Foreign Affairs CAS Hon Ababu Namwamba together with Amb. Ahmed Isse Awad, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia today presided over the reopening of the Somali Embassy in Nairobi.
Addressing the ceremony, Hon Namwamba said the re-establishment of the Embassy is symbolic of yet another key step forward in the reconstruction of Somalia. “Standing here, looking at this gleaming building, I don’t see just a fresh office block. I see a symbol of Somalia rising from ashes back to greatness, like the proverbial Phoenix” he said.
He said Kenya will continue to support the Somalia state re-building effort for a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous Somalia and Horn of Africa region. “Our common endeavour for durable peace, viable stability and sustainable development for both our peoples and region continue to underpin the necessity for our mutual cooperation” CAS Ababu noted.
Hon Namwamba assured the Somali Government of Kenya’s commitment to further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries through trade and people to people interactions, and also to champion the issues of Somalia and those of the continent on the global arena during her tenure as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council 2021/22.
The current premises located along lower Kabete road were bought by the Somalia Government in 1972 and have never been used since 1994 when Somalia descended into turmoil.
Principal Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amb Macharia Kamau visited Somalia from 7th -9th November 2020 on a mission to explore investment opportunities and boost bilateral ties between the two countries. Amb Macharia Kamau was received by his Somalia counterpart, Ambassador Mohamed Ali Mohamed Nur Hagi and later held talks with him and H.E Amb. Ahmed Awad, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia.
During the meeting Amb. Macharia informed the two senior officials of the Government of Somalia that he was in the country to see the newly built facilities of the Kenyan Embassy in Mogadishu, engage mission staff and familiarize himself with the condition that they live in.
However, he said, in keeping with the African culture, it was imperative to register his presence to the leadership of Somalia. He also wished to convey greetings from H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of the Republic of Kenya to his Somalia brother H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Amb. Macharia Kamau, was accompanied by H.E Lucas Tumbo, Kenya’s Ambassador to Mogadishu and Mr. John Gitu, Director Human Resource Management. Ambassador Mohamed Nur, thanked the Principal Secretary for the courtesy call.
The talks focused on regional cooperation and business opportunities that exists between the two countries.
“Great opportunities for bilateral and regional cooperation and trade exist between Kenya and Somalia. As Somalia makes significant progress in business, economic and social development. Security and other historical challenges, though real should not be allowed to stand in our way” said PS Kamau.
The visit by the Kenyan officials is an indication that peace efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed Farmajo are bearing fruits with PS Macharia noting that development in both countries would be achieved if both countries coexisted harmoniously.
“Prosperity and development of both countries would be realized much faster with a peaceful and stable Somalia. He added that Kenya and Somalia are neighbours, a situation that cannot changed. Therefore, the two countries should find ways of living together in harmony for the benefit of their peoples” PS noted.
Amb Mohamed Nur thanked the PS for the visit and added that the two countries had good bilateral ties and should continue to seek solutions on any emerging problems through bilateral talks. He thanked Kenya for having signed a trade agreement with Somalia chamber of commerce which need to be improved further.
Kenya and Somalia have an existing comprehensive Joint Commission of Cooperation which they said needed implementation to enhance and deepen bilateral ties in all sectors. Somalia has great potential for trade but this has remains low as a result of insecurity which has undermined Somalia’s efforts to do business with its neighbouring countries.
Amb Nur reiterated that Kenya and Somalia’s relation had remained cordial for all the years, saying they are thankful for the hospitality accorded to them by Kenya during the years of civil strife in Somalia. This was after the collapse of the central government in 1991.
Ambassador Awad, the Minister for Foreign Affairs similarly echoed the warm and brotherly ties that exists between Kenya and Somalia. He again reiterated the eternal gratitude to the Government and the people of Kenya for their generosity and sacrifices toward the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia. He noted that any isolated differences could be handled amicably. He added that Kenya remains the destination of choice for Somali business community as compared to other neighbouring countries.
He appealed to Kenya to consider issuance of visas on arrival to diplomatic passport holders to start with, and thereafter to the People of Somalia visiting Kenya. The Principal Secretary promised to follow up the matter and find out with those concerns since the issue had been dealt with before. He requested that the Foreign Ministry in Mogadishu to submit a list of diplomatic passport holders to ease identification and issuance of the visas on arrival.
The two sighted opportunities in trade and commerce noting the abundance of fish in Somalia, which Kenya needs while Somalia can import Khat (miraa) from Kenya as well as rice, avocado, beans, cement and steel from Kenya and other construction and agricultural products which would enhance the wealth creation and development.
On the sidelines of the visit the Principal Secretary met with British and European Union envoys at the Kenya’s Embassy. They discussed the security situation in Somalia and the role the Africa Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
Amb Macharia Kamau also held talks with Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of (AMISOM).
The Principal Secretary commended Ambassador Madeira for the excellent work that AMISOM has done to stabilize Somalia. The Principal Secretary informed that he was aware that AMISOM is hugely underfunded and over stretched in Somalia.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
KENYA-US STRATEGIC CONSULTATIONS
Amb. Raychelle Omamo, the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Amb. Tibor Nagy, U.S Assistant Secretary for African Affairs held a virtual consultative meeting to review the progress made on the Kenya/US Bilateral Strategic Dialogue since its inauguration in May 2019 in Washington DC.
