in Kenya, opening opportunities for Kenyan investors in Agriculture and extractive sectors; and drawing lessons from Mozambique on the blue economy. There was also agreement to cooperative on maritime matters within the framework of the Indian Ocean realm.  Among the agreements signed was the promotion and protection of trade and investment.

 

  1. During this period we also received a number of high level guests.

 

ETHIOPIA

  1. On 6 May 2018, President Kenyatta received H.E Aby Ahmed, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Besides the regional security issues and the reaffirmation of strengthening cooperation in the search for regional peace and security, President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Aby Ahmed focused attention on deepening our bilateral relations in the areas of cross border development, joint investment – particularly of the infrastructural sector within the framework of the LAPSSET and Northern Corridor developments; energy interconnectivity. They urged the revitalization of the Special Status Agreement (SSA) and the rigorous review of is progress in implementation to draw the benefits in trade and investment envisaged in the pact. In this regard, agreed to finalize the Kenya-Ethiopia power transmission line. The leaders also agreed to jointly supervise the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo-Moyale road linkages as well as the Moyale-Hawassa-Addis Ababa artery. Ethiopia further undertook to acquire land in Lamu and develop a logistics facilitation centre. The need and urgency to intensify cooperation through joint investment in Moyale Joint City and Economic Zone and operationalization of the One Stop Border Post in the next quarter.

 

  1. In order to contribute to inter-connectively of the continent, the two leaders directed the Ministries of transport to engage in a discussion of closer cooperation between Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines in order to drive the integration and trade agenda on the continent.

 

DJIBOUTI

  1. On 9th May 2018, President Ismael Guelleh of Djibouti paid a state visit to Kenya. During that visit the two leaders agreed to expand cooperation in tourism through capacity building and tourism management exchanges. Five pacts were signed including an (i) Agreement on cooperation in Trade (ii) MOU on Bilateral Cooperation in Agriculture (iii) Agreement on Cooperation in vocational training (iv) Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports and (v) Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment.

 

CHINA

 

  1. On 19th June 2018, H.E the President met Mr. Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to discuss ways to deepen mutual cooperation in governance. This meeting reaffirmed the growing Kenya-China relations, confirmation of Kenya’s participation in the FOCAC, agreed to increase the number of scholarships offered to Kenyan students and to negotiate guaranteed access to the Chinese market for Kenyan goods.

 

 

AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE KENYA (AMCHAM) ECONOMIC SUMMIT ON THE BIG FOUR AGENDA

 

  1. On 28th June 2018, H.E the President opened the American Chamber of Commerce Kenya (AmCham) Economic Summit on the Big Four Agenda in Nairobi. The Summit to enhance U.S. private sector engagement on the Big Four. Gilbert Kaplan, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce, led U.S. business delegation to the event. Agreements worth over Kshs. 10 billion were signed in energy, housing and support for small and medium enterprises.

 

DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENTS AT OTHER LEVELS

 

  1. These high level political engagements have been buttressed by engagement at other levels. During this period I have received a total of 13 Foreign Ministers in Nairobi and held bilateral meetings with a total of 25 Foreign Ministers from across Africa – Somalia, Egypt, South Sudan, Burundi, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Djibouti; Europe – Ukraine, UK, EU, Portugal; Austra-Asia – New Zealand, Australia, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka; Americas region – USA, Canada, Equador, and the Middle East – Jordan, Palestine. I have also communicated with all 193 foreign Ministers of the world.

 

  1. In addition, The Chief Administrative Secretary has undertaken a number of missions, including attending the WTO mini ministerial, representing the country in the High Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan and rounds of shuttle diplomacy, as well as a number of investment and Diaspora conferences in Botswana and South Africa. We have held a number of political consultations in the American region – specifically in Brazil, Mexico and Israel.

 

 

  1. ENGAGEMENT AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL

 

  1. At the regional level, we have remained engaged on two key issues: promoting regional integration; and pursuit for peace and security.

 

THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (AfCFTA)

 

  1. On 21st March 2018, Kenya was one of the 44 countries that signed on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA). On 28th of March the cabinet endorsed the CFTA, submitted it to parliament which ratified. On 10th May 2018, Kenya was the first, together with Ghana, to deposit the CFTA.

