, CAIRO, Egypt, Jan 1 – Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka\’s official visit to Egypt concluded with a lecture on Africa\’s place in the global economic arena, at the Alexandria University-Cairo.
The Vice President told students at 200-year old university that `Africa must shed off the image that is often associated with her – of bad governance and corruption – and say yes to accountable leadership, focused on uplifting the well fare of citizens.
The theme of the lecture \’Africa as an emerging economic powerhouse\’ and the venue of the lecture were both optimistic and symbolic.
Alexandria University is not only Africa\’s oldest university but it is also the largest with a student population of 192,000.
Accountable and visionary leadership as well as economic prosperity was indeed the running theme in the several bilateral engagements the Vice President undertook in Cairo.
He witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two governments covering agricultural research and exchange of technical expertise. He also witnessed the signing of another MOU between Moi University and Alexandria university signed by Prof Richard Mibei the Vice Chancellor of Moi University and Prof Hind Hanafi President of the Alexandria University respectively.
The Universities intend to deepen their relationship by widening the areas of research and exchanges to include medical research and patient referrals.
It was however the three hour bilateral discussions between the Prime Minister of Egypt accompanied by a team of cabinet ministers and Kenya\’s Vice President accompanied by Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Foreign affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka, Ferdinand Waititu and MPs Mithika Linturi, Isaack Ruto and Peter Mwathi, which lifted the Kenya- Egypt relations a notch higher.
The talks saw commitment by Egypt to import for the first time large quantities of meat products (after satisfying themselves that the Kenyan slaughter houses were up to standard) and a pledge the hosts to mobilise more Egyptian firms to invest in the Kenyan economy as well increasing of Kenyan tea.
Egypt will also help sink more boreholes and construct surface dams to help harvest rain water.
On her part, the Kenyan team pledged that Kenya recognises that the River Nile waters was the lifeline of Egypt. They indicated that Kenya was for the use of the Nile waters as shared resource without jeopardising the interests of the receiving States like Egypt and Sudan. Therefore Kenya urged Egypt to sign to the new frame work treaty on the use of the Nile Waters saying all the outstanding issues will be resolved amicably.
Mr Musyoka proposed that Kenya and Egypt consider jointly marketing their niche tourism markets "It could be an excellent idea if tourists come to Egypt to see the pyramids and other historical sites and then proceed to Kenya to enjoy game drives and safari" he said.
Egypt currently receives 11 million tourists per year.
The situation in Somalia and the need to stabilize that country in order to reduce the inflow of refugees to Kenya from Somalia and the upcoming referendum in southern Sudan featured prominently in the meeting between president Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Mr Musyoka.
President Mubarak informed Mr Musyoka that he had spoken to both Sudanese President Omar El Bashir and Vice President Salva Kiir on the need to ensure no resumption of hostilities takes place after the referendum.
Mr Musyoka on his part said Kenya was committed to supporting the leadership of the Sudan to continue working for lasting peace in the post referendum period.
Kenya and Egypt have a direct stake in the stability of the Sudan because they share borders to the south and to the north respectively.