Kenya and China have continued to foster and deepen their bilateral relations following the signing of six new trade deals between the two nations.
The agreements, which touched on areas such as poverty reduction, health, bilateral investments, digital innovation, peace and security and green development, were signed when China’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, visited the coastal city of Mombasa, on an official state visit, on Thursday.
The deals were in line with nine programmes announced by China’s President Xi Jinping during the 8th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC held in Dakar, Senegal in November 2021 aimed at supporting African nations.
“Our relations have since continued to deepen under the Strategic Comprehensive Cooperation Partnership framework which has led to high level exchanges between both sides and bilateral cooperation in virtually every socio-economic sector,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said when she received the Chinese dignitary in Mombasa.
With COVID-19 indirectly affecting food production in different parts of Kenya, Beijing pledged to donate 12,000 tonnes of rice to Nairobi to help needy families weather the pandemic and establish a working group that will look into issues of tariff and non-tariff barriers to Kenya-China.
“The two sides also concluded and signed two protocols to facilitate bilateral trade particularly the export of avocados and aquatic products from Kenya to China,” the CS added.
China also agreed to donate 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Kenya under the planned 1 billion additional doses to Africa while also consenting to hold further talks on the development of cold storage facilities, vaccine production and medical personnel training.
Under promotion of bilateral investments, the CS said, the two countries agreed to promote investments in areas of agro-processing, textiles and apparel, leather processing, footwear, iron and steel and machinery, furniture among others.
The two countries similarly signed an MoU and consented to augment partnerships in the digital economy.
“We discussed collaboration in Big-data strategy, ICT hardware and software development, e-government and service delivery, cyber and information security and capacity building and technology transfer,” Omamo said.
Low carbon development and climate change adaptation was also on the agenda as the two nations agreed to cooperate with each other in initiatives promoting both green and blue economies.
“In the area of capacity building and people to people exchanges, we agreed to increase the uptake of capacity building opportunities, lauded the existing robust people to people exchanges between the two countries and committed to pursue new areas of cooperation including in the film industry,” Omamo added.