 

  1. This CFTA agreement opens up the continent for free trade, movement of persons as well as goods and services. It is expected to grow the African trade from 15% to 25% in the next five years.

 

 

THE NORTHERN CORRIDOR

 

  1. On the 26th June 2018, HE President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted the 14th Northern Corridor Integration Summit. The Summit was attended by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, Presidential Advisor on Economic Affairs, South Sudan with Burundi, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, as observers.

 

  1. The 14th NCIP Summit urged an expedited integration process within the East African Community to entrench progress realized in executing infrastructural projects such land acquisition, geospatial data and valuation processes for the Northern Corridor Integration Projects. The leader further called for speedy implementation of ICT, power generation, transmission, interconnectivity as well as human capacity building centres of excellence.

 

  1. Under the Single Customs Territory (SCT) regime, the Summit directed Partner States to implement harmonized measures that would ensure efficient clearance and movement of cargo from the Port of Mombasa. To enhance competitiveness and reduce the cost of air travel in the region, the Heads of State directed that liberalized multilateral Air Service Agreements be quickly concluded and implemented.

 

COOPERATION IN PEACE AND SECURITY

  1. In the last three months, my Ministry has continued to consolidate Kenya’s commitment in promoting peace and stability as critical prerequisite for socio-economic development in the entire region. In pursuing this foreign policy objective, we continue to draw from Kenya’s experiences in mediation, conflict resolution and peacekeeping.

 

AU Peace and Security Council Meeting

  1. As a Ministry, we have continued to play our part in the quest for sustainable peace and security in the region. To this end, Kenya engaged on matters of peace and security within the AU Peace and Security Council as members. To enhance our geo-strategic role in linking the sub-regions and the United Nations Security Council, Kenya will continue to advance our concerns through the AU Peace and Security Council. In this regard, the AU Peace and Security Council had a Ministerial Meeting on 31st May 2018 in Addis Ababa and discussed Peace and Security in the Sahel Region and Security and Migration in Africa.

 

IGAD High-Level Revitalization Forum

  1. Under the auspices of IGAD, Kenya participated in the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) for Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). The 61st Extra-Ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers was held in Addis Ababa on 26th March 2018 and decided to undertake a Shuttle Diplomacy to align positions prior to the reconvening of the HLRF. Kenya also participated in two rounds of the IGAD shuttle diplomacy in Addis Ababa on 13th -16th April 2018, and in Juba from 28th April 28 to 1st May 2018. Negotiations through shuttle diplomacy are ongoing and the IGAD Council of ministers will chart the way forward when it reconvenes.

 

37th Ordinary Meeting of the Council of EAC Ministers

  1. The Ministry participated in the 37th Ordinary Meeting of the Council of EAC Ministers held from 2nd – 8th May, 2018 in Arusha. Kenya supports the Inter-Burundi Dialogue under the Mediation of H.E. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and the facilitation of H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania in effort to find stability in the region. The EAC Secretariat informed that it had identified key priority areas to fasten the integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC.

 

THE 31ST SUMMIT OF THE AFRICAN UNION

 

  1. As is tradition, Kenya participated and fully engaged with the 31st Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, in Nouakchott, Mauritania between 26th June and 2nd July 2018. In attendance were 22 African presidents, four prime ministers and twenty foreign ministers were in attendance. The theme of the Summit was combatting corruption. Besides dealing with strategies for dealing with corruption and impropriety across the AU organs, the summit adopted the 2019 budget, addressed the peace and security challenges as they related to the Sahel, Somalia and South Sudan; discussed the integration of the African continent and partnerships with other region; as well as the UN reform, reaffirming the African common position.

 

  1. Significantly, five countries including South Africa and Sierra Leone signed the ACFTA – bringing the total signatures to 49 out of 54. The assembly also strongly urged Member States to undertake ratification within the shortest possible time.

 

  1. The CS, who led the Kenyan delegation to the 31st AU summit also participated in a sideline event on “women in power” during which she spoke to the imperative of engendering the Foreign Service and international affairs globally.

