, LUSAKA, Zambia, Jul 4 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for increased trade between Kenya and Zambia, saying the move would boost bilateral relations for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
President Kenyatta said trade will also promote people-to-people interaction, an important ingredient in the realisation of the dream of a united and prosperous Africa that the continent’s founding fathers and liberation heroes envisioned.
He said both Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta were visionaries as well as liberators.
“Theirs is a great legacy, and it now falls to us, the next generation, to fulfil their dream of freedom and prosperity for the peoples of Africa,” President Kenyatta said.
He was speaking Friday evening during a State banquet hosted in his honour by President Edgar Lungu in Lusaka.
He said businesses in the continent are keen to take up the emerging opportunities and emphasized the need for governments create a conducive environment for them to thrive.
“But these will remain little more than dreams if we do not unleash the energy and imagination of our entrepreneurs, our innovators, and our young people,” President Kenyatta said.
On security, President Kenyatta said Zambia is an ally to Kenya in peace and security efforts. He thanked President Lungu and his Government for standing strong as a frontline state in the conflict region of the Great Lakes.
“And you have not faltered: you stood with us in some of our most trying moments,” said the President.
Saying restoration of peace in Somalia is a priority for the long-term stability of the horn of Africa region, President Kenyatta said Kenya and Zambia – with other troop-contributing countries serving with AMISOM in Somalia – will continue work tirelessly towards ending the Somali conflict.
President Lungu assured President Kenyatta of Zambia’s cooperation in strengthening the common position on matters of mutual importance to the two countries.
He said his country will work closely with Kenya in the achievement of the African agenda 2063, United Nations reforms and the push for the post 2015 development agenda which speaks to Africa and for Africans.
President Lungu commended President Kenyatta for playing a pivotal role in the pursuit of regional peace, saying Kenya has demonstrated its commitment towards the realization of lasting peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
“It is gratifying to note that the Kenya Government, under His Excellency’s able leadership, has remained undeterred in its efforts to combat terrorism at home and also securing peace and security for the entire East Africa region,” said President Lungu.
The banquet was also attended by an array of Zambian political leaders including the founding father and first President Kenneth Kaunda and former President Rupia Banda among other senior government officials.