NAIROBI. — President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday afternoon held talks with the recently elected Democratic Republic of Congo president Felix Tshisekedi at State House, here.
President Kenyatta was the only Head of State and Government who attended President Tshisekedi’s swearing-in ceremony in Kinshasa on January 24.
During their talks, the two leaders explored ways and means of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Kenyatta assured his counterpart of Kenya’s commitment in helping the DRC achieve political stability, saying Kenya has learned valuable lessons from past political tensions, which the country is willing to share with the Great Lakes nation.
“Thank you for coming and we are looking forward to strengthening the partnership between our two countries for the benefit of our citizens,” said President Uhuru.
“We will continue to help you achieve peace and stability because we have had similar experiences, which we can share. Our country has been able to calm down political temperatures through the famous Building Bridges Initiative,” he continued.
President Kenyatta said his country has for decades hosted Congolese refugees some of whom have since been adopted as Kenyans adding that the two countries have a lot to share in terms of cultural heritage.
“Many Congolese have lived in Kenya and the country has adopted some of the Congolese music, which has now become part of our life,” President Kenyatta told his visiting counterpart.
He said Kenya will partner with DR Congo in capacity building by offering training opportunities to Congolese public servants in Kenya’s training institutions such as the Kenya School of Government.
“Our partnership would ensure that the two sister countries achieve our founding fathers’ dream of a stable, secure and prosperous African continent,” he stated.
He said the training would enable Congolese policy makers to sharpen their skills thereby formulating good policies to ensure the country achieves its development goals and deliver quality services to its people.
“We are ready to partner in building infrastructure, sharing skills in extractive industry and in many other areas of mutual benefit,” the President said.
On trade, President Kenyatta observed that a lot of Congolese imports pass through the port of Mombasa especially goods destined to Goma and Lubumbashi the eastern part of DRC and called for the deepening of trade ties going forward.
The newly elected Congolese leader is on a three-nation regional tour, that has already seen him holding talks with Angolan President Joao Lourenco of Angola before proceeding to Kenya.
Kenya is also his first English-speaking destination since taking over the reins from Joseph Kabila.
The handover marked the country’s first-ever peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.
His final stop will be in Brazzaville, capital of Congo Republic where he is supposed to confer with President Denis Sassou-Nguesso and other officials. The two Congos have historic ties that date back decades.
Separated by the River Congo, authorities announced a US$550m plan to build a bridge to link their respective capital – Kinshasa and Brazzaville. — Standard Digital/AFP/Herald Reporter.