On the occasion of the 53rd Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Kenya, Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Gello and Mrs. Khadija Gello hosted a reception at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on Dec. 15, 2016 with the attendance of many distinguished guests from all walks of life as well as from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and other segments of international community in Korea.
Among the guests attending the party were Deputy Minister Kim Hyoung-zhin of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from all walks of life as well as from the international community, the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in particular.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Gello said, “The state visit to Kenya made by President Park Geun-hye from 30th May to 1st, June, 2016 following invitation by President Uhuru Kenyatta marks an important turning point in relations between Kenya and Korea.”
Then he said that during the visit, the two heads of states identified major areas of business development for Kenya and Korea, and discussed how the two nations could go about reviving their economic growth engines, where they proposed broadening of cooperation in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, they proposed broadening of cooperation in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, ICT, online government services and in the management of medical supplies and related health care issues. (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Gello.)
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Gello of Kenya:
Annyeong Haseyo (Good Evening)!
On this auspicious occasion marking the 53rd anniversary of Kenya’s Independence, I am pleased to welcome all of you this evening to celebrate this important day in our country’s history. I would like to recognize the presence of a special guest H.E Prof. Kun Mo Chung former minister for science and technology of Korea and a member of the national economic and social council of Kenya (NESC)
NESC is a national advisory body chaired by the Kenya head of state and credited with the development of Kenya vision 2030, a blue print for our national development strategy.
On this day, we pay tribute to our founding fathers and the gallant men and women who made many sacrifices, including their own lives to give freedom and nationhood to this land of our birth. They did this so that their children and grandchildren would be free, living with dignity.
As we acknowledge the crucial role of our heroes and heroines in the struggle for independence, we must remind ourselves that the greatest honor that we can accord them is to espouse the high ideals they envisioned for our beloved country. Their passionate dreams for an equitable, free and just society must be our driving force today and the years to come.
Kenya’s economic gains over the last ten years have been nothing short of remarkable. The impressive turnaround in its performance is an outcome of important reforms in the economic, political and social landscape over the past few years.
The World Bank most recent Kenya economic update projected A 5.9% growth rising to 6.0% in 2017. The positive outlook was attributed to low oil prices, good agricultural performance, supportive monetary policy and ongoing huge infrastructure investments. In addition, the country fully embraced the opportunities facilitated by technology in enhancing financial inclusion enabling over 70% of country to access financial services.
At the political level, the august 2010 constitution ushered in a new political and economic governance system. It provided for among others, enhanced checks and balances within the government, and enhanced role of parliament and citizens, an independent judiciary and a most progressive bill of rights.
As a result, the management of public resources is now more transparent and subject to more accountability therefore supporting overall economic stability. The new constitution also provided for a major devolution – not only of resources and functions, but also creating a whole new layer of county governments. According to the world bank, Kenya’s decentralization is among the most rapid and ambitious devolution process taking place in the world with new governance challenges and opportunities as the country builds a new set of county governments from scratch.
On the bilateral level, the state visit to Kenya made by H.E. Park Geun-hye from 30th May to 1st, June, 2016 following invitation by President Uhuru Kenyatta marked an important turning point in the relations between Kenya and Korea.
During the visit, the two heads of states identified major areas of business development for Kenya and Korea, and discussed how the two nations could go about reviving their economic growth engines. They proposed broadening of cooperation in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, they proposed broadening of cooperation in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, ICT, online government services and in the management of medical supplies and related health care issues.
They also stressed on the importance of expanding economic ties between the two nations at the Kenya-Korea business forum held in Nairobi on May 31st. President Park Geun-hye was accompanied by business executives from over 167 Korean Companies.
Over 20 MoUs were signed during the visit. This included an MOU on cooperation on investment and trade, and the development of industrial complexes. With Kenya’s human resources and Korea’s technology, We will be able to create an industrial complex capable of producing competitive goods for the world market.
As a follow-up to the successful state visit, Kenya’s three cabinet secretaries responsible for trade and industry, energy, water and irrigation visited Korea in the past three months where they met their counterparts to further consolidate implementation of bilateral programmes between our two countries.
Turning to regional matters, as country we fully appreciate that Kenya’s future is inextricably linked to our neighbouring countries and Africa continent at large. Kenya’s future depends not only on our national unity but also on deepening bonds of social and economic integration with brothers and sisters in east Africa and as a whole. This explains why Kenya strongly advocates regional and continental integration.
We also recognize also recognize that as a continent, Africa must also invest heavily in ensuring prevalence of peace among our people. Kenya has been at the forefront of regional peace initiatives contributing to peace efforts in Somalia, South Sudan and the great lakes region. In Somalia, we are working with other troop contributing countries within the Africa Union Mission in Somalia. As a result of our combined intervention, State Building in Somalia has made progress and we believe we will soon realize peace within the region.
As I conclude my remarks, I would like to thank the people and organizations who have worked closely with us in our relationships throughout the year. I can only express my gratitude to you for all the support you gave me in pursuing my duties with continued enthusiasm.
Thank you all for coming and I hope you enjoy the evening.