Deputy President William Ruto heads to Japan for business meet


Deputy President William Ruto is expected to lead a Kenyan delegation to a business meeting in Japan Wednesday.

Mr Ruto will be among more than 50 Heads of State and Government invited to the 5th Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD V). He will represent President Kenyatta.

The conference, which runs from June 1-3, will take place in Yokahama.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, World Bank and UNDP administrator Helen Clark will attend the conference providing an opportunity to Mr Ruto to present Kenya’s strategic interests at the multilateral level.

The conference aims to promote high-level policy dialogue between Japan and Africa. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and support to Africa’s political, economic reforms and development.

The conference comes at a time when Kenya and Japan are marking the jubilee year of bilateral relations.

TICAD V is being held as Africa celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which transitioned to the African Union (AU) in 2002.

Japan considers Kenya a strategic partner within TICAD process given its successful economic development and thus a model of its development cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Japan is one of Kenya’s leading development partners with Japanese financial cumulative support to Kenya’s development amounting to USD418.94 billion. In January, Japan extended Sh617.6m to Kenya’s agriculture sector and water services.

The Deputy President is expected to discuss more opportunities for the country with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Talks will mainly centre on the energy sector, infrastructure and Mombasa Port.

In addition to representing Kenya in the main TICAD V programme, Mr Ruto will participate in other events of strategic importance to Kenya to be held at the sidelines of the conference.

These include a conference on Somalia and dialogue on the United Nations Security Council reform agenda. The stabilisation of Somalia remains a top priority of Kenya’s foreign policy agenda as articulated in the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

While in Tokyo, the Deputy President will hold meetings with senior representatives of leading Japanese public and private companies with business interests in Kenya to discuss strengthening of trade and investments between the two countries.

These companies include Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Toshiba.

The theme of TICAD V will be: “Hand in Hand with a more Dynamic Africa”, which expresses the need to work together.

The Kenyan delegation comprises of Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs), Henry Rotich (Treasury), Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum), Michael Kamau (Transport & Infrastructure) and other senior government officials.

Mr Ruto and his delegation are expected to leave the country at around 2pm.

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