President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met with India’s Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar discussing how India can partner with Kenya to implement the Big 4 agenda.
At the meeting held at Statehouse Nairobi, Prabhakar said Kenya’s Big 4 development agenda is in line with India’s own ongoing concerted efforts towards the alleviation of extreme poverty.
The Indian Minister proposed that Kenya and India should formulate a joint framework for partnership in the context of South-South cooperation. He added that his country is ready and willing to support Kenya’s manufacturing sector.
Prabhakar said that India was particularly interested in Kenya’s agro-processing sub-sector especially in the application of technology by small-scale farmers to increase production as well as in value addition.
On affordable housing, one of the pillars of the Big 4 agenda whose feasibility due to corruption Kenyans are still questioning, the Indian Minister informed President Kenyatta that his country has some of the world’s top quality and low priced construction materials appropriate for Kenya’s low-cost housing programme.
Already, President Kenyatta has authorised a 15 per cent tax relief for affordable housing beneficiaries.
Further, Prabhakar confirmed to the President that his country will be participating in the international blue economy conference which will be co-hosted by Kenya and Canada in Nairobi later this year.
In the meeting attended by Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Kenya’s High Commissioner to India Willy Bett, President Kenyatta further called on the two countries to continue deepening the long-standing relationship for the greater benefit of the citizens of the two nations.
Bilateral trade between Kenya and India mostly favours the latter which imports steel, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and machinery.
As of 2016, India was Kenya’s sixth largest exporter and trading partner with Kenya exporting tea, soda ash and vegetables.
There are several Indian companies with a significant presence in Kenya including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries and Tata Group.
Telco Essar failed to survive the cutthroat competition and sold its assets to the established companies like Safaricom and Airtel.
The Banks of Baroda and India also have operations in Kenya.