2018 has been an extraordinary year for China and Kenya. It is not only the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, but it also marks 55 years of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya.
China has become Kenya’s largest trading partner, the largest source of investment, and the largest engineering contractor.
During the opening ceremony of 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Summit in September, President Xi Jinping announced eight major initiatives to support the development of African countries.
He stressed the need to implement capacity building initiatives, exchange experiences between China and Africa, and provide human resources training.
This has always been an important area for deepening cooperation between China and Kenya. Since the launch of the Foreign Aid Human Resources Training Programme in 2001, nearly 10,000 Kenyan government officials have been to China to participate in training seminars.
Many onlookers have questioned Kenya’s growing ties with China, something president Uhuru Kenyatta has staunchly underscored was in the best interest of the nation.
During a recent interview, Kenyatta underscored the need to seek ties with countries such as china that are ready and willing to support the socio-economic development of the country.
“Our position is a very clear one. We have an infrastructure gap that we need to fill and we are going to work with our partners across the globe who are willing to partner and to work with us to help us achieve our socio-economic agenda. Our Kenyan perspective is that we have a development agenda, we have a social agenda, we have an economic agenda, and we are willing to partner with all countries that help us achieve our objective,” Kenyatta said.
China has also promised to increase foreign aid training to meet the needs of Kenya’s economic and social development.
From 2015 to date, Chinese enterprises have offered countless opportunities for training managers, skilled workers, doctors, teachers, and industry personnel.
China-Kenya cooperation is inclusive. Both have welcomed the concerted efforts of the international community to promote development and revitalization of Kenya.
Speaking at a reception to celebrate the award winners through the Kenya –China Economic Trade Association (KCETA), the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Charge d’Affaires Li Xuhang, reiterated Chinese firms’ commitment to deepen bilateral relations through skills transfer programmes and provision of a conducive work environments.
“As we celebrate the local employees in these companies, we take this opportunity to commend each and every employee for the dedication that they have shown over the years. As we focus on growing our relations, we want to continue providing an enabling environment that will see more local employees enjoy and thrive while working within KCETA member companies,” Li said.
Now that the China-Kenya relations are at a new historical point, China is keen to make joint efforts with Kenya to strengthen the strategic connection of “Belt and Road Initiative” with Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the “Big Four” Agenda.
Both countries have vowed to work together to achieve Kenya’s rapid and high-quality development, initiate “a golden era” for China-Kenya cooperation as well as create more benefits for our peoples.