Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
President Uhuru Kenyatta seeks Arab nation’s help in oil exploration
By Kobia Mwirichia and Agencies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has reached out to the Arab nations to support his government in exploiting the recently discovered natural resources, including oil found in Turkana.
He said Kenya had discovered economically viable reserves of natural resources, among them underground fresh water, coal, oil and natural gas which will be exploited for the benefit of all Kenyans.
A group of Arab nations that include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Iraq are the world largest oil producers and exporters and therefore have accumulated a wealth of experience in oil exploration.
“We are already reaching out to various Arab states to encourage their private investors to consider the opportunities in Kenya in the oil, natural gas and energy sub-sectors,” the President said.
President Kenyatta was speaking during the third Afro/Arab Summit in Kuwait. The Summit brings together over 65 Arab and African presidents, Kings and heads of government.
He called on Arab nations to strengthen the supply of crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas, saying energy is a critical component of commodity prices and the cost of living.
The President also said Kenya supports initiatives to mitigate climate change and restore the environment in order to boost agriculture, exploitation of natural resources and generation of renewable energy.
“Arab-African partnerships will be helpful in designing and implementing sustainable strategies in this important area,” the President added.
The President told the Summit, whose theme is “Partners in Development and Investment” that his Government was committed to the war on international crime and is grateful to the Arab and African nations supporting the anti-terrorism effort.
He said improved cooperation and strategic bilateral relations between African and Arab nations were beneficial to both regions.
“Individual nations face various challenges of considerable magnitude. Our critical commitments - powering development, feeding our people and relieving them from want, keeping our regions and nations peaceful and stable, conserving our natural heritage - become opportunities for great accomplishments if we approach them in the spirit of win-win partnership,” he said.
The president pledged his Government’s commitment to the Arab-African Partnership as well as the Joint African-Arab Action Plan 2011-2016 and looked forward to strengthening the partnership.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had on Tuesday joined other Heads of State and delegation from Africa and the Arab world for the third Afro/Arab Summit in Kuwait city.
Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabah Al-Sabah urged Africa and the Arab world to develop guidelines for future partnership based on honesty and mutual benefits.
The Emir said Kuwait, through its Fund for Economic Development, will offer $1 billion (Sh85 billion) ‘soft loan’ to African countries in the next five years.
He added that Kuwait will also work with the World Bank and other financial institutions to guarantee the investment of another $ 1 billion on infrastructure in the continent to boost the countries’ economies.
“Kuwait recognises the strategic importance of the Arab/Africa Group and has long sought to strengthen the partnership with the African continent,” the Emir said.
“Massive investments in Africa by Kuwait companies are firm proof of my country’s commitment to strategic partnerships.”
The third summit, attended by over 70 Heads of State and delegations from the two regions, is the first to be held outside Africa.
The meeting coming three years after the second summit held in Libya examined progress made in implementing resolutions made as part of strategic partnership between the two economic blocs.
African Union chairman, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn, expressed appreciation to Kuwait and the Arab world for development assistance to the continent over the years.
Mr Desalegn stressed the need for the Arab world and Africa to enhance cooperation in agriculture and infrastructure.
African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma assured that Africa remained committed to partnerships based on mutual benefit and solidarity.
She said there was need for Africa to learn from the past to develop a continent where peace and respect prevailed to achieve development.