HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 15 – Kenya and Cuba are keen to build on their historical ties to improve on the social welfare of their citizens, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Monica Juma has said.
Juma said being the first state visit of President Uhuru Kenyatta outside Africa after his inauguration for his second and final term, it was designed to enable the country to achieve its desired ‘Big Four’ agenda especially in health, agriculture, blue economy, tourism and sports.
“We are in Havana today for the first State visit by President Kenyatta after his inauguration for the second term. This is very deliberate. We are here to strengthen what are historical ties between this country and Kenya but also between Cuba and Africa,” said the Foreign Affairs CS.
The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said Kenya would want to draw lessons from the Caribbean nation in terms of preventive and curative health even as the country gears towards rolling out the programme to reach out to all its citizens under the ‘Big Four’ agenda.
She said Kenya would also want to develop its pharmaceutical industry especially in the area of vaccines for both human and animals in order to improve their health.
Pointing out that Cuba has also excelled in the agricultural sector, the CS said Kenya would want to learn more on how to improve on its food security so as to boost its capacity in food production.
She singled out research on a number of seed varieties and successes in the sugar industry as other key areas, which Kenya would want to draw lessons from the Caribbean nation.
The CS also said the President’s State visit would culminate in the signing of a number of Memorandums of Understanding to cement and actualise the agreed areas of cooperation so as to enhance the bilateral relations.
“Cuba has rich tourist attraction areas so we would want to visit and see what they are doing to attract huge numbers of tourists,” she said.
“We are looking at culture and sports and we are keen to tighten that area by signing a number of MOUs,” she added.
Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa Mohamed said he has held discussions with his Cuban counterpart and reached an agreement on signing MOU’s enabling the two countries to have exchange programmes between their sportsmen and women.
He said Cuba is gifted in indoor games especially boxing and it is willing to offer facilities and training to Kenyan young men and women to help diversify Kenya’s sporting spectrum.
“We have also agreed to offer training to their teams especially in areas where we are superior such as marathon and long distance races,” said the CS for Sports.