President Kibaki jets back from Qatar

December 1, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, December 1 – President Mwai Kibaki arrived back in the country Monday after a three-day official visit to Doha, Qatar where he attended the International Conference on Finance and Development.
The plane carrying the President and his entourage touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 1pm.
While in Doha, the government and Qatar held negotiations aimed at facilitating construction of a $3.5 billion port in Lamu.
“The government of Qatar is keen on the Lamu project to diversify its international investment portfolio while the construction of the second port at Lamu was a priority project for the Government of Kenya,” a statement from Presidential Press Service said.
The State of Qatar and Kenya also opened negotiations that would lead to setting aside of funds for the construction of the Garsen-Lamu Road.
The government also committed itself to opening a mission in Qatar to enable the increasing population of Kenyans living and working in Qatar have easy access to consular services.
While addressing the Conference, President Kibaki urged developed countries to sustain their commitment to the attainment of sustainable development in Third World as agreed upon six years ago in Monterrey, Mexico.
The President termed the situation in most developing countries as worsening due to critical challenges such as climate change, high costs of food and energy as well as the current global financial crisis. 
President Kibaki also expressed concern that efforts to create an internationally conducive environment for the advancement of developing countries have remained obscure after the collapse of the Doha World Trade Organisation negotiations.
The Head of State emphasised the need for developed countries to increase concessional financing to developing countries saying that it remains an essential input for the realisation of the MDGs and other prioritised development goals. 
With regard to Kenya, the President said the country had developed a blue print, the Vision 2030, which aims at transforming the country into a newly industrialising, middle-income economy providing a high quality of life to all its citizens.
The President elaborated the Vision requires massive resources to fully realise its objectives adding that his Government is exploring innovative ways of mobilising resources and welcomed support from development partners in order to succeed.
President Mwai Kibaki also called on the United Nations to take a frontline position in rallying leaders and resources to tackle problems currently facing the Africa and the Third World.
At a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, President Kibaki noted that the problems of instability in financial markets, high energy costs and the resulting high food prices must be addressed through concerted efforts by the international community.
The Head of State also asked the UN to help coordinate efforts aimed at stabilising global food prices and ensuring an efficient movement of food from surplus regions to deficit nations.
President Kibaki and the Secretary General’s meeting also focused on the worsening security situation in Somalia leading to increased piracy in the Indian Ocean.
The Head of State said Kenya would soon host a regional meeting in Nairobi to discuss piracy due to the great destabilisation caused in the movement of vessels carrying essential supplies to Ports along the Indian Ocean.
The President at the same time explained the challenges Kenya was facing due to increased influx of refugees to Kenya as a result of the instability in Somalia.


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