NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya is planning to open up several missions in countries across Africa as the Uhuru Kenyatta administration seeks to strengthen ties within the continent.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Amina Mohamed says that President Uhuru is committed to promotion of African agenda at national and global levels, and his intention to make Africa the cornerstone of Kenya’s bi-lateral and multi-lateral Foreign Policy.
“Kenya will soon be opening several Missions and Consulates in those African regions that we are unrepresented to enhance our engagement in Africa,” Amina said. She however did not indicate which countries will be prioritized.
The Cabinet Secretary was speaking on Tuesday evening at a Nairobi hotel when she held discussions with African Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Nairobi.
She said that the vocal point of cooperation between Kenyan and African countries will be based on trade ties hinting that Nairobi was shifting its focus from the traditional western and Far East trade partners and work closely with African countries.
“Trade and investment are key for the growth and development of countries like ours. Currently the balance of trade remains heavily in favour of non- African trade partners, yet the pattern globally is in sharp contrast to this arrangement.”
For instance, the Foreign Secretary said over 90 percent of European trade is with Europe, Canada is the United States largest trading partner while China’s largest trade is with Asian countries.
“As African countries, we too need to realign our trading outlook and work in concert to improve our negotiating capacities in trade relations with global partners.”
Secretary Amina told the envoys that several agreements on Joint Commissions of Cooperation remains pending, and that the schedule for holding a number of Joint Commissions as well as implementation of agreed frameworks was disrupted by the just concluded electoral process.
“These will now be prioritized and expedited as will all outstanding high level bi-lateral visits.”
While reiterating Kenya’s fully committment to Africa’s economic development, the country’s top diplomat added that Kenya’s long term development policy the Vision 2030 which is also premised on cooperation on projects with regional focus including the proposed LAPSET corridor aimed at linking Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Sudan through rail, road, oil pipelines and fibre optic cables as an integral part of the African Union transcontinental program.
“We will, in support of these endeavors, continue to collaborate with your respective countries through various forums including the African Union, IGAD, and Regional Economic Commissions. Kenya looks forward to conclusion of the ongoing SADC, COMESA, EAC tripartite initiative.”standardmedia.co.ke