 

III. INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENTS

 

The 2018 Commonwealth Summit

 

  1. Between 16th and 20th April 2018, H.E the President participated in the 2018 Assembly of the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government (CHOGM) in London, the United Kingdom. The Summit agreed on ways to deepen trade in the 53-member organization, enhance security, tackle climate change and the need to make concerted efforts to leverage their synergies. During the Summit, Kenya won the support of the Commonwealth to host the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference on 26th– 28th November 2018.

 

  1. On the sidelines of CHOGM, H.E the President held bilateral consultations with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Prime Minister of Pakistan.

 

  1. During this summit, I was elected to chair the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group for the next two years (CMAG).

 

G7 Summit

  1. On 8th and 9th June 2018, H.E the President participated in the G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada and urged world leaders to aggressively partner to combat the pollution of oceans to conserve the environment and unlock the potential of the blue economy.

 

  1. On the margins of the Summit, H.E the President met with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Macky Sall of Senegal, Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and discussed bilateral and multilateral issues touching on peace and security, education, health, industrialization, oceans and the blue economy and gender equality.

 

  1. Significant outcomes from the engagement in Quebec were:
  2. Kenya will host the Women of Africa Conference in preparation for the Vancouver Women Deliver Global Conference in 2019;

 

  1. Kenya and Canada will collaborate in a pilot project on Refugees employment;

 

  1. Establishment of Kenya/Jamaica Cooperation in Bilateral Air Services, Joint Trade Commission, Cultural Exchange and Sports Development;

 

  1. Kenya will host an African-led Investment Conference in October, 2018;

 

  1. Invitations to the upcoming Blue Economy Conference in November, 2018;

 

  1. Joint Kenya/MasterCard Foundation Programme on Technical Skills Development for Youth, and;

 

  1. Africa/Caribbean cooperation on Post-Cotonou Trade agreement.

 

ACP-EU

  1. The 107th Session of the Council of Ministers of the ACP and 48th ACP-EU Ministerial Meeting was held in Lome, Togo on 27th-30th May 2018 and discussed the post-Cotonou cooperation framework between Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries and the European Union after the current pact lapses in 2020. The benefits, experiences and history of linkage with these countries hold much for Kenya in positive lessons that can help drive our development aspirations. It is with this in mind that Kenya intends to shape the motives and structure of the post-Cotonou pact.

 

WTO Mini-Ministerial Meeting

  1. On 19th -20th March 2018, the Ministry participated in World Trade Organization (WTO) Mini-Ministerial meeting in New Delhi, India. Kenya urged member states to continue consulting at all levels to revive WTO negotiations which did not make commendable progress in Buenos Aires.

 

Japan – Africa Public Private Forum

  1. The coordinated Kenya’s participation in Japan – Africa Public Private Forum that was held from 3rd – 4th May 2018 in South Africa. The forum addressed mechanisms of engagement between Africa and Japan and Kenya had the opportunity to engage the Japanese authorities on the deepening of economic cooperation between the two countries. Kenya to engage Japan on $30 billion allocated to Africa for development as well as share bankable investment projects with Japan for investment consideration by the Japanese investors.

 

LEADERSHIP IN GLOBAL AGENDA

The Blue Economy

  1. Kenya will be co-hosting the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) with Canada on 26th-28th November 2018. The Conference presents a special opportunity for the two countries to advance shared priorities in supporting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 – ‘to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine ecosystems for sustainable development.’ Other co-champions of SBEC are Belize, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Fiji.

 

  1. The Conference is preparatory to the 2020 Ocean’s Conference which Kenya will be co-hosting with Portugal. The goal of the Global Blue Economy Conference is to have action-oriented discussions pertaining to a sustainable blue economy strategy that is people and ocean-centric investments. The Conference will provide an opportunity for both developing and developed countries to explore:-

 

  1. The priorities and challenges of establishing a sustainable blue economy and its contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including maritime safety and security.

 

  1. The innovative role of various stakeholders, including national and local governments, private sector, civil society, regional and sub-regional groups as well as domestic and international financial institutions in investing and formulating sustainable ways of exploiting Blue Economy.

