NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – The Japanese Government has extended a Sh10 billion grant to Kenya for building food security and sustainable agriculture as well as strengthening health systems.
Speaking after holding bilateral talks with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the gesture demonstrated the enduring cooperation with Japan.
“We discussed issues pertaining to the implementation of infrastructure programmes; health resilience; social inclusivity as well as skills and technology transfer which were essentially, the main thematic areas of focus during the just concluded Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI),” he said.
The Head of State lauded Japan’s presence in infrastructure projects ranges from roads, ports and airports to power plants.
His comments come after Japanese, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told delegates Tokyo would commit Sh3 trillion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent in Africa.
“We signed an important document, titled, ‘Promotion and Protection of Investment, which we expect will spur Japanese private sector investments in Kenya. Present during our discussions this evening were some Japanese Chief Executive Officers who attended the TICAD VI Conference,” he said.
“I remain confident that the presence of these Japanese CEOs who accompanied the Prime Minister will translate into increased Japanese investments in Kenya and in Africa as a whole. Indeed, I welcome Japan’s key role in infrastructure development in Kenya in the areas of transport, energy, water irrigation and ICT.”
President Kenyatta further applauded the Government of Japan for continued support in improving capacity and efficiency of the Mombasa Port which is the gateway to Eastern and Central Africa. The two leaders recognized the need of the joint sustainable development of the Mombasa (Dongo Kundu) Special Economic Zone.
During the bilateral talks held at State House Nairobi, the two leaders confirmed their commitment to pursue and realise this imperative based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments signed on August 28, 2016 in Nairobi.
Prime Minister Abe on his part announced that Government of Japan will further strengthen its support for Ol Karia Geothermal Power Development projects through ODA loan and technical cooperation.
The two leaders emphasised the need to improve infrastructure connectivity within the East African region, and the African continent as a whole.
President Kenyatta thanked the Government of Japan for its continued partnership in connecting Kenya with the rest of Africa, and invited investments from Japan in the development of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia (LAPSSET) development corridor.
The Prime Minister also expressed support for Africa sending a permanent member to the UN Security Council by 2023, and called for cooperation in working towards UNSC reform.
The two leaders acknowledged that direct air connectivity between Kenya and Japan can play a key role in the promotion of trade, investment and tourism. They recognised the need of a framework in the future to allow for operation of direct flights between the two countries.
President Kenyatta appealed to Japan to take cognisance of the improved security environment in Kenya and requested Japan to revise its travel advisory in order to promote Japanese tourism and business travel to Kenya.
The two leaders emphasised the importance of developing infrastructure for water storage and irrigation to build resilient agricultural production systems for improved livelihoods in order to adapt to the impact of climate change and to realize food security, better nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
They stressed the need to continue supporting progressive increase of irrigated agricultural production through technical cooperation.
The two leaders further underscored the importance of encouraging public private partnership, in areas of crop, livestock, fisheries and blue economy value chains.