Kenya, Cuba bank on historical ties for stronger health, tourism sectors

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Cuban Minister for External Affairs Aberlado Moreno at Havana in Cuba, March 15, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Cuban Minister for External Affairs Aberlado Moreno at Havana in Cuba, March 15, 2018. /PSCU

Kenya and Cuba are keen on strengthening their historical ties to improve the social welfare of their citizens, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has said.

Juma said that President Uhuru Kenyatta's trip, his first state visits outside Africa since his inauguration, was designed to achieve the ‘Big Four’ agenda.

The development blueprint focuses on health, agriculture, blue economy, tourism, and sports.

"The Cuba trip is very deliberate. We are here to strengthen not only the historical ties between this country and Kenya but also between Cuba and Africa," Juma said.

She

added Kenya will draw lessons from the Caribbean nation in terms of preventive and curative health.

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The CS said Kenya will also benchmark on how Cuba runs its pharmaceutical industry, especially in the area of vaccines for both human and animals.

Pointing out that Cuba has also excelled in agriculture, Juma said Kenya will focus on valuable lessons that will ensure the country is food secure.

She singled out research on a number of seed varieties and successes in the sugar industry as other key areas.

The CS also said the President’s visit will culminate in the signing of a number of Memorandums of Understanding to cement and actualise the agreed areas of cooperation.

"Cuba has very rich tourist attractions. We will visit and see what they are doing to attract high number of visitors to the sites," she said.

"We are looking at culture and sports and we are keen to tighten that area by signing a number of MOUs," Juma added.

Sports CS Rashid Achesa, who accompanied Uhuru on the tour, said he held discussions with his Cuban counterpart on exchange programmes for their sportsmen and women.

He noted Cuba is gifted in indoor games, especially boxing, and is willing to train Kenyans who want to diversify the country's sporting spectrum.

"We have also agreed to offer training to their teams especially in areas where we are superior such as marathon and long distance races," the Sports CS said.