• High Commissioner Khampa says they will work with the government of Kenya to realize the full potential of the bilateral partnership, aligned with Kenya’s priorities.
• With Kenya, she says, India bilateral partnership inspires hope and optimism underpinned by the long-standing affinity and friendship between the two states.
India and Kenya are committed to growing trade and investment linkages in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, textiles, energy, agriculture, SMEs, technology, education and capacity-building, India’s High Commissioner has said.
Speaking on Thursday during the occasion of the 74th Republic Day of India, High Commissioner Namgya Khampa said they will work with the government of President William Ruto to realize the full potential of the bilateral partnership aligned with Kenya’s priorities.
With Kenya, she said, India bilateral partnership inspires hope and optimism underpinned by the long-standing affinity and friendship between the two states.
“The opportunities are vast. And we in India are committed to harvesting them for the mutual benefit of both our people.
“We had an opportunity to exchange views in this regard during the visit of the Honorable Speaker of India’s Lower House of Parliament Mr. Om Birla about a week ago. The visit signaled an auspicious start to 2023 for India-Kenya ties. We will continue to maintain the bilateral momentum,” the High Commissioner said.
The envoy noted that India and Kenya are both vibrant democracies, traversing similar paths to development and nation-building and thus, there is much they can learn and share from/ with each other.
“We are connected by the Indian ocean that has enabled people-to-people contacts that goes back centuries. The Indian-origin diaspora in Kenya are a visible reminder of the richness of our contacts and they are a living bridge of friendship and understanding between our two great countries. As maritime neighbors, our commitment to the Indo-pacific region includes enhanced cooperation with Kenya,” she said.
On his part, ICT and Digital Economy CS Eliud Owalo said there is a lot Kenya can learn from India.
“There is a lot to share in the area of trade, manufacturing and health, just to mention just a few. In the area of ICT, we have a lot to benchmark with India in digital identity, digital health management systems, performance management, e-transport and automation of government services to enhance service delivery and revenue collection, Owalo said, adding that Kenya looks forward to working with India.
According to India’s High Commission data, trade volume during the 2019-20 period was $2.2158 billion, out of which Indian exports to Kenya were $2.126 billion, imports from Kenya were $89.62 million.
Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Director General Amb. George Orina, who represented CS Alfred Mutua, said the bilateral ties have grown in all sectors.
“India continues to work with Kenya as we invest in value addition in the many of these sectors that we have spoken to, to create jobs, and contribute to the development of this country,” Ambassador Orina said.
Orina said Kenya will continue to operate flights to India as a strategic step to strengthen trade and people-to-people relations.
According to the High Commission’s website, Kenya Airways operates daily direct flights to Mumbai, and foreign airlines also provide air connectivity via Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Addis Ababa and Kigali.
Additionally, Air India started direct flights on Mumbai-Nairobi sector from November 27, 2019 and operates four flights a week to India.
“Flights operated between India and Kenya under the Air Travel Bubble agreement since October 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic till commercial flights were restored in March 2022,” the mission says.
The Director General singled out India’s support to the growth of the health sector in Kenya, saying the two states have collaborated in the sector, including the movement of Kenyans to India for further treatment and partnership in equipping health facilities.
Orina said Kenya looks forward to more investments and technological transfer to support the development of the health sector.
The diplomat also noted that many Kenyans had benefitted from Indian scholarships in various professions.
For instance, over 400 Kenyan nationals benefit from training and scholarship programmes every year in various fields under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme (both physical and e-ITEC courses) and ICCR scholarships.
Other students go to India under the Study in India programme on discounted tuition fees and as self-financing students, the High Commission says.