 

  1. Preparations for the SBEC is ongoing and Ministry and The Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury hosted a Pledging Conference on 20th June 2018 in Nairobi.

 

  1. The Principal Secretary has further held roundtables on the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference with regional diplomatic corps including the Nordic countries and the Middle East during several confirmations have been made.

 

IV: EXPANDING KENYA’S Diplomatic Footprint

  1. At home, and in order to support the above activities, the period under review has seen significant policy and administrative changes.

 

  1. As I previously pointed out, there is a growing demand for Kenya’s leadership – at the regional, continental and even global stage. We are called upon to provide not just thought leadership but demonstrative leadership across many issues – peace and security, governance, environmental sustainability, technology and innovation among other issues.

 

  1. In response to this reality, the Cabinet on 15th May 2018 approved the opening of 16 new diplomatic representations over the next three years. In Africa, Kenya will open six full resident Missions in Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Djibouti, Maputo and Rabat; four consulates in Goma, Lagos, Arusha and Cape Town and two liaison offices in Kismayu and Hargeisa. In Asia, we will open a resident mission in Jakarta and consulates in Mumbai (India), Guangzhou and Shanghai (China) respectively.

 

  1. The Ministry has also undertaken a deployment across its missions, including the appointment and deployment of the first cohort of Ambassador and High Commissioners to 13 missions.

 

CONCLUSION

 

  1. Foreign policy being the sharp end of our national interests, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a distinct role to act as a bridge between our nation and the world to facilitate access to the necessary competencies to realize the Big Four and other national goals. The Ministry will continue to appraise you of the initiatives we are undertaking to secure the strategic interests of our country as we articulate our foreign policy.

 

  1. As I conclude, I reiterate the availability and readiness of the Ministry to share information and clarify any issue in our purview. In view of this commitment, the Chief Administrative Secretary, the Principal Secretary, the Political and Diplomatic Secretary and the office of Public Relations at the Ministry are available to engage on any of these issues.

 

I thank you for your kind attention.

 

 

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

NAIROBI

6th July 2018

AU Summit Underscores Fight Against Corruption

Nouakchott, Mauritania, Friday, June 29, 2018 (MFAPress) — Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma joined other Foreign Ministers for the 33rd Ordinary session of the African Union Executive Council in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The Executive Council is the second statutory meeting ahead of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit.

During the opening session, Foreign Ministers discussed progress made on different fronts as well as challenges faced in achieving peace, stability and development on the African Continent.

The Cabinet Secretary is leading the Kenyan Delegation to the Heads of State and Government Summit after H.E Uhuru Kenyatta was unable to attend the summit.

The theme of this year’s summit is winning the fight against corruption.    Estimates indicate that the African continent is losing to the tune of 50 billion USD in tax evasion annually and is also paying huge amounts of money to poorly negotiated and inflated contracts, and enormous amounts of resources spill owing to corruption. In an aspiration to deal with this, the January summit of 2018, agreed to focus attention on anti-corruption in the year 2018.  Together with the fight on anti-corruption, the AU is also focused on a reform agenda to inject efficiency and effectiveness in its organs and programmes.

Making her contribution at the Executive Council meeting the Cabinet Secretary underscored the imperative of strong political commitment, institutional reforms and people’s participation in the fight against corruption. The council also considered the state of humanitarian situations in Africa during which the CS underscores the need to evolve a holistic strategy that addresses both the relief but also development needs of populations affected by disaster, as well as the need to build the capacity of various actors to respond swiftly and effectively to disasters.

While commending the Audit report of the AU organs, she insisted on the need to take action against any impropriety, strengthening their financial management systems as well as the Union’s capacity to supervise the management of resources by the AU Organs. She underscored that the Union must, “enhance integrity especially at this time when our citizens are calling on their governments to account for every cent of public finances”.

