Seychelles and Kenya’s Leaders pledged to give new impetus to bilateral and regional engagements
“We are neighbours by proximity, but friends and partners by choice. It is, therefore, of crucial importance that our two countries continue to seize all available opportunities for the further strengthening and diversification of our partnership,” said President Wavel Ramkalawan as he proposed a toast in honour of His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, at a banquet held at the Eden Bleu during the latter’s first State Visit.
The President also paid homage to the late father of President Kenyatta; the founding president of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and expressed respect and appreciation for what he accomplished for the African continent.
President Ramkalawan reiterated the importance of this state visit and what it means to the people of Seychelles and Kenya in terms of bilateral relations and underlined that the discussion has shed light on areas where bilateral and regional engagements could be further consolidated in various sectors. There he made a special appeal to the private sector to seize this opportunity so that agreement signed can be implemented.
“Your visit to Seychelles attests to the importance that we attach to our relations. It affords us the opportunity to reflect on the long-standing friendship between our two sister countries. A friendship built on strong foundations, shared values, common ambitions and mutual aspirations. It is also an affirmation of our political will to build on that friendship, and deepen it, all in the interest of our two peoples,” said President Ramkalawan.
As President Kenyatta prepares to leave the presidency, President Ramkalawan again expressed admiration for his leadership and that Seychelles as a country will continue to need his support and guidance.
“My dear Uhuru, my brother, my friend and the leader of such a great nation, as you prepare to leave the presidency and hand over to your successor, tonight I want to reiterate our respect for your leadership and wish you well. We look up to you for support and guidance. You have never been afraid to take on new challenges. We know that Kenya will need you, but remember that the world and small Seychelles will also need your guidance. We look forward to welcoming you back to our shores. From now on you are also our ambassador. Blessings for the future,” he said.
In proposing his own toast to the long life and health of H.E. Wavel Ramkalawan, the wealth and prosperity of the people of Seychelles; and to the promise of the brotherly relations, President Kenyatta remarked, “Seychelles is a country with giant possibilities for Kenya and the region.”
As he reiterated Kenya’s commitment to convening the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between Kenya and Seychelles, as soon as dates have been mutually agreed upon, President Kenya commended Seychelles for the pivotal role it is playing in the blue economy and on the issues regarding climate change. Furthermore, to the significant role Seychelles played in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, and anti-piracy in the Indian Ocean.
“I am pleased to note that Seychelles is a key champion of the blue economy as a major pathway toward sustainable economic development in Africa. I applaud the various efforts your government has spearheaded on climate change and the blue economy”
In regards to the seafaring and shipping industry, Seychelles also has a well-developed seafaring and shipping industry, President Kenyatta said that Kenya is keen to collaborate on through training and capacity-building programmes for our mutual benefit. In the tourism sector, he said that he is pleased to note that Kenya Airways has signed a Joint Marketing Agreement with Seychelles Tourism Board, which provides a framework for collaboration to promote intra- Africa tourism.
In the international arena, he emphasized that Kenya will scale up the efforts to harness the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in order to promote trade and investment between the two countries.
As he concluded, President Kenyatta noted that he is confident that his successor will continue to strengthen and elevate the relations between Kenya and Seychelles.
The banquet was attended by the First Lady, Mrs. Linda Ramkalawan, Vice President Ahmed Afif, high officials from the Kenyan delegation, the Seychelles Cabinet of Ministers, representatives of the private sector, and other distinguished guests.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles.