President Uhuru Kenyatta was greeted with full military honours when he arrived in Mozambique at the start of a historic State Visit dubbed ‘linking the Swahili Coast from Maputo to Lamu’.
The visit is geared towards promoting trade, bilateral relations and the blue economy as well as people to people interaction.
The plane carrying the President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta touched down at the Maputo International Airport shortly after 12.00 noon (Kenyan time).
President Kenyatta was received at the airport by Mozambican Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister José Condungua Pacheco, before heading to the Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Mozambique where President Nyusi formally received him with an elaborate reception complete with a 21-gun salute.
The firing of 21 cannons at the ceremony traditionally reserved for Heads of State and Government was followed by the national anthems of Kenya and Mozambique played by the Mozambican military band.
Thereafter, President Kenyatta was invited to inspect a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Mozambican military before he proceeded for one-on-one talks with President Nyusi.
President Kenyatta and President Nyusi later led their delegations in bilateral talks.
In an interview ahead of the visit, Amb. Monica Juma, the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, said discussions in Mozambique will revolve around value addition in a number of areas, top among them being the blue economy – all aimed at benefitting the people of the two countries.
The blue economy has been highlighted as a key sector in manufacturing, which is one of the pillars of President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda. The other three pillars are provision of universal healthcare, affordable housing, and food security and nutrition.
“Mozambique is a sea-facing country as we are. There has been a growing interest in the Indian Ocean Rim, which both Kenya and Mozambique are members of. And so some of the discussions that are going to take place will be on how we can connect trade, how we can add value in our ocean ventures, particularly on the blue economy,” said Amb. Juma.
Amb. Juma dubbed the President’s State Visit to Mozambique ‘linking the Swahili Coast from Maputo to Lamu’.
State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu highlighted Mozambique’s wealth in terms of natural gas, and offshore wealth, and said it had much to share with Kenya.
Discussions would focus on how to extract resources in a sustainably manner as part of empowering both our economies, Esipisu said.
On the bilateral front, the President’s Visit seeks to deepen already existing cordial and friendly relations between Kenya and Mozambique as well as enhancing people to people interactions.
“We have a long history with Mozambique. As you may know, even during the Mozambican civil war, Kenya played a key role in terms of helping to negotiate between the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO),” said CS Amb. Juma
The President’s delegation includes Cabinet Secretaries Amb. Juma (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Adan Mohamed (Industrialization and Enterprise Development) and Charles Keter (Energy), and Transport and Infrastructure Development Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure.