NAIROBI, May 24 – President Mwai Kibaki has received cash donations amounting to Sh23.5 million towards the national fund established for the resettlement of the internally displaced persons.
The donations were received from key players in the telecommunication industry among them the Safaricom, Celtel, Telkom Kenya, Wananchi and Jamii telecommunications.
Safaricom Foundation Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, Leslie Baille presented a cheque worth Sh17 million, Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, Dominique Saint-Jean gave Sh3 million while Celtel’s Regulatory Director, Clare Ruto donated Sh2 million.
Wananchi and Jamii Telecommunication offered Sh500,000 and one million shillings respectively.
Speaking during the occasion at State House Nairobi, President Kibaki thanked the telecommunication sector for its generous contribution towards the government efforts of facilitating the displaced persons resume their normal lives.
The Head of State appealed for more donations and urged other organizations in the country and Kenyans of good will to continue supporting the resettlement programme.
He said the resettlement programme was on course and expressed confidence that the affected persons will soon resume their task of nation building as before.
Meanwhile, President Kibaki is scheduled to travel to Japan on Sunday for a four-day official visit.
During the visit, the Head of State will join other Heads of State and Government who will attend the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) that will be held in Yokohama.
He is also scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Japanese officials.
TICAD seeks to strengthen recent positive trends in Africa in both political and economic areas and deliberations shall be centered on the theme ‘Towards a Vibrant Africa: A Continent of Hope and Opportunity.’
Key issues that are expected to be in focus include boosting Africa’s economic growth and the challenges posed by rising global food and oil price.
Other issues include achievement of Millennium Development Goals to consolidate peace and guarantee human security as well as strengthening the capacity of African countries to effectively respond to global environmental issues such as global warming and climate change.
Japan seeks to support Africa in various sectors such as infrastructure targeting regional road networks and electric power, small and medium enterprises, tourism promotion, agriculture, health and education.
During the visit President Kibaki will also lead Kenya’s delegation during bilateral talks with the Government of Japan.
Last year, trade between Kenya and Japan was valued at 41 billion shillings. The Kenyan delegation is expected to present its case on ways of closing the trade gap that is heavily in favour of Japan.
In 2007 Kenya received Japanese Overseas Development Assistance amounting to about Sh5.8 billion.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has extended loans for the improvement of Kenya’s economic and social infrastructure.
They include, Phase II of Sondu Miriu Hydroelectric Power Project Sh7.6 billion and loan agreement for the modernization of Kenya Ports Authority Container Terminal Sh15 billion and Sh3.1 billion for phase III of Sondu Miriu Hydropower Project.
During the visit Kenya will push for duty-free and quota free access for products. The country will also seek further funding for the Tana Delta Irrigation Project and the Olkaria V Geothermal Power Station.
To promote tourism Kenya will also be pushing for the establishment of a bilateral Air Service agreement between Kenya and Japan.
During the TICAD conference, Prof. Miriam Were, a renowned Kenyan researcher and Chairperson of the National Aids Control Council will be awarded the inaugural Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize. The Award is in recognition of Prof. Were’s Contribution to the health sector.
The Kenyan delegation to the conference includes the Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, Foreign Affairs Minister, Moses Wetangula, Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, Wycliffe Oparanya, Finance Minister, Amos Kimunya, Roads Minister, Kipkalya Kones, Tourism Minister, Najib Balala and Agriculture Minister, William Ruto.