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Kenya celebrates Jamhuri Day to celebrate her Independence on Dec. 12Kenya and Korea remain keen to cooperate in the field of ICTs

The following article was contributed to The Korea Post media for publication by the Embassy of Kenya in Seoul on the occasion of the the 55th anniversary of independence this year.—Ed.

Kenya attained independence in 1963 and Dec. 12, 2018 marks the 55th anniversary as an independent state. This date, referred to as Jamhuri Day, is the symbol of rebirth for our nation and an opportunity for each and every Kenyan to renew their commitment to the ethos that constitute the fabric of our identity as a people encapsulated in our rallying call: Peace, Love and Unity.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya (right) and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon of Korea shake hands with each other during Lee’s official visit to Nairobi in July 2018.

On this day, we pay tribute to the founding fathers of our beloved country who paid an extraordinary price in order to realized our collective aspirations for self determination and have enabled us to this day fully enjoy the freedoms gained from their great sacrifice.

Jamhuri Day therefore affords us an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements, attained through deliberate policy since independence, that continue to distinguish Kenya as a beacon of peace and stability as well as a regional reference point in terms of economic growth.

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta officially flagging off the standard gauge railway on Jun. 1, 2017.

The Fourth President of the Republic of Kenya

H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya was born on Oct. 26, 1961. He is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of the Republic who was at the helm from independence to 1978. President Uhuru is serving a second 5 year term having won the re-election bid in 2017.

Before becoming President, President Kenyattta served the country in various capacities including as the Member of Parliament for the Gatundu South Constituency from 2002 to 2013. He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade in 2008 before moving to the Finance docket in 2009.

A section of the ultra modern Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

During his first term, Kenya experienced exponential growth particularly in the development of infrastructure based on the premise that interconnectivity by land, water, air and via internet is a prerequisite for the transformative progress that will entrench Kenya’s foot hold as a middle income nation. For his contribution, the President Kenyatta received the 2018 Africa Road Builders (ARB) Award in recognition of the government’s infrastructural initiatives to modernize railways, the sea and air ports as well as the nationwide electrification project.

It is worth noting that the President has also received global recognition for his passionate advocacy for youth empowerment. He was named the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Global Champion for Youth Empowerment in January, 2018.

The Syokimau Terminus of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

Economic Development

Honorable Adan Mohamed is the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives. The Ministry is steering the effort to propel Kenya’s economic growth through a multi sectoral approach hinged on the Big 4 Paradigm. This paradigm aims to ensure food security, universal health care, affordable housing and industrialization.

Sunset in Nairobi: A modern metropolis and regional hub for business, diplomacy and leisure.

Kenya’s economy is currently growing at an average of 5% per annum. This translates into innumerable opportunities for trade and investment across all sectors. This economic growth has been occasioned by the deliberate effort by the Kenya Government to invest in infrastructural development. Kenya is now proud of major rail and road construction projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) of which the 2nd phase is scheduled for completion in 2019. The SGR will greatly enhance connectivity within the East African region from the Port of Mombasa to neighbouring countries. Kenya also continues to implement plans to add 5,000 mw of energy to the national power grid to sufficiently boost capacity in the manufacturing sector.

The unique United Nations Office in the Global South.

Kenya welcomes the interest expressed by Korean companies in the energy sector, especially in power generation, brought about by the successful construction of a 140 MW geothermal power plant at the Olkaria IV power plant by Hyundai Engineering Company, commissioned in October, 2014. The Government continues to make regulatory reforms to create a conducive business environment for investors with regard to tax incentives as well as regulatory safeguards for foreign investments.

H.E. Kenyatta received a special award from the African Union for hosting the first ever High Level Blue Economy Conference on Nov. 26 to Nov. 28, 2018 in Nairobi.

Kenya remains the Gateway to the Eastern Africa Region and opens opportunities for Korean companies who choose to invest in Kenya easy access into three regional economic blocs namely the East Africa Community (EAC), Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) with a combined population of 600 million. The signing of the tripartite Agreement between the three blocs and the historic Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in March, 2018 in Kigali, will offer even greater incentives for investors.

