Speech by H.E. Sophy .K. Kombe on the Occasion of the 55th Jamhuri Day Celebrations

Guest of Honour, Hon.Charles Banda,
Minister for Tourism and Arts & MP for Kapoche,
Colleagues Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take great pleasure in welcoming you all today as we mark our 55th Jamhuri Day.

Today we commemorate our 55th Birthday as an independent nation. The founding fathers of our nation gave their lives for our liberty. This day reminds us that we are children of heroes, indeed, we inherited a great nation. 55 years ago, we gained our independence, looking back, we are able to chart the journey that we have made since then to get us to where we are today. This journey has not been without challenges, but true to our Kenyan spirit, we continue to rise and meet them without fear as we pursue our ideals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kenya and Zambia have enjoyed cordial relations since the time of independence when our first Presidents’ the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and President Kenneth Kaunda shared a similar vision for our two countries and the African Continent as a whole.

Since our independence, we have made great strides in various sectors including education, agriculture, infrastructure, health among others. Our partners have contributed immensely to our development and we hope to continue working with them to propel our countries to even greater heights of economic growth.

Kenya and Zambia have a Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation which has provided a framework for collaboration in sectors including Agriculture, Trade and Tourism among others.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Kenya and Zambia have common interests. We are both members of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) and the recently launched Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

I wish to encourage the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities created by these trade arrangements; and on this note I wish to commend the Kenyan Companies that have invested in Zambia. I can’t forget to mention our flagship airline, Kenya Airways which recently it launched direct flights to New York, United States of America and next year is set to commence flights to   Tel Aviv, Israel.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As you are aware, Peace and Security is very critical for development to take place in the region. Our two countries continue to play an important role in the area of peace and security. The Republic of Zambia is currently the Chair of Troika Organ of Defence, Peace and Security in the SADC region. Kenya on the other hand, continues to play a key role in ensuring peace prevails in the Horn of Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Our President, Uhuru Kenyatta is committed to the realization of the dream of transforming Kenya into a newly industrialized nation. Towards this, he launched the Big Four agenda which consists of the following pillars; universal health care, manufacturing, affordable housing and food security.

Allow me to dwell momentarily on Conference Diplomacy. In the past three years the government of Kenya has worked hard to ensure that we host International Conferences and Meetings. This year, I am pleased to inform you that Kenya hosted the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference from 26th – 28th November, 2018, in Nairobi. This conference brought together over 18,000 participants from 184 countries and resulted in concrete commitments related to developing a blue economy that is sustainable. I am happy to report that the Conference was a great success.

As I conclude, allow me to thank the Government of Republic of Zambia for the hospitality and friendship that has always been accorded to the Kenyan Community. Our bilateral relations continue to deepen and grow stronger every day.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families, a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Asanteni sana.

Thank you very much.

Toast

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