By a Correspondent / IAT
At the invitation of the President of India H.E. Smt. Droupadi Murmu, the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Hon. William Samoei Ruto, PhD, CGH, made a State Visit to India from 4 – 6 December, 2023. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Cabinet Secretaries, senior Government officials and private sector representatives. President Ruto was accorded the ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 5th December 2023. He also visited Rajghat to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi.
Welcoming President Ruto at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said that the waters of the Indian Ocean have connected people of India and Kenya for centuries. Our friendship has matured into a robust bilateral relationship, underpinned by significant economic collaboration across various sectors including trade, education, and technology.
The President was happy to note that the 80,000 strong Indian origin community in Kenya is well integrated there, both socially and economically. They are proud Kenyans, even as they have upheld Indian culture and values. This bears testimony to the inclusive character of Kenyan society, she added.
The President noted that India is one of Kenya’s largest trading partners, and amongst the largest sources of investment into Kenya. Many Indian companies have made Kenya their base for their operations in East Africa. She stated that India’s private sector is keen to invest in Kenya. The President said that the Government of India is committed to be a dependable partner in Kenya’s developmental journey.
The President said that India and Kenya share common views on major global issues, and cooperate closely in regional and multilateral fora such as the United Nations. She added that we are very happy that under India’s Presidency the African Union has been included in G-20 as full member. Both leaders agreed that there are many other multilateral forums through which our two countries can work together. The President emphasised that the two countries must work together, not only for the well-being and progress of our people, but also for the citizens of the Global South.
President William Samoei Ruto’s State visit to India culminated in the signing of five major memorandum of understanding between Kenya and India. Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs H.E DR Hon Musalia W Mudavadi led the Kenyan team in the signing of the memoranda, an exercise that was witnessed by H.E President Ruto at the Indian Prime Minister’s office in Delhi. The bilateral MoUs signed between the government of Kenya and India were on various areas of collaboration including Education, Trade and foreign relations, health, energy, ICT, small and medium enterprises among others.
The President also attended the Kenya-India Trade and Investment Forum in New Delhi. Kenya is targeting investors to explore investment opportunities in the manufacturing sector and harness our renewable energy resources to solidify our position as Africa’s leading green industrial hub. India’s leadership in pharmaceutical manufacturing will also help the country improve access to affordable medical supplies and contribute to the realisation of universal healthcare. Moreover, the companies will have access to 1.4 billion people as part of AfCTA.