Uhuru commited to intra-Africa trade
15 July 2013, 16:08
Abuja - President Uhuru Kenyatta has reaffirmed that his government’s foreign policy will be geared towards deepening trade relations with member states of EAC among other African nations.
Addressing the Kenyan diaspora in Nigeria after officially opening the newly constructed chancery and High Commissioner’s official residence in Abuja, the president said intra-Africa trade diplomacy will form the mantra of Kenya’s foreign policy.
Kenyatta said his government’s policy is to facilitate people to easily cross borders to explore opportunities and engage in trade within the continent.
Kenyatta said African countries should focus on removal of trade barriers while rooting for internal solutions to the many challenges facing the African continent.
“We are not abandoning the traditional partners but enhancing relations with our neighbours who are always there for us. Our number one foreign policy is Africa, number two Africa and number three Africa,” the president added.
He emphasized that the future of Kenya depends partly on working closely with other African countries.
He pointed out that his maiden visit to Nigeria was not only to attend the Special African Union (AU) Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria but also meet with the host president to reaffirm his commitment to strengthening the cordial relations existing between the two countries.
The president wooed honest Nigerians ready to engage in genuine business to visit the country and tap available investment opportunities saying the government will continue providing a conducive environment.
Kenya on Monday suffered a blow after its bid to block demands that it produces the suspected Anthony Chinedu who was deported back to Nigerian was overuled by the court.
President Kenyatta said, “From a trade and investment perspective, Kenya has many lucrative business opportunities to be tapped”.
Speaking during the occasion, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed said promotion of intra-Africa trade will enable national governments in the continent to take their relationships to another level.
On his part, health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the government has allocated KES 98 billion this financial year to the health sector.
He added that KES 64 billion of the budgetary allocation will be distributed among the counties.
Kenyans in Nigeria led by their representative Dr Agnes Akunga assured the President of the Kenyan diaspora’s resolute support for his government to deliver on its development agenda.
Dr Gakunga specifically commended the government for its elaborate policy on youth and women empowerment and stressed the need to develop frameworks sensitive to their welfare.
Kenyatta who is in Abuja to attend the special African Union (AU) Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria later at his hotel residence, met and held talks with his host president Jonathan Good Luck who paid him a courtesy call.
During the discussions touching on issues of mutual benefit to the two countries, the two leaders agreed on detailed bilateral talks later in the week during which a number of agreements will be signed.
In attendance were deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr Erastus Mwencha and senior government officials.