UNBROKEN TIES

Zambia 2015 | DIPLOMACY | GUEST SPEAKER

HE The Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces, on history of relations between the two countries and how they can move forward together.

HE The Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta
BIOGRAPHY
HE The Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta is the fourth and current President of Kenya, having held office since April 9th, 2013. He previously served in the government of Kenya as Minister for Local Government from 2001 to 2002, and was the leader of the official opposition from 2002 to 2007; subsequently he was Deputy Prime Minister from 2008 to 2013. He has served as the Member of Parliament for Gatundu South Constituency since in 2002.

Zambia and Kenya share history, a history evident in the similarity of our languages, traditions, and indeed, our aspirations. Like Zambia, Kenya longed for freedom in the days of Colonial rule and fought to build a prosperous, secure, and peaceful nation in its aftermath. These similarities moved our founding fathers to form close diplomatic ties once Kenya and Zambia had obtained independence. Both Kenneth Kaunda and Jomo Kenyatta were visionaries, as well as liberators. In their foresight, they saw that this continent would one day be totally liberated, which is why they supported the liberation movements across the continent, and why they played a full and concise part in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity. It now falls to us, the next generation, to fulfill their dream of freedom and prosperity for the peoples of these lands. This is a time to revitalize and strengthen our fraternal cooperation. Zambia and Kenya have the potential to revitalize and strengthen the growing exchange of goods and services, as this is a new era for Africa that will open tremendous opportunities. There is enormous potential for more robust growth. I believe that we could do more to grow the volume of trade between our two nations and people, and I trust that the Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola will help forge the vital links. I know that businesses in both countries are keen to make the most of the opportunities that are so rapidly opening up. I know that we have learned through our experiences of the past and that we are determined to seize the day to make up for lost time and to raise Africa to its rightful place in the world. Yet our beliefs will remain little more than dreams if we do not unleash the energy and imagination of our entrepreneurs, our innovators, and especially our young people. Indeed that is why we are also celebrating the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. Governments across the continent should turn now to creating the environment in which our most inventive and energetic people can thrive. I know and trust that my brother Mr. Lungu, and I will work together in this cause. That confidence is not born just of our already long history of cooperation, but also by discussion of a joint framework, which has hastened cooperation in fields as diverse as education and security. Indeed, at the end of last month, we agreed to initiate several memorandums of understanding, four of which, on police cooperation, tourism, gender equality and development and bilateral cooperation in the agricultural industry, have already been signed. Of course, there are a number of matters for which further consultation will be necessary. Perhaps the most important of these is the establishment of a special status agreement between our two nations. It is essential to mention and appreciate the Zambian government's assistance in matters of security. Given our long history and friendship, we regard Zambia as an ally. We must continue to work together to ensure that we achieve this long-deserved peace throughout the continent. We stand here as a generation that is the beneficiary of a previous struggle to free our nations, and our objective is to partner together to win the next struggle, namely for the economic liberation of our continent, the struggle to ensure prosperity for its peoples, the struggle to bring an end to poverty and poor health, and to create a better infrastructure for the peoples of Africa.