, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – The Government has put in place measures aimed at transforming the country into a newly industrialised middle income nation by the year 2030, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.
Mr Musyoka said the improvement of the people\’s living standards is now the Government\’s top priority, saying this would be achieved through the implementation of the country\’s national plan, the Vision 2030.
Speaking on Wednesday during the occasion to mark the National Day of the Peoples Republic of China, held at the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, the VP thanked the Chinese government for the assistance extended particularly in infrastructure development.
"Infrastructure is the key pillar in the achievement of Kenya\’s national development objectives,\’\’ he said.
Noting that China is a close friend and a valuable partner of Kenya, Mr Musyoka said the two countries attach great importance to the advancement of friendly bilateral relations and increased strategic partnership in development, peace and security.
The Vice President said Kenya has over the years benefited substantially from the financial and technical support extended by China, with a cumulative official development assistance amounting to Sh42.21 billion.
"The assistance has had a considerable impact on Kenya\’s socio-economic development and we highly appreciate this support,\’\’ said Mr Musyoka.
"Our relations continue to flourish with mutually beneficial partnerships in various sectors, including agriculture, health, education, trade and tourism among others,\’\’ he added.
The VP also urged the Chinese government to consider a bilateral arrangement that will make it possible for Kenya to benefit from a recent debt relief.
The Chinese government had recently made a commitment to write off debts in the form of all interest free government loans owed by Africa\’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) that have diplomatic relations with China.
However, Kenya is not categorized as either HIPC or a Least Developed Country.
Mr Musyoka said Kenya is an attractive investment destination and he gateway to the wider East Africa Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region and offers an attractively package of incentives to investors.
"I wish to encourage more Chinese investors to take advantage of these incentives and adopt Kenya as a manufacturing base for the East African Community and Comesa markets,\’\’ he said.
Mr Musyoka said Kenya supports a comprehensive approach in tackling the growing insurgency in Somalia by use of continued and practical efforts to reinforce the Transitional Federal Government and encouraging dialogue between the warring groups.
On Sudan, the VP said the experience of the last five years since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has shown that without strong international engagement and pressure, the Sudanese parties may not be able to achieve their commitment through CPA.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan hailed the cordial relations between the two countries.