President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday witnessed the signing of three agreements that will see China extend Sh15.2 billion support to Kenya.
The agreements were on a Sh10.4 billion concessionary loan for the implementation of phase two of the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure Extension Project (NOFBI).
A Sh4.8 billion grant was for the construction of the Foreign Affairs ministry’s headquarters while a $1 million (Sh102 million) grant was for support in hosting the ongoing World TRade Organization MInisterial Conference.
The agreements were signed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Chinese Minister for Commerce Gao Hucheng at State House in Nairobi.
Uhuru expressed the need for a Kenya-China ministerial mechanism to monitor projects implemented through cooperationin line with President Xi Jinping’s $60 billion (Sh6.1 trillion) 10-point development plan for Africa.
“This will help ensure better implementation of the projects and give meaning to the Kenya-China partnership,” he said.
Uhuru said Kenya is keen on using the grants and interest-free loans for the modernisation of health equipment and hospitals across the country, and construction of stadia for the benefit of youths.
Gao said China will also promote Kenya’s wildlife protection efforts in addition to supporting Kenya in energy, infrastructure, agriculture, education and health.
In a separate event at State House, Uhuru announced that Kenya will host the second high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
He made the announcement when he met members of the steering committee who briefed him on preparations for the meeting set for November 23-24, 2016. This will be the first time the meeting is held in Africa.
The meeting is a political forum for governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations, civil society and representatives of parliaments, the private sector, financial institutions and trade unions to discuss development.
It offers a common approach to development cooperation based on ownership by nations, focus on results, inclusive growth, transparency and accountability.
Uhuru expressed optimism that the meeting that next year will consolidate global efforts in poverty alleviation and called on all participants to provide support to make it successful.
“It is important to cultivate this global approach to addressing challenges including climate change, terrorism and poverty alleviation,” he said.
Dutch Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Lilliane Ploumen – who is the co-chair of the Nairobi meeting – assured Uhuru of her team’s support.
In 2016, Kenya will also host the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), another high profile development forum that will attract investment and boost tourism.