, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – Chinese investments and commitments to Kenya under the Jubilee Government have reached $6.5 billion (around Sh663 billion), Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.
Wang said the Chinese investments and commitments to Kenya in the last three years were mainly in infrastructure and the establishment of industrial parks in Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi.
“It is our hope that mega projects like the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will leverage Kenya’s position as a regional trade and investment hub,” Wang said.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said he was pleased that the SGR has created over 40,000 jobs for Kenyans, adding that more economic benefits including the promotion of businesses along the railway line will be realized with the completion of the first phase of the project next year.
Wang spoke Wednesday during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
He said China views Kenya as an important link in Africa and expressed optimism that the economic and political cooperation between the two countries will help Kenya achieve its Vision 2030 targets.
President Kenyatta welcomed the increasing partnership between Kenya and China, saying it was playing a big role in helping Kenya achieve its socio-economic agenda to improve the welfare of Kenyans.
The President said SGR is an important project that will not only benefit Kenya but also open up the whole of East and Central Africa region for trade and investment.
“As a country, we play a pivotal role in opening up the region. We welcome the win-win partnership we have with China, especially in these infrastructure projects,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the frequent exchange visits by senior Chinese and Kenyan Government officials signified the determination to strengthen bilateral relations for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
The meeting, attended by Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Adan Mohamed (Industrialization and Enterprise Development) and James Macharia (Infrastructure and Transport), also discussed regional peace and security.
Wang said China will not pull out of South Sudan investments and urged Kenya to continue its leadership role in resolving crisis in the troubled neighbour.
He assured that his Government supports Kenya’s and IGAD’s position in addressing the South Sudan situation.
Wang also commended Kenya’s role in Somali peace initiatives, saying Kenya and China should continue working to entrench stability in the Horn of Africa country.
On South Sudan, President Kenyatta said Kenya will do everything it can to stabilise its Northern neighbour.
“If South Sudan is peaceful Kenya is also peaceful, a stable South Sudan means a stable Kenya also,” the Head of State said.
The President also briefed the Chinese Foreign Minister on the resolutions passed by the African Union on the United Nations Security Council reforms.
Wang said China supported the Africa Union’s position on the reforms, pointing out that his country was against the domination of the UN Security Council by developed countries at the expense of developing nations.