Jun 13, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Top Indian diplomat set for Kenya visit aimed at firming ties

India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is expected in Nairobi on Saturday for a series of meetings aimed at strengthening relations with Kenya.

Dr. S. Jaishankar, as he is popularly known, becomes a two-day official visit as his country battles a surge in Covid-19 cases that crippled the health system, a development that has led the Asian country to die too Efforts to supply vaccines to developing countries including Kenya have ceased.

But the visit could signal New Delhi’s ambitions to strengthen ties with key African allies, especially as the country plans to do so later in the year India-Africa summit.

In a statement published by the Indian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday evening, it says: Dr. Jaishankar, together with his Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo, will chair a meeting of the India-Kenya Joint Commission.

At this meeting, “all aspects of bilateral relations will be reviewed,” the statement said. The last such meeting was in New Delhi in March 2019, before either Ms. Omamo or he was on foreign affairs.

“The development partnership is an important aspect of the relationship between the two countries that the visit will be try to deepen, ”added the statement, which suggests that the Indian minister will also meet with other ministerial officials with whom bilateral agreements or MoUs exist.

‘Pharmacy in the World’

In addition to government-government talks, the Indian official also sees improving relationships between people as key, especially with many Kenyans of Indian origin who are involved in the Kenyan economy.

India, often known as “The World’s Pharmacy”, it was a major supplier of medicines to Kenya. Drugs, steel, machines, yarn and vehicles (from India) and soda, tea and vegetables (from Kenya) drove the pre-Covid trade volume between countries to more Sh220 billion. And with more than 60 Indian companies operating in Kenya, the Asian country is among the top five investors here.

However, Covid-19 has marred that relationship, with India’s recent hiccup stalling Export of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Covax facility, which Kenya relied on to meet the needs in that country.

Past deals

But the Indian official will come anyway, to continue previous agreements the two countries had made, including in the areas of health, agriculture and manufacturing.

When President Uhuru Kenyatta made a state visit to India in January 2017, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to working together on a wide variety of topics such as defense, counter-terrorism, maritime security, trade and investment. They signed a letter of intent on mechanized farming requiring India to spend at least $ 100 million on the project.

Previously, India had loaned $ 30 million to Kenya to run the Rivatex factory in Eldoret a year To modernize in 2016. It then reopened in June 2019.

After traveling to Nairobi in July 2016, PM Modi donated 30 ambulances and two cancer treatment machines: Advanced Telecobalt Cancer Therapy Machine – Bhabhatron II and Digital Radiotherapy Simulator – Imagin. They have been installed at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Geopolitical Agenda

While the meeting of a Joint Cooperation Commission aims to remove some of the barriers to trade, including the paperwork required to do business, some Indian analysts say the trip also has a broader geopolitical agenda.

Both India and Kenya sit on the UN Security Council until December next year. They share common views on counter-terrorism, maritime security in the Indian Ocean and trade.

Kenya, India, South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius and various other countries in the western part of the Indian Ocean belong to the Association for Regional Cooperation on the Indian Ocean Ocean.

With 23 member states and nine other organizations, the association strives for maritime security, trade facilitation, fisheries protection, tourism, joint technology and cultural exchange.

India’s Financial Express < The newspaper said New Delhi was activating ties with its maritime neighbors in the Indian Ocean to ensure maritime security in line with a 2015 strategy, but also to counter the influence of China, which has strengthened contacts in the region.

“Africa will be of crucial importance for India’s growth story for the rest of this century.
East Africa in particular is also gaining ground I think India is pursuing its Indo-Pacific strategy, ”Anil Trigunayat, an Indian diplomat, told the newspaper on Wednesday Sides will be able to review the full gamut of bilateral relations