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58th Independence Day of the Republic of Kenya

TEXT: Ladies and gentlemen, asalamu aleikum. As we mark the 58th Kenya’s Independence Day, we commemorate the...
Published December 14, 2021

TEXT: Ladies and gentlemen, asalamu aleikum.

As we mark the 58th Kenya’s Independence Day, we commemorate the struggles of the great Kenyan men and women who dedicated their lives to free Kenya from colonial subjugation. Without their efforts, Kenya would not have been free to chart its own destiny and forge nationhood. At the same time, we laud the efforts of our friends from the developing world, who played a key role in fighting for political freedom for countries which were still under colonial domination. We therefore salute the efforts of Pakistan and other developing countries which gained independence before us, in ensuring that the countries that were still under colonial domination, gained their independence.

At independence, Kenya was confronted by three challenges; poverty, ignorance, and disease. The path to eradicate these ills has been long, as a number of challenges have cropped up along the way, the latest one being the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges have slowed the pace of development as they tend to divert the resources from the set goals. However, we cannot give up and I still believe these goals are achievable, as long as we do not take our eyes from the goals. This being my last message on Kenya’s Independence Day as President, I would like to highlight what Kenya has achieved during my tenure. When I took over the reins of power in 2013, Kenya had 11,200 kilometers of tarmacked roads. In the last 8 years, the government has been able to construct another 10,500 kilometers of tarmac roads, thereby doubling the paved road network. In addition, Kenya has built a modern Standard Gauge Railway line from the Port City of Mombasa, a major tourist destination with beautiful beaches and hotels, to its Capital City in Nairobi. This has cut the travel time from Mombasa to Nairobi by more than half. A journey which used to take 14 hours under the old Meter Gauge Railway line now takes 6 hours. In addition, it has improved the evacuation of cargo from Mombasa port to the hinterland. In the area of power generation, in 2013, Kenya had only 1300 megawatts of installed power. In the last 8 years, the installed power has doubled to 2600 megawatts, of which 73% is green energy, making Kenya the leading country in the African continent in the generation of green energy.

These developments coupled with improvements in ease of doing business have improved the business environment in the country. The government has implemented several reforms including full automation of business registration services, automation of land registration processes, and re-engineered application processes for power, water and sewerage connection. In addition, Kenya has adopted e-payment, e-filling, and e-service in the Commercial Division of the High Court and fully operationalized Small Claims Court, which has seen disputes involving Small and Medium Enterprises being resolved within a record 60 days.

These developments have made Kenya an attractive investment destination, and I urge businessmen and women from Pakistan to explore them and invest in Kenya.

At the international level, Kenya begun its two-year tenure as the non-permanent member of the UNSC in January 2021. As a country, Kenya will continue to champion the interests of the developing countries and notes with concern the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This has resulted in developing countries lagging behind their developed countries counterparts in vaccination rates, which if not quickly addressed, is likely to turn into a barrier in people-to-people interaction. We continue to call upon for equitable distribution of vaccines, as none of us will be safe, until everyone is vaccinated.

Turning to Kenya Pakistan relations, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kenya and Pakistan, our bonds of friendship have grown in leaps and bounds. Kenya and Pakistan not only boast of robust people to people relations, but are also great trade partners. The two-way trade between our two countries continues to grow and in 2020, amounted to about USD 800 million, with immense potential for further growth. The diversity of our nations is an opportunity to contribute to each other’s development, and deepen our relations at all levels.

Long Live Kenya Pakistan relation

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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