SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE 59TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, ACCRA, GHANA, 6TH MARCH 2016
Your Excellency John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana,
Your Excellency Dr. Lordina Dramani Mahama, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana,
Your Excellency Jose Mario Vaz, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau,
Your Excellency Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Excellencies former Heads of State and Government present,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to be here today to join my Brother President John Dramani Mahama, Her Excellency the First Lady Lordina Dramani Mahama and the people of Ghana as you celebrate this auspicious occasion that marks your country’s 59th Independence Day.
May I, on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of the Republic of Kenya congratulate you and express our joy in joining you in these celebrations. Today’s ceremony is a mark of Ghana’s leadership, belief in Pan-Africanism and an inspiration for self-determination for all of us.
This joyous occasion also avails an opportunity to take stock at what has been achieved and what needs to be done. As you celebrate this historic milestone, we stand with you as brothers and sisters in the spirit of Pan-Africanism that is shared between our two countries and indeed across Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Kenya and Ghana enjoy cordial relations that date back to the Fifth Pan-African Congress of 1945 when the founding Fathers of our two Nations, Kwame Nkrumah and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta met in London. Our shared history, brotherhood through our shared experience of Pan-Africanism, the struggle for independence and nation-building helped to establish a strong bond. We have related well at bilateral and multilateral levels for the benefit of our peoples.
President Nkrumah had a vision forPan-Africanism which he used to guide his fellow brothers and sisters in Africa as they endured the tribulations of liberation struggles in their quest for independence. This Pan-Africanism vision, also shared by the founding fathers of our nations is steadily being realized in Africa, particularly with the launch of the Agenda 2063. The Agenda is another expression of our determination to bring the people of Africa closer together, amalgamate their ideas and ensure integration for sustained socio-economic and political development of Africa.
Africa is making a deliberate shift to boost Intra-Africa trade. Indeed,when I look around the beautiful city of Accra, I see a lot of parallels with Nairobi. While a lot has been done, a lot more can be done, thus availing opportunities for deeper interaction,cultural exchange, increased trade volumes and improved welfare for our two nations.
Let us continue to work together to enhance the trade between our two countries which continues to record steady growth, let us continue to engage each other through our business communities and attract investment to our capitals, and let us continue to interact with each other so as to forge partnerships that will lead to more business, more skills transfer and complement the magnificent tourism sector that exists in our two countries. To theGhanaian Business Community,Kenya is open for business.
At the end of it all, let us harmonize our vision with the continent’s vision of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which I must underscore,has received great support from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community (EAC). We take pride in the fact that visa requirements between our two countries are non- existent, and our National Carrier Kenya Airways has daily flights to Accra. I wish to reiterate my commitment to a borderless African continent and I look forward to working closely with Your Excellency to realize this vision.
Recent history has shocked the world by a series of terrorist attacks in different capitals and regions. It cannot be that terrorist attacks become the norm rather than the exception. As we continue to cooperate and heighten our counterterrorism efforts, let us remind ourselves of the challenges we must confront, and those which we must overcome if we are to preserve the gains of our independence and the values of democracy.
Peace and security plays a key role in the economic growth and sustainable development of both our countries and the African continent. Thus we must come together to defeat the enemy that is threatening our peoples’ way of life.
As I conclude.
Your Excellency, I wish to reiterate my commitment to our relationship, we value your friendship and cooperation.
I once again join you and the people of Ghana in commemorating this historic day, I wish to reiterate Kenya’s desire to continue working closely with your Government to further strengthen and deepen our cooperation for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.
I thank you all.