Kenya-China cooperation has unleashed profound benefits, says Kenya’s prime cabinet secretary Mudavadi » Capital News

NAIROBI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — The bilateral cooperation between Kenya and China that was formalized in December 1963 has covered a critical milestone, unleashing fruitful results for both sides, a senior Kenyan official has said.

Musalia Mudavadi, Kenya’s prime cabinet secretary who also doubles up as minister for foreign and diaspora affairs, noted that six decades of Kenya-China cooperation has impacted positively on the East African nation in diverse spheres, including trade, infrastructure development, cultural and academic exchanges.

“We are celebrating 60 years of our independence and that is a period we have enjoyed cordial relations with the people of China,” Mudavadi said during a recent interview with Chinese media organizations in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Kenya’s engagement with China has been at the heads of state level, Mudavadi said, adding that President William Ruto and two of his predecessors took deliberate steps to foster ties with Beijing.

Under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Kenya has benefitted from the construction of modern infrastructure projects like the Thika Superhighway, the 472-km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the 27.1-km Nairobi Expressway and several ring roads in the capital, Mudavadi said.

President Ruto was among African leaders who attended the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing from Oct. 17-18. He met Chinese President Xi Jinping and the two leaders agreed to further cooperation on digital economy and clean energy, Mudavadi said.

Mudavadi noted that under the comprehensive strategic cooperative framework with China, Kenya has been inspired by the Asian nation’s pragmatism in its execution of infrastructure projects overseas.

Kenya has also benefited from an influx of Chinese investors, he said, citing the Nairobi Global Trade Center constructed by Avic International in the capital city’s upscale Westlands district as reaffirming the vitality of the two nation’s partnership.

“We look forward to having more investors from China coming here and make this their launch pad for investments in the region,” Mudavadi said.

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He said that under the BRI, Africa’s quest for long-term growth, integration and connectivity will be realized through the creation of seamless transportation corridors.

The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR, an early fruit of the Belt and Road Initiative, has enhanced mobility of cargo and passengers while stimulating commerce and growth of towns along its corridor, Mudavadi said.

While acknowledging Kenya’s vast renewable energy potential including solar and geothermal, Mudavadi said Kenya intends to partner with Chinese firms, develop these resources and realize 100 percent green energy access for its citizens.

There is huge potential for Kenya-China agricultural cooperation, especially in dryland farming, water harvesting and agro-processing, to boost food security and rural incomes, he said.

Kenya can also leverage partnership with China to spur industrialization, and promote cultural and academic exchanges that benefit local youth, Mudavadi said.

He said Kenya has gained from scholarships awarded by the Chinese government, alongside the development of sporting facilities in the last six decades of bilateral cooperation.

“If we want to improve the lot of our people, we must engage robustly with the people of China,” Mudavadi said.

He said that Kenya, as a free-market economy that has a robust stock market, a highly educated workforce and flexible regulations, is an ideal destination for Chinese investors.

In the future, Kenya aims to engage with China and spur the growth of critical sectors like information and communications technology, manufacturing, health and housing, Mudavadi said.

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He noted that Kenya is on the frontline of the climate crisis, and green investments from China are welcome to boost the resilience of local communities and their livelihoods.

The China-proposed Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative align with Kenya’s commitment to peace, stability, and shared prosperity for its citizens and neighboring countries, Mudavadi said.

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