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Uhuru lands in DRC for three-day visit

KEVIN CHERUIYOT

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspecting guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Congolese military during his visit.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo for a three-day state visit.

This comes following the invitation of his host President Felix Tshisekedi.

The national carrier carrying Uhuru and his entourage touched down at N’djili International Airport in Kinshasa shortly after 3.30pm Central African Time.

The president was officially received at the airport by Tshisekedi and accorded a full State reception complete with a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Congolese military.

Tshisekedi was accompanied to the airport by several senior Congolese government officials, among them the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Christophe Lutundula and the Governor of Kinshasa Gentiny Ngobila Mbala.

Also present were Kenya’s Foreign CS Raychelle Omamo and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa as well as the country’s ambassador to DR Congo George Masafu.

Speaking in Kinshasa ahead of Uhuru’s arrival, Amb Masafu said the president’s three-day state visit is aimed at cementing the excellent bilateral ties between Kenya and the DRC through enhanced trade and people-to-people interactions.

“The coming of the President to this country (DR Congo) is to strengthen that relationship, especially on the business side. Two, it is to strengthen the relationship between Kenya and DRC through diplomatic relations, through trade, through security relations, and through other areas that build both sides, it is a win-win situation,” Masafu said.

The Kenyan envoy also spoke about the strong and historical-cultural ties that exist between the people of the sister nations saying Congolese rhumba music had, over the years, become part of Kenya’s dance and entertainment culture.

Masafu observed that the Kiswahili language which is spoken by a majority of the population in Eastern Congo is a major facilitator of people-to-people interactions between Kenyans and Congolese.

“When you talk about DRC, in the mind of a Kenyan, what is he thinking? He is thinking about lingala music…The Eastern side of Congo, North, and South Kivu, they speak Kiswahili…that enables us (Kenyans) to come to DRC to do business and also for them (Congolese) to go to Kenya and do business,” he said.

Besides trade in goods, Amb Masafu encouraged Kenyans to invest in DRC’s emerging service sector citing the example of Kenya’s Equity Bank which has successfully positioned itself to become the country’s second-largest financial institution.

He identified aviation, insurance, hospitality, mining, and construction as some of the other sectors that present the highest potential for success and encouraged Kenyan traders to take advantage of direct flights between Nairobi and Kinshasa by the national carrier Kenya Airways to explore business opportunities in DR Congo.

As part of the three-day state visit, President Kenyatta and his host will on Thursday morning lead their respective delegations in bilateral talks on DR Congo-Kenya relations and witness the signing of several agreements.

Source: The Star

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