, HENZHEN, China, Aug 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first State visit to China reaped hefty packages, including support to combat wildlife poaching in Kenya, the President said.
In an interview at the end of his visit on Friday, President Kenyatta said China acknowledged that poaching was a problem and committed to work with Kenya in solving it.
“The Chinese Government understands that poaching is a problem. The most important thing is that they are not just talking about it but working to solve it,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the Chinese Government offered to improve surveillance around national parks and game reserves. The President added that China will also help with capacity building to enable the Kenya Wildlife Service deal with poachers effectively.
The President addressed a wide range of issues, including bilateral relations, economic partnerships, food security and general security.
President Kenyatta said China was working with Kenya to ensure security agencies have the latest equipment and technology to undertake their mandate effectively. He said China and Kenya entered into a partnership to fight terrorism and piracy, which are threats to the safety of Kenyans.
The President said his visit contributed to the signing of an agreement that will see the financing for geothermal power generation to the tune of $1 billion. This, together with other initiatives, would assist Government to raise power generation capacity to more than 5,000 megawatts from the current 1,600 megawatts.
“Increased power generation will lower the cost of doing business and attract more investors to our country, which is good for us because it will grow the economy and create employment for the youth,” the President said.
He pointed out that the construction of a Standard Gauge railway linking Mombasa to Malaba would benefit from the signing of the agreements.
President Kenyatta said the new railway line would open up more areas for trade and promote economic growth.
“Transport is an essential component in growing the economy. Efficient transport system will make movement of goods faster and save our roads from destruction,” President Kenyatta said.
The President emphasized that Kenya has many development partners and is China one of them.
“We intend to engage with all our development partners in achieving the objectives of our national development blueprint, Vision 2030,” the President said.
He said Kenya and China will engage more on mutually beneficial cooperation that will see Kenya’s tea, coffee and pyrethrum access the Chinese market to bolster trade.
President Kenyatta said his visit focused more on China’s special economic zones because they are the engine of growth. The President said there has been a lot of talk about economic zones in Kenya and now was time to commence implementation.