•As noted by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, every country has the right to independently choose a development path suited to its own national conditions, and bring health, prosperity and dignity to its people.
•Wang Yi also introduced the "Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa” to support regional countries in addressing security, development and governance challenges.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently left Africa after a three-day visit to Eritrea, Kenya and the Comoros.
His sojourn in the scenic Mombasa coastal city was symbolic of China’s comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership with Kenya, with the latter acting as an exemplary showcase of Sino-Africa cooperation on Belt and Road Initiative.
Indeed, China-Kenya relations have become a model of China-Africa solidarity, cooperation and common development. The meeting with top government officials promised to strengthen and expand the partnership between the two countries in four main areas.
First, the two partners vowed to unswervingly support each other in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests, and exploring development paths suited to their national conditions.
Second, they stated the need to cooperate in accelerating development and revitalisation, and to continue strengthening partnership in infrastructure development, trade and investment. China committed herself to support Kenya in accelerating industrialisation and modernisation.
Third, the partners expressed the need to promote China-Africa solidarity by, among other means, working together to implement the outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, continue promoting overall cooperation between China and Africa, and jointly build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
Fourth, the partners agreed to safeguard regional peace and maintain close communication on regional situations and hotspot issues. The countries will also strengthen coordination and cooperation at the UN Security Council (UNSC) and other platforms, and play a greater role in promoting regional peace and stability.
Kenya and China share common or similar positions on international and regional issues. Kenya is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in multilateral settings, especially at the UNSC to jointly promote a more just and reasonable international order.
The deepening pragmatic cooperation in various fields and cultural exchanges between Kenya and China has created a large number of jobs in Kenya, improved people's lives, and brought notable benefits to the people. Kenya would not have today's development achievements without China's strong support, which is imprinted on the mind of the Kenyan government and people.
As noted by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, every country has the right to independently choose a development path suited to its own national conditions, and bring health, prosperity and dignity to its people.
The cooperation between Kenya and China is about timely support between true partners. Sino-Kenya relations have withstood the test of time because of mutual respect. Kenya is willing to continue deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with China to achieve common development.
Wang Yi congratulated Kenya on its continuous rapid development noting that the annual Chinese Foreign Minister's visit to Africa at the beginning of the year demonstrates solidarity, friendship and mutual trust between the two partners.
The FM’s visit sends three clear signals to its host. First, China will stand firmly with the country to fight the Covid-19 pandemic until the virus is completely defeated. Second, China is willing to strengthen all-round cooperation with Kenya to enhance its self-development capabilities and accelerate industrialisation. Third, China is willing to strengthen solidarity and coordination with Kenya in international and multilateral affairs, jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries, and safeguard international fairness and justice.
Following China’s proposition, Wang Yi also introduced the "Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa” to support regional countries in addressing security, development and governance challenges. The countries and people in the region should stay out of the geopolitical competition between major countries, firmly follow the path of unity and self-improvement, and hold the region's fate in their own hands through equal consultation.
The FM also noted that the Horn of Africa should accelerate regional revitalisation to overcome development challenges. For instance, the region should expand, strengthen and expeditiously extend to neighbouring countries the two main axes of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway and the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, while accelerating the development along the coasts of the Red Sea and of East Africa, so as to form a development framework of "two axes plus two coastal areas.
The regional countries also need to speed up the building of industrial belts and economic belts, create more jobs and promote growth. The Horn of Africa should explore effective ways to overcome governance challenges and enhance capacity for independent development.
The writer is the Executive Director of South-South Dialogues, a Nairobi based research and development communication think tank.