On the AU Budget for 2019, she lauded the Commission for involving the Ministers for Finance in its preparation, noting that this gives ownership and commitment to the process by the Member States. She also noted that the People of Africa and their respective Governments have invested their dreams and aspirations in the African Union, highlighting that the Union offers the best platform within which the continent can realize the quest for Peace and Stability; and economic transformation to assure a better life for all our people and an environment in which current and future generations can realize their full potential. In Johannesburg in 2015, Member States committed to own the Union by funding it 100 per cent, and further reinforced that commitment by adopting the decision on effectively financing the Union through the 0.2% levy on eligible exports in Kigali in 2016.

She said it is against this background that the Union needs adequate resources, both human and material, to implement the various ambitious programmes that will later be adopted by the Heads of State and Government Assembly.

During the Executive Council meeting, Hon Justice Ben Kioko was re-elected as a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights. Hon. Justice Ben Kioko, a national of Kenya, will serve for a second term of six years. He was first elected as a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in July 2012. He is currently the Vice-President of the Court.

The Cabinet Secretary will on 30th June attend the C10 meeting on UN Reforms, the Peace and Security Council which will deliberate on South Sudan and participate in a Panel on empowering women leaders.

 

President Kenyatta bids Farewell to Three Outgoing Ambassadors

NAIROBI, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, (PSCU) —President Uhuru Kenyatta this morning bade farewell to three outgoing ambassadors whose tour of duty has come to an end.

The three outgoing ambassadors are Botswana High Commissioner, John Moreti, Egyptian Ambassador Mahmoud Ali Talaat and the Outgoing Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) Sahle-Work Zewde.

President Kenyatta thanked the three diplomats for their commitment in improving relations with Kenya during their tour of duty.

The President emphasized on the need to strengthen bilateral relations with Egypt and Botswana so as to improve trade.

He said the Africa Continental Free Trade Area  Agreement (AfCTA), which was ratified this year in Kigali, Rwanda, offers all African countries opportunity to increase trade amongst the continent’s nations.

The President said he looks forward to working closely with Egypt and Botswana to increasing trade, the movement of goods and services so as to offer better opportunities to their citizens.

He also said the new trade pact would also enhance people to people relations amongst the people of Africa thereby improving socio-economic development of the continent.

While bidding farewell to the outgoing Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) Sahle-Work Zewde, President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction on the role played by the UN office in Nairobi in facilitating partnership with other international organizations.

The President said the UN offices in Nairobi continue to play a major role in providing leadership and encouraging partnerships amongst nations thereby encouraging people to people relations.

Present during the function were Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau.

Shujaa, Kenya Navy Ship Calls at Port Said, Egypt

Shujaa, Kenya Navy Ship (KNS) docked in Port Said in Egypt on June 12, 2018. Shujaa is a Swahili word for Hero, and indeed this Kenya Navy vessel is celebrated as a heroine, having been part of the Kenya Defence Forces fleet that took over Kismayu from the Al shabab in September 2012.

The Ship was received by Maj Gen (rtd) Joff Otieno, Kenya’s ambassador of Kenya in Egypt. Shujaa, captained by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Lekolool, has a crew of 61 Kenya Navy sea men that are on a training cruise across the globe. The voyage began its high seas engagement on May 21, 2018 and will continue for a period one month and a half, expected to dock in Mombasa on July 4, 2018.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has facilitated the practical tours and training programme of our defence forces, as part of strengthening Kenya’s security in general, and maritime capabilities in particular.

CS Monica Juma Hosts Diplomatic Corps to ‘Bush Dinner’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised Diplomatic Tour to Mt Kenya tourism circuit came to close today Saturday, June 2, 2018.

The tour started on the eve of Madaraka Day where 47 diplomats from different countries resident in Nairobi enjoyed the hospitality of Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nyeri County.

On day two the delegation attended the National Madaraka Day celebrations at Kinoru Stadium Meru County and later in the evening Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary, Amb Monica Juma hosted a dinner for the diplomats in the bush where they were able to enjoy the different Kenyan cuisine. In attendance was South Africa Deputy President Mr David Mabuza.

Day three the Diplomats were taken for a game drive to Ol Pajeta Conservancy in Laikipia County where they experienced different flora and fauna in the park.

A major attraction was a visit to the Rhino sanctuary inside the conservancy where the diplomats learned the measures being undertaken to protect the endangered rhino species. The sanctuary is the home to the only two remaining northern white Rhinos in the World and 110 endangered black Rhinos.

