NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – Fifteen Heads of State are expected to attend Thursday’s [email protected] celebrations, which formally kicked off on Wednesday.
According to a tentative programme released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, other foreign government representatives and envoys will also grace the ceremony at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani.
Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa are just a few of the leaders confirmed to attend the historic celebrations.
At midnight, the Kenyan flag was set to be hoisted at the Uhuru Gardens and on the highest peak of Mount Kenya where another flag was hoisted 50 years ago.
Rwanda’s Paul Kagame is the only Head of State from the five East African Community members to miss the event, although he will be represented by his Prime Minister.
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete and Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza were expected in the country on Wednesday afternoon. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed his attendance but the Foreign Affairs ministry did not indicate when he was expected to arrive in the country.
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, Djibouti’s President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the South Sudan President Salva Kiir are among regional leaders to grace the event.
Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba is expected in the country on Thursday.
China will be represented at the event by Wan Exiang who is the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, the United Kingdom will be sending its Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds while the United States of America will be represented by Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be represented at the 50th anniversary celebrations by the United Nations Office in Nairobi Director General Sahle Work-Zewd.
World Bank Africa Regional Vice-President Makhtar Diop will represent the international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.
African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha is to represent the AU at the event.
Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo leads the list of former Head of States expected to grace the event, Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote is also expected at the celebrations.-capitalfm.co.ke