President Uhuru Kenyatta is looking forward to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in China in September and committed to fully implementing the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project.
Speaking when he met with Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Sun Baohong, Kenyatta said he expects to meet and discuss matters of mutual importance with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Baohong said that her country seeks to deepen its existing partnership with Kenya in order to ensure more Chinese investments flow into the country and boost the implementation of Kenya’s Big 4 development agenda.
“We want to work with Kenya to expand Kenya’s exports to China and this would be done through attracting more Chinese investors to Kenya to help in the transfer of skills and technology,” said Baohong.
President Kenyatta reiterated that China is Kenya’s key partner in development saying he is keen on ensuring the full implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. This is despite allegations that racism is rife at the construction sites.
“It is my hope and prayer to see this SGR project to conclusion. My ambition is to see this new railway reach Lake Victoria not only for economic viability but also to link manufacturing all the way,” said President Kenyatta.
The President pointed out that once the SGR project is extended to Kisumu, it would be able to serve East and Central African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The FOCAC Summit is in its 18th year and will focus on five goals according to Dai Bing, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of African Affairs.
Bing says that the summit will focus on the African Union’s Agenda 2063, synergizing the Belt and Road Initiative, the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the development strategies of individual African countries.
The summit will also seek to enhance national and global support and understanding of China-Africa friendship and cooperation internationally.
According to Xinhua, more targeted and effective measures are expected to align Africa’s natural resources, population dividends and market potential with China’s investment, equipment and technology, so that their cooperation will be market-oriented instead of government-led, expand to production capacity from commodity trading, and with more investments than contracted projects.
The summit will also, reportedly, promote South-South cooperation, seeking new cooperation between developing countries and securing stronger international support for their efforts.