, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 16 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has returned from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea where he attended a UNESCO prize award ceremony for life sciences and held trade talks with the President of the host country Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
President Kenyatta and President Nguema agreed to increase bilateral relations between Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, which is an oil producing country.
President Kenyatta also attended a scientific round table discussion focusing on positioning Africa for socio-economic development.
The challenges of the management of diseases such as the Ebola epidemic and HIV/Aids in Africa were major topics of the discussion.
Presidents Nguema, Thomas Boni Yayi (Benin) and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova were also involved in the panel discussion.
President Kenyatta said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the dismal response from the international community makes it compelling for Africa to pull resources and create a fund to deal with emergencies.
He also urged African countries to increase funding for research in the life sciences.
President Kenyatta said Africa was rich in indigenous knowledge in medicine and more research should be conducted to use this knowledge to find new medical solutions.
At the ceremony, President Nguema announced a donation of $2 million to the World Health Organisation to help it combat the Ebola outbreak.
President Nguema’s pledge follows President Kenyatta’s announcement last week of a $1 million (Sh87 million) donation to be given to three West African countries to combat Ebola.
President Kenyatta said the donation – which will benefit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – was in line with Kenya’s Foreign Policy on African solidarity.
The UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences is funded by the government of Equatorial Guinea.
This year’s winners were Professor Hossein Baharvand (Iran), André Bationo (Burkina-Faso), Instituto de Medicina Tropical von Humboldt (IMT) of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru).
Each of the three laureates received a statuette of the artist Leandro Mbomio Nsue, a diploma and a cheque for $100,000 – PSCU