The Safari experience in the heart of the City: The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi offers a unique experience when it comes to luxury accommodation and an up-close experience with beautiful giraffes.

The volume of trade between Kenya and Korea has shown a steady increase over the years. Our premium coffee, tea and flowers have found recognition in Korea. However the trade balance remains skewed in favour of Korea and there is a very deliberate push to enhance economic cooperation in order to increase the value and volume of trade between the two countries.

Kenya and Korea remain keen to cooperate in the field of ICTs as the current rapid pace of global transaction is inextricably linked to smart technologies. In line with this, the establishment of the Kenyan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at the Konza Technopolis in Athi River through the support of the Korean Exim Bank is currently underway.

Black Rhinos at the Mount Kenya Conservancy.

Bilateral Relations

Kenya and South Korea enjoy strong historical ties founded on the mutual aspirations for shared prosperity. Korea established diplomatic presence in Kenya soon after our independence in February, 1964 while Kenya opened the Embassy in Seoul in May 2007.

The momentum of our relations has since been amplified by several exchanges at high levels of Government. The official visit to Seoul by the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya Amb. Monica Juma, Dphil, CBS in October, 2018 was preceded by the visit to Kenya by the Korean Prime Minister Mr. Lee Nak-yeon in July, 2018 and an earlier tour by the former President Ms. Park Geun-hye in May 2016.

The Jumbos of Amboseli.

Korea has been instrumental in supporting the Big 4 agenda through the Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA). Since the establishment of the KOICA office in Kenya in 2008 it has supported various community development projects particularly in the provision of quality health care most importantly in the maternal and child care sector in Kajiado County, Water and sanitation as well as education. KOICA was also contributed to technical education projects at the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).

The big cats of the Mara.

The High Level Global Blue Economy Conference

Kenya hosted the High Level Blue Economy Conference on Nov. 26 to Nov. 28, 2018 in Nairobi alongside Canada and Japan. The conference brought on board 16,320 representatives from over 100 countries including Heads of States, high level government representatives, international and non-governmental organizations, private sector, academia and civil society with the aim of advancing global conversation on the sustainable harnessing of shared marine resources.

Strength in diversity: Leaping Morans of the Maa tribe, Narok County.

The conference was the first of its caliber and magnitude to be held in the global south in the back drop of diminishing resources vis à vis a rapidly growing global population currently estimated at 7.6 billion. The conference advocated for the engagement of relevant stakeholders in the full implementation of the provision of Agenda 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other existing collaborative instruments to govern marine resources such as the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

Kenya is known as the land of the Greats for producing numerous athletic sensations. Here, the legendary Eliud Kipchoge celebrates another win at the Berlin Marathon in September, 2018

The conference provided an important platform for strategic deliberations on the continued survival of humanity, biodiversity and ecosystems based on integrated, balanced and holistic approaches in recognition of the urgent need for an economically vibrant, socially inclusive and environmentally conscious blue economy.

Kenya’s first golf club was established in 1904. The expansive golf course at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club is a popular destination for lovers of golf.

Korea’s support and participation through the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is greatly appreciated. The participation of representatives from the academia as well as Korea’s well established shipping sector served to enrich the content of the conference through knowledge sharing on the successful integration of the blue economy as a critical pillar for phenomenal economic growth.

The English Point Marina. One of the Luxury Resorts on the Indian Ocean.

Kenya: The Adventure of a Lifetime

Kenya offers a wide array of pleasurable activities to cater for various tastes. For instance enjoying a close encounter with the big cats of the Mara for the brave at heart, kicking back to enjoy the cool breeze and pristine beaches of Diani, communing with nature in the Kakamega Forest, snorkeling in Watamu, zip lining in Kereita, archery in Nanyuki, conquering the Batian Peak on Mount Kenya or teeing off for a round of golf in Nyali.

The list is endless, we look forward to seeing you there!

A world class shopping experience; The Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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