This was the message China’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi delivered to President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday at State House, Nairobi, at the start of the Chinese Minister’s eight day tour of Africa.
Wang said his mission was to strengthen the existing bilateral co-operations between Kenya and China and chart new areas that the two countries can partner in.
He said Kenya is at the stage of industrial take-off and China is ready to support it with its experience of attaining successful industrialisation.
“China stands ready to share its experiences on industrial zoning and special economic zones and we are ready for more cooperation in these fields,” said Wang.
He said one method the Chinese government used to succeed in industrialisation was to open up to industrial relocation when it allowed companies from neighbouring countries like Japan to set up shop within China.
This allowed the transfer of technology and skills to the Chinese people up to the stage where China became advanced.
“Industrial relocation was how China took off and Kenya can benefit from it,” he said.
The new focus in partnership between Kenya and China will be centered on Industrial development, technology transfer, Agricultural modernization and infrastructure development. The Standard Gauge Railway is the flagship of the China-Kenya partnership.
The two countries will also partner in mineral exploitation and environmental conservation.
Wang said China will also work more closely with Kenya on regional peace and security issues.
President Kenyatta welcomed the proposal by China to increase bilateral relations with Kenya.
The President said Kenya appreciates the Chinese partnership and support in developing the ICT sector, building of roads and the railway as well as in the area of production of energy.
“Our relationship is built on the principle of partnership. This is a partnership I want to see increased and cemented to bring mutual benefits,” said the President.
The President said Kenya has made tremendous progress over the last decade and this achievement was built on the understanding that it can develop its own solutions.
President Kenyatta called on China to continue its close engagement with Kenya and support its efforts to open the East African region.
“We need you to work with us to link the Eastern Africa region by extending the railway to our neighbouring countries including Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and even the DRC to open up the regional economy,” he said.
The President said Kenya, which has been a central pillar in promoting regional peace efforts, counts on Chinese support in efforts to bring stability to countries in the region that are affected by wars.
The meeting was attended by Deputy President William Ruto, ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Internal Security Principal Secretary Monica Juma.
The Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister delegation included China’s Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa.
Wang’s visit is a follow up on the successful visit to Kenya last year by China’s Premier Li Keqiang during which 17 bilateral agreements were signed between the two countries.
After holding bilateral meetings with Kenyan Cabinet Secretaries led by Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed, Wang will continue with his Africa trip to visit Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.