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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:   LIVE FROM KASARANI: Uhuru, Ruto kneel for prayers ahead of swearing in ceremony

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.

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Africa

How Raila made heads turn in Ethiopia as he wined and dined with African heads of state

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When he was appointed African Union’s envoy in October last year, a host of Kenyans were sceptical about the significance of Raila Odinga’s new assignment, with others even dismissing the development as a ploy to politically neutralise the Opposition leader.

But the recently concluded 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa may well have changed this perception.

During the two-day event, Mr Odinga joined African leaders in deliberations in the Ethiopian capital.

Complete with a golden circular badge on his coat lapel, reserved only for participating heads of state and high-profile guests including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader savoured his moment as VVIP at the Addis Ababa event.

NATIONALIST

From the “high table”, he mingled freely and shared hearty moments with continental leaders, a factor that quickly prompted teasers on social media that Kenya was represented at the Addis Ababa event by “two presidents” — Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“The apparent VVIP treatment of Mr Odinga, almost to the level of a head of state, reflects his status as a pan-Africanist.

“Over the years, Mr Odinga has consolidated his clout as a nationalist, a prominent opposition leader emulated across Africa,” Prof Peter Kagwanja, the chief executive of the Africa Policy Institute, explains.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru's press Conference leaves Kenyans excited

Prof Kagwanja further observes that Mr Odinga’s continental duty as a mediator in several feuding nations has earned the seasoned politician respect across Africa.

“But particularly the symbolic handshake with President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga has emerged as a statesman whose maturity and stature helped Kenya avoid polarisation.”

MEDIATOR

Mr Odinga’s interest in conflict resolution on the continent dates back as early as the 1990s, when he was a backbencher in the August House as the Lang’ata MP.

He was seconded to Mozambique and later Burundi by US pro-governance institutions to monitor the conflict and political situation in the two nations.

Later in 2011 as Prime Minister, the African Union dispatched him as a special envoy to the troubled Côte d’Ivoire to mediate the presidential poll impasse between strongman Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.

Noting that Mr Odinga has similarly led several electoral observer missions for AU and other global entities across Africa, his spokesman Dennis Onyango partly attributes his boss’s growing influence to the general respect Kenya enjoys among peers on the continent.

“I do not think it is just about Raila. There is a Kenyan factor to this growing respect and influence, and in fact some call it Uhuru-Raila factor in Africa, which has gotten stronger with time, thanks to the handshake.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru now takes to Facebook Livestreaming to talk to electorate, will be live this Sunday

“The country and its leadership are looked at differently at global events — with awe and a lot of respect,” Mr Onyango tells the Sunday Nation.

SOUTH SUDAN CRISIS

According to Mr Odinga’s aide, continental leaders have lately tended to adopt the uniform position taken by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

And the spokesman cites the instance of the recent Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) polls, where world leaders, including African presidents, initially rejected the election of Mr Felix Tshisekedi as President of DRC, instead siding with opposition leader Martin Fayulu, and demanding a repeat poll.

Somehow, it took the firm stand of the Kenyatta-Odinga pair to save the continent from a wait-and-see scenario and fully support Mr Tshisekedi.

But this was after most of the African leaders kept away from the swearing-in ceremony on January 24, which was attended by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

“Similarly in South Sudan, the uniform and firm stand by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to resolve the long-standing political dispute between President (Salva) Kiir and Dr (Riek) Machar quickly found favour among other African leaders,” says Mr Onyango of the Kenyatta-Odinga pair, who proposed that Mr Kiir and Mr Machar serve as President and Vice-President, as before.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans warn MPs that 2022 election is coming as they mull over Uhuru's 8% VAT proposal

TASKS

In a way, therefore, the ODM leader’s shining star on the global scene has greatly been boosted by President Kenyatta, or rather the newfound cooperation between the two.

“Added to these global leadership credentials is his new eminent role as AU envoy of infrastructure, which is a major priority in African Agenda 2063 on continental rebirth and development,” observes Prof Kagwanja.

Mr Odinga’s new role involves supporting and strengthening the efforts of the AU Commission’s departments, planning and coordinating the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).

He is expected to mobilise political support from member states and regional economic communities.

INFLUENCE

Prof Kagwanja says Mr Odinga’s new status places him at the level of Africa’s eminent personalities such as former presidents Thabo Mbeki (South Africa)and Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) who also have different roles on the continent.

The difference though, according to Prof Kagwanja, is that Mr Odinga has a huge latitude of upward mobility in terms of political influence.

“While his peers are retired, Mr Odinga is still active and influential in his home country and on the African scene. He is definitely charting new waters in African diplomacy.”

SOURCE-nation.co.ke

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Africa

JKIA ranked among the busiest airports in the continent

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The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi has been ranked as one of the busiest airports in Africa.

The latest report by Airports Council International has ranked the facility as the fourth busiest airport in the continent.

Johannesburg International Airport (South Africa) has been named the busiest airport in Africa, handling at least 281 passenger flights on average per day.

Cairo International Airport (Egypt) and Bole International Airport in Ethiopia are ranked second and third busiest airports in the region.

Source: Daily Nation

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru now takes to Facebook Livestreaming to talk to electorate, will be live this Sunday
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Africa

Police question billionaire over undeclared double citizenship

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Detectives questioning billionaire Humphrey Kariuki over tax evasion were taken by surprise last evening after it emerged that he is a citizen of Cyprus. The realisation further complicates their attempts to unravel the shareholding structure of his various firms.

The Nation exclusively learnt that Mr Kariuki was questioned on the dual citizenship and on why he had not disclosed it as required by law.

Besides his Kenyan passport, Mr Kariuki travels on a Cyrus passport, number K0627485, issued on May 19, 2016.

Yesterday evening, officials from the Department of Immigration handed over Mr Kariuki’s file to investigators as it emerged that the tycoon could end up in court over his Cyprus papers.

Source: Daily Nation

READ ALSO:   PHOTO: Raila celebrates his 74th birthday with President Uhuru
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