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KIPPRA together with the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China-Africa Development Fund, African Economic Research Consortium and the Chinese Embassy in Kenya co-hosted the China-Africa Media and Think Tanks Symposium on August 11-12 at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa in Mombasa.

Themed ‘Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development, the event was officially opened by Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. Other guests were government representatives, heads of research institutions and media people from China, Kenya and other African countries. Representing KIPPRA was the Acting Executive Director Dr Dickson Khainga, Dr Douglas Kivoi (who was one of the main organizers of the symposium) and three other staff members who exhibited and distributed KIPPRA’s publications to the guests.

The PS in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning Mr Saitoti Torome was represented by a senior director, Ms Sabina Maganga, who is also a member of the KIPPRA Board. Ms Maganga delivered Mr Torome’s speech, which, among other things, enumerated the benefits Kenya had drawn from its bilateral relations with China.

Mr Macharia noted that the first phase of the Standard Guage Railway project (between Mombasa and Nairobi), would be completed by June next year, seven months ahead of schedule. He attributed this speedy completion to the great partnership and support from the Chinese government. Mr Macharia also listed other completed, ongoing and future projects and collaborations between Kenya and China, which include projects in Kenya’s real estate industry.
 
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Dr Liu Xianfa, who was among the chief guests, gave a vivid description of China’s first relations with Africa though Cheng Ho, a diplomat from China's early Ming dynasty who sailed to East Africa between 1405 and 1433.

The symposium was a follow-up of the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in South Africa last year. The summit came up with “Ten Cooperation Plans” with Africa in the next three years. These plans focus on: Industrialization, agricultural development, modernization, infrastructure, finance, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction, public health, cultural and people-to-people, and peace and security.

Participants at the symposium discussed and deliberated on issues relating to the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit, which are aimed at deepening China-Africa production capacity cooperation, promoting Africa’s industrialization and agricultural modernization, and enhancing Africa’s sustainable self-development.

Cooperation between China and East Africa started as early as the 1960 as shown in the following infrastructure projects:

•    The 1,800 km Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara)  built between 1967 and 1975
•    Kigali-Rehengeri road in 1970s in Rwanda constructed by China Road and Bridge Company
•    Construction of Kasarani Sports Centre in the 1980s in Nairobi
•    MtitoAndei-Voi road (funded by World Bank) and constructed by China Road and Bridge Company; was completed in 1998

Recent and current projects in Kenya that China has funded and participated in include:
•    Thika Superhighway
•    Isiolo-Marsabi-Turbi highway
•    Athi River town-Namanga road
•    MtitoAndei-Bachuma Gate road
•    Unit 4 Passenger Terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Berth No. 19 of the Port of Mombasa
•    Nairobi Southern bypass, Nairobi Eastern bypass, Nairobi Northern bypass
•    The ongoing Standard Gauge Railway construction from Mombasa to Malaba border

Apart from infrastructure, China and Kenya have also collaborated in education, tourism, finance and trade. The two countries have also signed many mutually-beneficial Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) covering various sectors of the economy.
 
 

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