The meeting discussed a wide range of issues touching on bilateral, regional and multilateral levels including cooperation at the UN Security Council to contribute to regional and global peace and Security. The meeting further emphasized the need to continue the efforts to eliminate Al Shabaab and its threat in the Horn of Africa.
The Cabinet Secretary expressed Kenya’s appreciation to the U.S for the support in the health sector and particularly in the current effort to combat Covid-19 pandemic, military assistance, capacity building in border management and maritime security.
They both welcomed the resumption of the second round of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations and looked forward to fruitful discussions for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The meeting was also attended by Ms. Pamela Pryor, the U.S Acting Assistant Secretary for International Organizations Affairs; Ambassador Makila James U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa and the Sudans; Ambassador Kyle M’Carter US Ambassador to Kenya; Ambassador Salim Salim, Director UN & Multilateral Affairs/Kenya; Ambassador Lazarus Amayo, Kenya’s Ambassador to U.S; and Mrs. Immaculate Wambua, Director Americas/Kenya among others.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
22nd October 2020
REPATRIATION OF KENYANS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
COVID-19 has disrupted international travel over the last 6 months affecting thousands of Kenyans in the diaspora. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has facilitated repatriation of thousands of Kenyans from all over the world. The worst hit Kenyans are undocumented without legal immigration status and were held in various deportation centres in the middle East. The Ministry has continuously engaged with the Governments of the foreign countries to have this category of Kenyans safely repatriated.
17 SEPTEMBER 2020
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo today inspected the progress of the United Nations Covid hospital under construction at the Nairobi Hospital. The hospital is being constructed in collaboration with the UN, Government of Kenya and Nairobi Hospital to cater for the global organization’s workers and family members in Africa. Besides helping finance the facility, the UN will also provide specialized equipment.
C.S Omamo said that the project will showcase the country health care competence and hence place Nairobi at the heart of medical care in the region. She said the hospital will remain even after the Covid crisis.
Amb Omamo hailed the progress of the work being done which she said was within the agreed timelines.
The Construction of the facility started July 20 and its expected to be completed by mid September. The hospital with 150 bed capacity will include 25 intensive care and 50 high dependency units and will also have an operating theatre, laboratory, radiology, and physiology services.
Present during the the inspection tour were Nairobi Hospital CEO Dr Allan Pamba, and UN Nairobi office Director-General Zainab Hawa Bangura. CS Raychelle Omamo later paid a visit to the United Nations Offices in Nairobi where she was taken through the operations of UNON by Director General Ms Zainab Hawa Bangura. The CS appreciated the work done by the UN office in Nairobi (UNON) and reaffirmed Kenya commitment to further lobby for more resources to help in upscaling of its operations in Nairobi.
Nairobi 2nd August 2020.
On Saturday 1st August, Foreign Affairs CAS Hon Ababu Namwamba flagged off Kenya Airways flight KQ100 to London as the national carrier resumed international passenger flights after 130 days of lockdown. The same morning KQ also flew to Addis Ababa and Kigali. The Kenya Government closed its airspace and borders on March 28 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the event Hon Namwamba celebrated the return to the skies in what he called living in the new normal. “Its absolutely fantastic to be back in the skies, to be here at this iconic Terminal 1A to witness us all take a critical step in the measures His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced to get the wheels of our economy and social life back in rolling”, CAS Ababu noted. “It has been a trying, queer, unprecedented four months. Since the advent of the aviation industry in the first decade of the 20th century, over 100 years ago, the world has never experienced a total lockdown of the airspace, not even during the two world wars”, he added.
CAS Ababu lauded Kenya Airways for its significant contribution to Kenya’s and Africa’s economic growth by providing the connectivity to support trade and commerce throughout the continent and the World. “At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs we consider KQ to be our embassy sui generis , embassy of a special kind. Kenya Airways, the pride of Africa, is our ambassador extraordinaire, a special spearhead in Kenya’s diplomatic footprinting across the length and breadth of the globe”, he said.
The CAS affirmed government support for Kenya Airways, but challenged the iconic airline to continually and relentlessly raise the bar in standard of service and competitiveness. “Even if you are on the right track, you will be run over if you just sit there! You must keep moving”, he implored, and added, “in the classical spirit of the finest of entrepreneurs, stand out from the crowd. If the competition sits, you stand, if they stand, you stand out, if they stand out, become outstanding, if they become outstanding, be the standard!”, Hon Ababu encouraged the national carrier.
The CAS also allayed fears of strained relations with neighbouring Tanzania over air rights to fly into the country. “I want to make it clear that the relationship between Kenya and Tanzania is immutable, is indispensable, and is permanent with us,” he said, and added, “in the spirit of our afrocentric foreign policy that is well championed by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta himself, Tanzania is a cherished neighbour and key trading partner as we endeavour to grow and expand intra-Africa trade in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA)”.
KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said that in addition to health and safety measures put in place onboard, each aircraft has been equipped with powerful HEPA filters which eliminate viruses, germs and allergens within the cabin making it the safest means of travel.
Present at the function were Ms Susie Kitchens, UK’s Deputy High commissioner in Kenya, Mr. Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways CEO, Kenya Airways Board Chairman Michael Joseph, Mr, Solomon Kitungu, PS State Department for Transport as well as heads of key agencies, including Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Flower Council and KEPSA.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kenya, I once again convey deepest gratitude to the Member States of the United Nations Organization for electing the Republic of Kenya to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-2022.