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Uhuru returns home with Sh21.9 billion from China as questions over national debt abound

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Kenya has secured Sh21.9 billion financial assistance from China for infrastructure development and drought mitigation. The money includes a Sh19.2 billion grant to deepen ties between the two countries. An additional Sh2.2 billion (150million Yuan) is for measures to tackle drought and a further Sh500 million (5million Yuan) for refugees.

It was however not clear whether, when or how the money would be repaid.

The deals were agreed during bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Kequang at the Great Hall of the People. The talks were on the sidelines of the just-ended Infrastructure International Conference in Beijing, China.

Kenya is also angling for part of the Sh870billion China offered developing countries for the multi-billion Silk Road Fund infrastructure development. In turn, the Chinese are enticing Kenya to open her skies. President Xi and Li are seeking partnership in the aviation industry, where Kenya would buy aircraft from China and in return, allow Kenya’s registered planes to access its routes.

President Xi is keen to have a comprehensive and strategic relationship with Kenya, as he affirmed his commitment to the conclusion of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). On the commercial front, Uhuru also sought a Sh362billion ($3.59billion) loan for the third phase of the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu and $161million for the construction of the Western by-pass by the China Roads and Bridges Corporation signed last year.

President Kenyatta with other world leaders. PHOTO/PSCU

 

READ ALSO:   Shock as baby killed in US while mother is away in Kenya, father charged with murder

President Kenyatta urged the two leaders to accelerate the issuance of the loans sought from China’s EXIM Bank to facilitate the completion of the projects. “The bank should fast-track the process of the loans,” Uhuru said.

Xi and Li said China supports the projects, though the request would be processed in normal terms once National Treasury puts in a formal request. Subsequently, President Kenyatta in reinforcing his resolve to see the SGR through Kampala and Kigali, Rwanda, informed the two leaders that he had spoken with Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda) about the matter and how they can collaborate. “We have spoken and agreed to send a joint team to China to negotiate on the financial aspect,” he said.

President Xi and Li also reciprocated by confirming they would set up a team to discuss the matter with the East Africa officials upon their arrival. President Kenyatta invited Xi to come witness the inauguration of the SGR project, which he expressed his willingness to grace but due to other commitments, promised to send his special envoy, two ministers and one vice minister to the inaugural ride of the rail, to be commissioned on May 31 in Mombasa. “I am very supportive of the project. It will connect Africa, Asia and Europe,” said Xi.

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Africa

VIDEO: New Chinese ambassador to Kenya presents her credentials to Uhuru

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday at State House, Nairobi, received credentials from China’s first female ambassador to Nairobi Ms Sun Baohong.

Ms Sun was among three new ambassadors who have recently been posted  to Kenya. The diplomats also included Sri Lanka’s Commissioner-designate Weerawardena Sunil Dharmasena De Silva and New Zealand’s non-resident ambassador-designate Mark Ramsden, who will reside in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Kenyatta told Ms Baohong that Kenya had enjoyed a strong mutual understanding with her predecessor, Dr. Liu Xianfa, and hoped that the partnership between the two countries will continue during her term in Nairobi.

On her part, the new ambassador pledged to use her new position to enhance Sino-Kenyan Relations to further promote the existing strategic partnership and deepen ties between Nairobi and Beijing.

Ms Baohong, the 15th Chinese Ambassador to Nairobi is also her country’s permanent representative to two global institutions-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat).

China and Kenya have for many years enjoyed mutual collaboration in various areas including infrastructure development and manufacturing.

Kenya is keen to tap into Chinese investments in the manufacturing sector by harnessing Beijing’s technical prowess, capital and experience to promote industrial growth as outlined in the Vision 2030 blue-print.

READ ALSO:   Shock as baby killed in US while mother is away in Kenya, father charged with murder

This co-operation is aimed at creating jobs locally and boost Kenya’s export potential.

President Kenyatta told the New Zealand ambassador that Kenya wishes to prosper the relationship with the Australasia nation.

He singled out Geo-Thermal energy sector and sport especially Rugby as two areas where the two nations could co-operate for mutual benefit.

The Head of State called for stronger people-to-people ties with Sri-Lanka.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Monica Juma was also present at the function.

Below is a video of

PSCU Contributed to this report.

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Africa

VIDEO: Why you should never buy potatoes in a rush

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Are you always in a hurry when you buy stuff by the roadside? Think twice.

Investigations have revealed that many vendors trick their customers into thinking that they are buying overflowing buckets of potatoes – and indeed other commodities – only for the unsuspecting buyers to end up with half of their money’s worth.

Yes, it is true! Unscrupulous traders are on the prowl are literally stealing your potatoes. This is what the cameras found out. Watch:

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kalonzo shocks Raila after saying Uhuru should rule for two and a half years
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Africa

VIDEO: Angry pastor warns members against ‘seducing’ other attendees with their ‘near-naked’ dresses

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

A pastor whose name we are yet to establish is warning his congregation against going to church while scantly dressed saying by so doing, they are seducing other members. “This is unacceptable,” he says, adding that even the guests at the royal wedding were all  “fully dressed.”

I saw all the stars who used to go naked were well covered, he adds.

“Today we have almost naked people singing on the pulpit, seducing the members of the church.”

The pastor is cheered wildly when he declares that neither fame nor money can save humanity.

“Whether you are a Hollywood star or whoever you are, nothing can save you except Jesus Christ.”

Watch:

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kalonzo shocks Raila after saying Uhuru should rule for two and a half years
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