Finally, the delegation had lunch at Trout Tree Restaurant famous for it unique design built on a large Mugumo tree (Agikuyu sacred fig tree) and whereby the trout fish served comes from pond beneath the tree.

The Diplomatic tour is an initiative of Cultural Diplomacy Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aims to showcase the Kenya heritage and tourism attractions. It’s hoped the tour will inspire the diplomats to share the rich Kenya heritage and tourism.

The diplomats were accompanied by Director cultural diplomacy Ms Hellen Gichuhi and Protocol Officer Ms Nancy Sifa.

Kenya-Botswana Seek to Grow Trade

Gaborone, Saturday, June 2, 2018, (MFA Press) — Kenya and Botswana will work closely through their respective business people to encourage trade between the two countries which currently is way below potential, Hon Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has said.
Speaking when he presided offer the 2nd Kenya-Botswana Diaspora Investment Forum held today at Fairgrounds Holdings, Gaborone, Hon Namwamba said Kenya and Botswana had cordial relations at the political front that must be replicated in a robust business-to-business relationship on the trade front.
“We have agreed with the Minister for Investment, Trade and Industry Madam Bogolo Joy Kenewendo to revisit a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding that clearly stipulates how our two countries can trade better and increase the volumes which as we speak remain way below the actual potential,” Hon Namwamba told the Forum.
He said ways to grow volumes of trade between the two countries include joint participation in trade-oriented activities, deliberately promote ICT, e-commerce and exchanges on the livestock industry. Kenya will at the same time encourage its traders through the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop tourism products including golf courses such as the one desired in Lobatse as well as taking advantage of the ready-to-go industrial infrastructure in the mining region of Selibe Phikwe.
Hon Namwamba called on the Kenya Diaspora in Botswana to lead the way in these investments. “In the words of JF Kennedy, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your country. Please be good ambassadors for Kenya”, he implored.
He further urged them to exploit opportunities presented by government focus on the Big 4 sectors of food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing. Hon Namwamba also invited both Kenyans and Batswana investors to strongly engage in both the Botswana Global Expo of October 31s to November 2nd and Kenya’s International Blue Economy Conference slated for November 26-28 in Nairobi.
“More than the economic capital you provide through remittance, you possess a wealth of experience and know-how in many disciplines that would be of great beneficial back home and even your current host country,” he told the Diasporians.
He said the Government was working to harness the collective collateral of the Diaspora’s business contacts, networks, opportunities, successful ventures, influence and power developed over time to leverage Kenya’s position and interests in the globe.
He said efforts by the Government to engage the Diaspora has borne good result exemplified by the growing Diaspora remittance which is currently estimated at Kshs. 222 billion; the largest foreign exchange earner ahead of Tourism and horticulture. It is estimated that if this trend continues, remittances could increase from 195 Billion in 2017 to  250 Billion in 2018, an increase of 25%, accounting for 3.7% of the GDP.
Hon Namwamba further assured the Kenya Diaspora and all potential investors that Kenya was a strong trajectory of political stability with all key economic and social fundamentals looking upwards.
“The political situation is calm and positive with His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto firmly in charge. Kenya today is a land of warm handshakes and hugs. Your investment will be in a very safe and secure environment. So even out here please keep shaking hands and hugging as you increase your remittances and investment portfolios back in Kenya!”, he quipped.
During the function, the Chairman of Kenya Botswana Diaspora Association Mr Tom Ochieng Atonga briefed the CAS on the challenges they currently face as Diaspora and requested that the Government intervenes to resolve them.

Amb Lazarus Amayo, Kenya’s PR to UN, New York, Presents Credentials

New York May 21, 2018 — Mr Lazarus Ombai Amayo has presented his credentials to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres as the Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations.

Amb. Amayo assured the Secretary-General that Kenya is committed to Multilateralism and is proud to host the only UN Headquarters in the Global South, a function that Kenya has embraced with grace. While thanking the SG for his support to UNON, Amb. Amayo said that he looked forward to the SG’s continued endeavours to improve the capacities of UNON to enhance its service delivery to member states. He commended the SG for his dedicated service to the United Nations and assured him of Kenya’s support to his reform agenda. He called for enhanced collaboration of the United Nations with AU and IGAD on the peace process in the Horn of Africa.

