Speech by H.E. Amb. Liu Xianfa at "Love for Kenya: the Launching Ceremony of China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action"
November 20, 2014, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi

Your Excellency Magaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya,

Major Marsden Madoka, Chairman of Board of Directors of Kenya Revenue Authority,

Amb. Lanyasunya, Acting Political and Diplomatic Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Hon. MPs and Senators,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Wabari ya asubahi. Karibuni Sana!

Welcome to “Love for Kenya: the Launching Ceremony of China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action”. First of all, I want to extend my most sincere thanks to Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta for taking time from busy schedule to grace this ceremony. Over the years, Her Excellency has strenuously advocated and promoted charitable activities and put forward many initiatives including Beyond Zero Campaign, attracted more and more organizations and people to participate with Her Excellency’s outstanding and formidable persistence, capability and charisma, and has made prominent and tremendous contributions to the improvement of well-beings of Kenyan women and children in various areas, particularly in health and education. So now I would like to join all of you to congratulate again Her Excellency for deservedly winning the United Nations Person of the Year in 2014. And Her Excellency attaches great importance to China-Kenya friendship and cooperation and promotes people-to-people exchanges very actively. So please allow me to extend my respects and gratitude to Her Excellency.

The China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action was initiated during the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2012, with the purpose of supporting and enhancing exchanges and cooperation between social organizations, enterprises, women and youth from both sides. In only two and half years, this initiative has received very warm responses and expanded very rapidly. In order to better implement the Initiative, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya will hold a series of activities under the Love for Kenya: China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action. We hope that these activities will encourage more Chinese and Kenyan institutions and individuals to join us in carrying out friendly cooperation in different forms, to forge sincere partnership with each other, and to bring tangible and fruitful results to both peoples. We also hope that these efforts will strengthen our mutual understanding and friendship and cement even stronger support for China-Kenya partnership.

At today’s launching ceremony, Huawei Technologies (Kenya) will sign agreement with Shades of Hope of Kenya to carry out the project of reducing HIV infection rates in rural areas of Kenya. ZTE Corporation (Kenya) will sign agreement with Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) to implement a Women’s Entrepreneurship program. These two Chinese companies not only operate successfully in Kenya, but also work hard to fulfill their social responsibilities. Here I wish to commend Huawei, ZTE, and congratulate FAWE and Shades of Hope for taking the lead and setting good examples in our endeavor to further implement the Love for Kenya Initiative.

Your Excellency the First Lady, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese government attaches great importance to enhancing cultural and people-to-people exchanges and interactions with Kenya and Africa. In March last year, H.E. Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, put forward four principles in deepening China-Africa relations, namely, sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith. Affinity means that China and Africa should conduct in-depth dialogue and concrete action to strike more chords in our hearts. In May this year, H.E. Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, also proposed the “461” framework of China-Africa cooperation, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges are one of the six most important collaboration programs.

China and Kenya maintain profound traditional friendship, dating back to 600 years ago. Over the past half century, China-Kenya relations enjoyed very rapid growth and become more and more vigorous. The cultural, educational, youth and woman exchanges are also booming. There are over 2000 Kenyan students who have studied and are now studying in China with full scholarships. More and more Chinese volunteers come to Kenya to participate in activities for public good. The wonderful Kenyan natural scenery and rich cultural resources attract even more Chinese people to visit Kenya. With 3 well-established Confucius Institutes in University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Egerton University respectively and 1 Confucius Classroom, next year China will set up the 4th Confucius Institute in Moi University, the first China-Africa Joint Research Center in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and begin concrete preparations for the China Cultural Center in Nairobi.

With the full support of governments, entrepreneurs and people of two countries, the economic and investment cooperation between China and Kenya is flourishing. Big infrastructure projects like the landmark Mombasa-Nairobi SGR are moving at full speed, and today in construction sites of roads, bridges, economic zones, shopping malls, schools and hospitals, we see engineers, workers and managers of both countries, learning from each other and working shoulder to shoulder to make due contributions for building a much more prosperous Kenya fast. We are so proud that Chinese community lives happily and in harmony in their second home and the friendship between us become stronger and deeper.

For example, ,when the worst drought in 60 years stroke parts of Kenya in 2011, the Chinese nationals here felt the pain as of themselves and extended their helping hands immediately. They voluntarily organized a very large scale of donation of money and food and transported to the Turkana, and actually the slogan “Love for Kenya” was used for the first time then.

And again after the shocking West Gate tragedy, the Chinese community joined enthusiastically relief actions by donating blood to the people in need. Just like a Chinese saying goes, blood is thicker than water. This is a perfect reflection of the deep affection between the Chinese people and the Kenyan people.

Your Excellency the First Lady, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Chinese President Xi Jinping puts it, the foundation and lifeline of China-Africa relations lie with the people. I firmly believe that the fulfillment of building China-Kenya comprehensive and cooperative partnership, the great goal set by H.E. Hon. President Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E. President Xi Jinping, also lie with these great peoples. Let’s sing highly the slogan of “Love for Kenya”, and join every effort to ensure the even brighter future of China-Kenya friendship and China-Kenya cooperation.

Ashante sana!

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