Full State of The Nation speech by President Kenyatta

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Honourable Members,

The leaders of the world’s most prosperous and powerful countries have come to visit Kenya. They came to witness a country on the rise, and to engage with an administration that they believe shares in their vision for a stable and prospering global community.

We have discussed with them, and agreed, on joint measures to take in pursuit of peace and stability. They have also been eager to ensure that their country’s companies have access to an economy they believe has a bright future. On my part, I have engaged them here at home, and abroad to advance my administration’s economic diplomacy strategy.

From India, we have secured equipment and the expertise to establish a new cancer centre at Kenyatta Hospital.

Additionally, this engagement allowed us to give the farmers in semi- arid areas like Embu, Kitui, Mwingi and Makueni and Tharaka to a ready Indian market of 1 billion people to which they can export beans, lentils and peas.

We have strengthened our security and development relationship with the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Jordan. This has enabled us to markedly strengthen the capabilities of our security system in combatting terrorism and transnational crimes, and to continue adding to our development efforts.

China has been a key partner in the transformation of our infrastructure. Significantly, the SGR has been completed in record time.

By traveling to France, I secured funding to undertake major water projects across the country. In addition, through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we have attracted many French companies to invest in Kenya’s agri-business.

We have been able to develop new curricula in the automotive sector for our technical and vocational training institutes due to our engagement with the government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Japan is one of our most important partners. One of the areas of cooperation is the highly concessional funding we gained to complete the Dongo Kundu bypass. Japan has also invested in our pioneering efforts to build tools to prevent radicalization and violent extremism.

Our collaboration with the State of Israel includes our access to cutting-edge agricultural expertise and technology that can allow us to transform our agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas.

Through the government of the Republic of Korea, we have received full funding for the construction of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Technology — the first anchor tenant of Konza Techno-city.

Through the the EAC and Northern Corridor initiative, we have been able to improve the ease of movement of persons, the single network area for mobile telephony, single tourist visa, we have deepened regional integration.

My administration has made private sector participation in all our international engagements a key pillar of our economic diplomacy. As a consequence, through the Private Sector, we have signed investment agreements with leading businesses from over 60 countries in four years.

This has led to many multinationals establishing offices in Nairobi and other parts of Kenya.

Since 2013, over 1532 major companies from across the globe have set up shop here in Kenya, from VW in Thika to Wrigleys who have invested more than 6 Billion shillings in Machakos and are set to open in May of this year and GZI who have invested over 12 Billion shillings in an aluminium can manufacturing plant at Sultan Hamud. This compared to less than 40 often quoted companies that have either relocated for corporate strategic reasons or downsized and closed due to lack of competitiveness.

To the members of the diplomatic corps who have joined us here today, and to their colleagues in their capitals, know this.

Your friendship is important to the Kenyan people who have always lived in peace with their neighbours and with a national consensus to do good in the world. We work hard for security within our country and are honest brokers in helping secure the peace for every country in our region that needs our help. We appreciate your support, both moral and material. You can all see that we are on the path to building a vibrant economy and a strong democracy. We want to take our relationship with you to greater heights of ambition and achievement.

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