The Secretary-General welcomed Amb. Amayo to the United Nations and thanked Kenya for its generosity in hosting many refugees over the years and for its contribution to peacekeeping. He acknowledged the important partnership that exists between UN and Kenya and assured Amb. Amayo that he was keen to enhance the partnership.

IGAD’s ‘Bridging Proposal’ for South Sudan

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has a new peace plan tilted ‘Bridging Proposal’ for consideration by the warring parties in an effort to bridge the gap on outstanding issues in the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 22, 2018.

The proposal aimed at identifying middle ground between the different negotiation positions is supposed to be deliberated upon by each party and feedback communicated back to IGAD on May 23, 2018, during the closing ceremony of the second phase of the HLRF.

In his keynote speech during the plenary session for the release of the bridging proposal, CAS Hon Ababu Namwamba encouraged the parties to look at the proposal with objectivity in the best interest of peace and stability in South Sudan. He also urged them to accept the compromise deal adding that ‘in any negotiations, victory is measured not by how hard you hold your ground leading to a deadlock but by how much you help shift the ground all round towards a breakthrough.’

“Peace in South Sudan is not a choice. It is an irreducible minimum.  It is the sole imperative and therefore failure is not an option in this process since the negotiations are about human lives and the survival of a nation,” said Hon Namwamba.

He reminded all parties that they will not walk away with 100% of their wish list, and guaranteed them their compensation is the assurance that their country and the people of South Sudan will win 100% from the precious inches of ground ceded by each of them.

 “Together we must sail this peace ship into safe harbour, together we must guide this last train home.  We owe it to the children, the youth, the women and the people of the great nation of South Sudan, Africa’s special last born,” said Namwamba.

On the outstanding issue of Governance, IGAD proposes; the principles that will guide governance during the Transitional period starting with the  structure of the Transitional Government with the Executive comprising of President (TGoNU), first Vice President (SPLMO-A-IO), Vice President (TGoNU), Third Vice President (Other Parties & Entities), Ministers (42 Ministries in 3 Clusters) and 15 Deputy Ministers.

On the composition of government and allocation of responsibilities, TGONU was assigned 55%, SPLM/A-IO 25% and Other Parties and Entities 20%. The structure and composition of State Governments saw TGoNU assigned 65%, SPLM/A-IO 25% and OPE 10%. It was further proposed that Transitional National Legislature be expanded to four hundred members and adoption of a federal and democratic system of government be considered.

The IGAD Council of Ministers comprising Ms Hirut Zemene Kassa, State Minister for Foreign Affairs-Ethiopia; Hon. Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Assistant (CAS) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya; Mr Mukhtar Mahad Daud Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Somalia and Ambassador Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, with their teams worked tirelessly and through the nights to ensure that the negotiation process succeeds.

On the outstanding issue of security, IGAD proposes; a permanent ceasefire and demilitarisation of civilian centres; cantonment of forces in all areas of operations; provision of transitional security arrangements of Juba during the transition; engagement of third-party protection arrangement to ensure the safety and participation of Opposition Leaders in the Transition; reform/establishment of security sector within 120 days; unification of forces to form one national army with 12months.

During the same event, South Sudanese warring parties comprising of the Unity government, opposition groups, political parties and civil society groups signed a recommitment document on peace and cessation of hostility to narrow the gap and silence the guns across the country and stop the fighting that has caused immense suffering to the people of South Sudan.  They called upon all their forces on the ground to immediately desist from and avoid any hostile actions prohibited by the CoHA. The signing ceremony comes after peace talks facilitated by South Sudan Religious Leaders as part of the High-Level Revitalization.

The second-round of the HLRF for the ARCSS comes to an end today, May 23, 2018, after the presentation of positions on the Bridging proposal by the parties.

