, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Kenya is set to host a special summit of Heads of State and Governments of the Great Lakes region on July 31.
The national coordinator and director of the summit, Ken Vitisia says this will be a good platform for the country to articulate its foreign policy.
He said Kenya will also seek support of a common regional position on Somalia and on its effort to take refugees from there back to their country.
“It is in Kenya’s interest that we don’t have regional conflict. If we have peace within the region, it means we are able to trade more and this mean our foreign exchange increases,” he said.
“If we increase our trade, we will also create more job opportunities for our growing youth population. Majority are jobless.”
He said the meeting will also discuss about the region’s stability to enhance more growth.
“Our social, economic development is tied directly to stability within the great lake regions,” he noted.
He added that the summit will also offer an opportunity for the regional leaders to address the need for fast-tracking regional integration, investments in infrastructure and increased regional trade.
During the summit, Vitisia said the president will underline and re-emphasize his commitment to support initiatives towards regional peace, security and development.
“The country will also engage with the visiting heads of state on bilateral relations that will foster trade among the nations,” he affirmed.
“The Jubilee government has shown its commitment to integrate with African states. The president is expected to push on the issue of infrastructure development that will connect the region,” he explained.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will open the summit which will be attended by Heads of State of the 12 countries.
The summit will also be attended by development partners among them the officials from United Nations, African Development Bank, African Union and the World Bank.
The summit follows consultations between President Yoweri Museveni and President Uhuru Kenyatta. It comes at a time when there is renewed hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the crisis in Central Africa Republic and the tensions between the Sudans.
The summit will ensure a strict observance of the standards and principles of international humanitarian law, notably those relating to the protection and assistance of women, children, refugees and displaced persons.