Diaspora proud Kenyans even as they cherish Indian roots
I am delighted to be here in Nairobi. I thank President Kenyatta the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation.
Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta,
Deputy President William Ruto,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you, Excellency, for your kind words.
I am delighted to be here in Nairobi. I thank President Kenyatta the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation.I am told, Excellency, that your name "Uhuru” means "Freedom”. In a way, the journey of your life has also been the journey of an Independent Kenya. It is an honour for me to be with you today.
Kenya is a valued friend and trusted partner of India. The bonds between the two countries are long-standing and rich. We share a common legacy of struggle against colonialism.
Our historical people-to-people ties provide a strong basis to our wide-ranging partnership, which extends:
* From agriculture and health to developmental assistance;
* From trade and commerce to investment;
* From closer contacts between our peoples to capacity building; and
* From regular political consultations to defence and security cooperation.
And, today, President and I reviewed all aspects and full range of our relationship.
India is one of the brightest spot in the world economy. And, Kenya is a land of strong opportunities. India is Kenya's largest trading partner, and the second largest investor here. But, there is potential to achieve much more.
President and I agreed that our economies can benefit more:
- if we nurture greater intensity of commercial links;
-Take steps towards a more diversified trade basket; and
- Expand our investment ties further.
This would also enable greater regional economic prosperity. And, in this while governments would play their part, it is the businesses of the two countries that have a key role and responsibility to drive our commercial partnership.In this context, I welcome the India-Kenya Business Forum to be held later today. India and Kenya are two developing countries. We are also two innovation societies. And, the important part is that whether it is the process, products or technologies, our innovations are relevant not just to our societies.They also help improve the lives of people in other developing countries. The success of M-Pesa is one such classic innovation that has empowered millions the world over. Both sides have been working together in commercializing innovative technologies, and some of it will be evident at the Business Forum later today.
The multifaceted development partnership is a key pillar of our bilateral relationship. Our development priorities are more or less aligned.As true and trusted partner, India is ready to share its development experiences and expertise, and concessional credit and capacities to assist in Kenya's development objectives. We look forward to early implementation of the Indian lines of credit for projects in agricultural mechanization, textiles and the development of the small and medium sector. We are also encouraged by the progress in the power transmission project under an Indian line of credit of 60 million dollars.Kenya's highly successful geothermal sector, and energy efficiency projects such as LED based smart street lighting, are a couple of new areas where we could build our engagement. I understand that health care is President Uhuru's key priority. India's strength, especially in pharmaceuticals, can join hands with your priorities to shape an affordable and efficient healthcare system in Kenya. This would not only meet the needs of your society. It could also help Kenya become a regional medical hub. In this regard, I am happy that the prestigious Kenyatta National Hospital will soon have the state of the art made in India cancer therapy machine – Bhabhatron. We are also donating essential medicines and medical equipment for Kenya's public health system, including for the treatment AIDS.
We recognize that without the opportunities for the success of our youth, our societies cannot grow. For this, we are ready to partner with Kenya in the fields of education, vocational education and skill development.
While we are conscious of our development challenges, President and I also share concerns of security and stability.India and Kenya are connected by the Indian Ocean. We both have strong maritime traditions. As such, our closer cooperation in the field of maritime security occupies an important place in our overall defence and security engagement. The MoU on Defence Cooperation signed just now would strengthen our institutional cooperation between our defence establishments. This would include greater staff exchanges; sharing of expertise and experiences; training and institution building, cooperation in hydrography, and supply of equipment. President and I recognize that Terrorism and the rapid spread of radical ideologies pose a common challenge to our people, our countries, to the region and to the whole world. We have agreed to deepen our security partnership including in the fields of cyber security, combating drugs and narcotics, and human trafficking.
Yesterday, President and I had an unforgettable interaction with the Indian diaspora in Kenya. As President Uhuru said, they are proud Kenyans even as they cherish their Indian roots. As we shape deeper contacts between our economies and societies, they form a trusted bond and a strong bridge. I am also happy to announce that the vibrant Indian culture, which is already a part of Kenya's rich society, will be showcased in a Festival of India in Kenya later this year.
Excellency, President Uhuru,
In the end, let me once again thank you, the Government of Kenya and its people for the warmest of welcomes that I have received.
And, I and the people of India look forward to welcoming you in India.
Thank you very much.