India announced a $100 million line of credit to Kenya on Wednesday for agricultural mechanisation after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Modi said that a “long-term arrangement with Kenya for production and import of pulses is being explored and discussed”.
The two leaders also decided to deepen economic cooperation, identifying the expansion of bilateral trade as a “priority”.
The two countries are also expected to strengthen coordination in tackling terrorism.
Asserting that challenges in the maritime domain are a shared concern, Mr Modi said the two sides will also explore opportunities in blue economy.
“We are focused on quick operationalisation of our defence cooperation.
Some of the specific areas of priority would be hydrography, communication networks, anti-piracy, capacity building, exchanges and defence medical cooperation.
We are also partnering to strengthen our security cooperation and capacities. In this context, we have directed the joint working group to meet early.
It would focus on cyber security, counter terrorism, combating drugs, narcotics, human trafficking and money laundering,” the Prime Minister said at a joint press event with Mr Kenyatta.
A press statement issued by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said, “Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s commitment as Africa’s development partner including Kenya.
Key sectors discussed were maritime security and surveillance, counter-terrorism, disrupting terrorist networks, counter-narcotics and human trafficking, agriculture, health, supporting Kenya’s development through Lines of Credit, digital and cash-less economy,
e-governance, procurement of pulses, sports, renewable energy especially International Solar Alliance, blue economy, comprehensive convention on terrorism and reforms of international institutions including the United Nations.”
On his part, Mr Kenyatta thanked India for all the assistance provided in various sectors including scholarships in IT and other fields.
The visiting dignitary invited Indian companies to invest in Kenya and also sought more market access for Kenyan products in India.
“On developmental assistance, President Kenyatta appreciated the power transmission line projects being executed by Indian companies…,” the joint statement said.
“The Line of Credit Agreement of $100 million signed for agricultural mechanisation today would open a new dimension of engagement. Long-term arrangement with Kenya for production and import of pulses is being explored and discussed.
We would also be happy to share best practices in organic farming with Kenyan farmers,” Mr Modi said.
A joint statement issued later said, “The two leaders recognised that the signing of a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation was expected to give a major boost to defence cooperation.
The leaders called for the early convening of the first meeting of the joint working group on defence and maritime cooperation.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in areas of maritime surveillance, maritime security; sharing of white shipping information and joint hydrographic surveys… The leaders directed that the establishment of a joint working group on security be expedited to prepare an action plan for enhancing security related collaboration.
Both sides agreed to continue sharing information and expertise in counter terrorism, cyber security, combating drugs and human trafficking.
It was agreed to build a bilateral legal framework with early conclusion of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, an Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons and a Memorandum of Understanding on Controlling Narcotics.
condemned terrorism in all its forms and reiterated their commitment to working together in this regard, including expediting the finalisation of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
The two leaders committed to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from extremist groups.”
Mr Modi also noted that in the health sector, Bhabhatron machine has been delivered to the Kenyatta National Hospital for cancer treatment, asserting that related capacity building of the Kenyan doctors is being undertaken under India-Africa Forum Summit initiative.
Describing the large Indian-origin community of Kenya as a vital and energetic link between the two countries, Mr Modi said, “I have discussed with President Kenyatta ways to engage them with our trade, investments and cultural exchanges.”
He also said he and the President have agreed to accord close and personal supervision of the implementation of the decisions taken by them. He also talked about India and Kenya having fought together against colonialism.
“Just last month, President Kenyatta recognised the contribution of Makhan Singh, an Indian born trade union leader, joining hands with his Kenyan brothers to help overthrow the colonial order in Kenya.
Common belief in democratic values, our shared developmental priorities and the warm currents of the Indian Ocean bind our societies,” Mr Modi said.
By Africafrique and agencies