Uhuru: We’ll robustly pursue intra-African trade

July 15, 2013 1:36 pm
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President Uhuru Kenyatta with his host Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan/PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta with his host Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan/PSCU
ABUJA, Nigeria, Jul 15 – President Uhuru Kenyatta says his government’s foreign policy will be geared towards deepening trade relations with member states of East African countries among other African nations.

Addressing the Kenyan Diaspora in Nigeria after officially opening the newly constructed Chancery and High Commissioner’s official residence in Abuja, the president said intra-Africa trade diplomacy will form the mantra of Kenya’s foreign policy.

He said his government’s policy is to facilitate people to easily cross borders to explore opportunities and engage in trade within the continent.

“We are not abandoning the traditional partners but enhancing relations with our neighbours who are always there for us. Our number one foreign policy is Africa, number two Africa and number three Africa,” he said.

Kenyatta urged African countries to focus on removal of trade barriers while rooting for internal solutions to the many challenges facing the African continent.

The president emphasised that the future of the country depend partly on working closely with other African countries.

He also wooed honest Nigerians ready to engage in genuine business to visit the country and tap available investment opportunities saying the government will continue providing a conducive environment.

“We are not abandoning the traditional partners but enhancing relations with our neighbours who are always there for us. Our number one foreign policy is Africa, number two Africa and number three Africa,” he said.

Kenyatta asked Kenyan Diaspora in Nigeria to be good ambassadors by speaking well about their country.

The president called upon Africans in the Diaspora to market the continent positively by portraying Africa as the new frontier of development and prosperity.

He pointed out that his maiden visit to Nigeria was not only to attend the Special African Union (AU) Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM) but also meet with his host President Goodluck Jonathan to reaffirm his commitment to strengthening the cordial relations existing between the two countries.

“From a trade and investment perspective, Kenya has many lucrative business opportunities to be tapped,” he said.

Speaking during the occasion, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohamed said promotion of intra-Africa trade will enable national governments in the continent to take their relationships to another level.

On his part, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the government has allocated Sh98 billion this financial year to the health sector. He added that Sh64 billion of the budgetary allocation will be distributed among the counties.

The Head of State, who is in Abuja to attend the Special African Union (AU) Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, later met and held talks with Jonathan who paid him a courtesy call at the hotel where he’s staying.

During the discussions touching on issues of mutual benefit to the two countries, the two leaders agreed on detailed bilateral talks later in the week during which a number of agreements will be signed.

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