Pranab Mukherjee lauds economic development of Kenya
"Kenya has become one of the fastest growing economies of Eastern Africa. It has established itself as a hub for financial, commercial, tourist and transportation services," said President Mukherjee on Wednesday during a banquet hosted in honour of Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking on the Indian commitment to the development of Kenya, Mukherjee said: "India stands ready to assist Kenya further in her human resource development and capacity building efforts."
"India's Technical and Economic Co-operation programme and our training and scholarship initiatives under the India-Africa Forum Summit have benefited many young Kenyans," the President added. Welcoming the "Kenyan business houses to explore the opportunities" in the flagship schemes of Indian government, Mukherjee said, "India is one of Kenya's leading trade partners and the second largest foreign investor. The presence of more than forty premier Indian companies in Kenya bears testimony to the complementarities of our two economies."
"India's Technical and Economic Co-operation programme and our training and scholarship initiatives under the India-Africa Forum Summit have benefited many young Kenyans. India stands ready to assist Kenya further in her human resource development and capacity building efforts," he said.
The Kenyan President is paying a state visit to India from January 10 to 12.
Recalling the historical political ties between the two nations, President Mukherjee said, "Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the founding President of Kenya, was an esteemed friend of the leaders of India's Freedom movement." "Your state visit to India this year, the first state visit from Kenya since February 1981, reflects a new momentum in our bilateral co-operation," he said.
Reciprocating the sentiments expressed by President Mukherjee, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta lauded the role of the Indian community in Kenya, whom he described as part and parcel of Kenyan society. Kenyatta said the Indian community, encouraged by Prime Minister Nehru, were an integral part of Kenya's freedom struggle.
He called for increased contacts at the highest level so that people and business leaders get inspired to take relations to a new level. On Wednesday, Kenyatta was accorded a ceremonial welcome and was presented an impressive Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt.
Later during the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyatta held high-level discussions on common issues and agreed to focus on operationalisation of bilateral defence cooperation.