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STATEMENT BY H.E. AMB. JEAN W. KIMANI, HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA TO THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA, ON THE OCCASION OF 55TH MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATIONS, 1st JUNE 2018

 

 

 

 

 

The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Ababu Namwamba

 

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Gaimelwe Goitsemang

 

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Zimbabwe H.E Mr. Thomas Mandigora

 

Colleague Ambassadors and High Commissioners

 

 

 

The Captains of Industry

Distinguished Guests

Fellow Kenyans

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to warmly welcome you to commemorate the 55th Anniversary of our internal self-rule, Madaraka Day. Before I make my remarks let me take this opportunity to introduce a special guest, Hon. Ababu Namwamba the Chief Administrative Secretary, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to say a few words (PAUSE).

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

On this day, 1st June, 1963 Kenya attained self-Government and the founding President Jomo Kenyatta outlined the vision of the country as fighting ignorance, disease and poverty. The vision as outlined by the founding fathers of our nation continues to resonate with the Government’s social-economic and political blue print the vision 2030.

On this day we thank God for his great mercies to our nation and remember the efforts and self-sacrifices made by many Kenyans that have made it possible for future generations to live in peace in a free and democratic country. As President

Uhuru Kenyatta said today “we owe a great debt to the sons and daughters of our country and heroes who fought for Kenya to be free.  

This day is being observed at a time when Kenya is experiencing renewed peace and economic transformation that has covered all sectors with an economic growth rate of 4.9%. The elections are now behind us and the challenge is for all of us is to follow the example set by our President H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Right Honourable Raila Odinga who committed themselves to reconciliation on 9th March 2018 and reach out to other Kenyans in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. We urge all of us to remain committed to build bridges amongst ourselves for the betterment of all.

The vision 2030 our development blue print continues to motivate our collective aspirations to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized middle-income country providing a high quality of life for all citizens.

The Government’s commitment to devolution has seen allocation of financial resources allocated to counties surpass the 15% threshold provided by the constitution. We have also witnessed significant investment in infrastructure, healthcare, education and social steady.

Excellencies

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Here in Botswana the theme for this year’s Madaraka Day is “Showcasing Investment Opportunities, Cultural and tourist attractions for shared prosperity”. We are delighted to welcome the business delegation from Kenya to the investment forum that will be held here in the same venue. The companies present are from the finance, housing, cooperative and education sectors.

The investment forum underscores the priorities of the Government of Kenya as outlined by His Excellency during his Inauguration in November, 2017 namely; providing affordable housing, universal healthcare, manufacturing and creating jobs. Kenya offers excellency opportunities for investment.

The relations between Kenya-Botswana are warm and we are confident that the forum will serve to enhance the economic ties between the two countries in line with the Memoranda of Understanding and Investment signed between the two countries in November, 2016 and the MOU signed by Business Botswana and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

I note that in the last 4 years we have witnessed positive trends in our economic relations and Botswana companies namely; Choppies, Letshego and Wilderness Safaris have opened branches in Kenya.

However, the trade figures remain quite low with Botswana exports to Kenya valued at USD 432, 113 and Kenyan exports to Botswana at USD 1,0001, 426. We have to break the barriers to trade if we are to succeed in promoting Intra-Africa Trade.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the Botswana Government for signing the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement which will go a long way in addressing trade issues.

 

 

 

Distinguished Guests/Ladies and

Gentlemen

Allow me to take this opportunity to recognize the important role played by the Kenyan Diaspora in the economic transformation of Kenya. The Diaspora Policy as launched by the Government is intended to harness the skills and expertise of the Diaspora and I want to take this opportunity to urge our diaspora to build a strong diaspora association. I urge all Kenyans to render their support to the newly elected Diaspora Association to carry out its mandate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguished Guests/Ladies and

Gentlemen

I will soon be leaving Botswana after serving as High Commissioner and Special Representative to SADC for more than 5 years. Although this is a not a valediction speech I wish to thank the Government and people of Botswana for the wonderful support rendered and remain committed to be your Ambassador. To the Kenya Diaspora thank you for your support and urge you to give my successor the same support.

I also take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Kenya High Commission for their unwavering support to accomplish our mandate.

 

 

 

Happy Madaraka Day.

Thank you

Kealeboga

God bless you

Asante

 

 

 

 

The Guest of Honour, The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Ababu Namwamba

 

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry of the Republic of Botswana, Ms. Peggy Serame

 

The President of Business Botswana, Mr. Gobusamang Keebine

 

 

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

  1. I take this opportunity to warmly welcome you all to the Kenya-Botswana Diaspora Investment Forum and are indeed honoured that you made it. The theme for the conference is “Showcasing investment opportunities, cultural and tourist attractions for shared prosperity”. I wish to also thank the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Ababu Namwamba for honoring us with his presence here today, I also wish to thank the Director of Diaspora Directorate Mr. Washington Oloo for the efforts expended to ensure that this event is a success by bringing the Kenyan Businessmen present here to participate in this event.

 

 

 

 

  1. May I also take this opportunity to thank the Government of Botswana, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, the President of Business Botswana for the arrangements made to ensure that as many Botswana Companies are represented here at the Kenya Diaspora attend this meeting today. A special recognition to Wilderness Safaris who are our partners in this event.
  1. Kenya offers excellent opportunities for investment and trade as the gateway to the East and Central Africa and functions as the commercial, economic capital as well as a development road infrastructure, technological and logistical hub to its hub. It has a deep pool of skilled manpower, and a vibrant banking and insurance sector. It is home to the United Nations and over 100 multinational companies.
  1. This forum is the second one we are having following the success of the first one in 2016 and it offers a platform to share ideas, showcase investment opportunities that are available in Kenya in the Banking, Real Estate, Cooperatives and Education sectors as well as the county Governments.
  1. It is also in line with the vision of Kenya’s Foreign Policy Agenda which is focused to be in pursuit of a peaceful, prosperous and globally competitive Kenya and also in line with the Mission’s mandate to promote economic cooperation with Botswana. it is our hope that following the signing of the Business Botswana/Kenya National Chamber MOU in 2016 a strong Kenya/Botswana Business Council will be established to enable the two

countries find common grounds for mutual benefit and enhance Diaspora participation in the National Agenda. I am confident that this event will go a long way in promoting the Kenya-Botswana Trade Relations in particular promoting trade and investment flows between the two countries.

  1. The Government of Kenya recognizes the important role played by the Diaspora in our economic development and the Diaspora policy seeks to harness the skills and expertise of our diaspora. We note that the remittances by the Diaspora last year stood at 1.95 billion dollars and we are confident that this can improve if we provide you with credible companies through which you can channel your investments.
  1. With these remarks it is my singular honour to welcome our Guest of Honour, the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Ababu Namwamba.

THANK YOU.