Kenya-Djibouti Joint Communique

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED BY HIS EXCELLENCY UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND HIS EXCELLENCY ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI ON THE OCCASION OF THE STATE VISIT TO KENYA FROM 8TH TO 10TH MAY 2018

 

1. At the invitation of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti made a State Visit to Kenya from 8th to 10th May, 2018.

2. The two Heads of State reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to deepen the cordial bilateral relations between Kenya and Djibouti. They noted with deep satisfaction that the cooperation between the two countries lay on a foundation of shared values and principles aimed at fostering sustained   growth and shared prosperity. In this regard President Ismail Guelleh warmly welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to establish an Embassy in Djibouti in the shortest time possible.

3. The two Heads of State directed their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs to convene the next session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation in the next quarter, and to put in place robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure implementation of the deliverables agreed upon.

4. The two Heads of State focused attention on expansion of bilateral trade, enhancing collaboration in air transport including cargo flights, as well as cooperating in Tourism, Agriculture, Livestock development, Education, Energy and cooperation between the ports of Mombasa and Djibouti.

5. On tourism, the two Heads of State underscored the need to enhance cooperation in Tourism with deliberate focus on capacity building, tourism management, education and training as follows:

  • Student and lecturers exchange program;
  • Exchange of scholarship and fellowships;
  • Short courses and management development program; and,
  • Joint research activities in Hospitality and Tourism.

6. The following agreements were signed:

  • Agreement on Cooperation in Trade;
  • MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Agriculture sector;
  • Agreement on Cooperation in Vocational Training
  • Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of Diplomatic passports
  • Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection on Investment

7. Further, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Kenya Airways and Air Djibouti SAS, providing for Kenya Airways to assist Air Djibouti in capacity building and maintenance services.

8. The President of Djibouti visited a flower farm, a milk processing plant and the Olkaria Geothermal plant. In this context, Kenya agreed to assist Djibouti to develop geothermal energy drawing on Kenya’s experience in this area.

9. The two leaders also agreed to cooperate in the field of agriculture, specifically livestock breeding, management and trade, an area that Djibouti has registered commendable success. Djibouti welcomed Kenya’s interest to use her Regional Livestock Quarantine Facility to prepare Kenya’s livestock for sale in the international markets, and help to build Kenya’s capacity in this area.

10. The two Heads of State pledged to continue to work together in safeguarding peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region, specifically in Somalia under the aegis of IGAD and the African Union. Noting that both Kenya and Djibouti are troop-contributing countries under AMISOM, the two Heads of State called for enhanced and sustainable funding for the Mission to facilitate the delivery of the Mission’s mandate.

11.Both leaders noted that Al Shabaab continues to pose significant threat to Somalia and the region. In this regard, they expressed concern at the continued lukewarm international support for Somalia, in particular inadequate and unpredictable funding for AMISOM, which threatens to roll back the gains made thus far.

12.Further, the two leaders committed to continue lobbying for adequate and sustainable support to AMISOM, including provision of force multipliers for the Mission in Somalia, as well as training for the Somalia Security forces. The leaders expressed deep concern at the effects of external interests that are destabilizing Somalia further.

13.The two leaders expressed their desire to see a faster pace in ongoing efforts to restore peace in South Sudan. They urged leaders of South Sudan to place the interests of their people above their own in order to give peace a chance.

14.The two Heads of State underscored their commitment to a rule-based international system with balanced multilateralism and organs reform of the United Nations System at its core. The Leaders agreed to champion common African Union Positions, including within the UN Security Council.

15.The two Heads of State noted the progress in the AU reforms agenda geared towards economic emancipation as encapsulated in Agenda 2063 and evidenced by the signing of the AfCFTA in March 2018.

16.At the conclusion of the State Visit, His Excellency President Ismail Omar Guelleh, expressed gratitude to His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the people of Kenya, for the successes accrued during the visit as well as the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the State Visit.

17.President Guelleh invited his Brother, President Kenyatta to reciprocate the State Visit. President Kenyatta accepted. The timing of the visit will be managed through diplomatic channels.

18.His Excellency President Kenyatta wished His Excellency President Guelleh good health and long life, and to the people of the Republic of Djibouti peace and prosperity.

Nairobi on May 9, 2018