1 “We are neighbors by proximity, but friends and partners by choice. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that our two countries continue to take advantage of all available opportunities to further strengthen and diversify our partnership,” said President Wavel Ramkalawan while proposing a toast in honor of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic. of Kenya, at a banquet held at the Eden Bleu during the latter’s first State Visit.
3 The president also paid tribute to the late father of President Kenyatta; the founding president of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and expressed his respect and appreciation for what he has achieved for the African continent.
5 President Ramkalawan reiterated the importance of this state visit and what it means for the people of Seychelles and Kenya in terms of bilateral relations and underlined that the discussion has shed light on areas where bilateral and regional engagements could be further cemented in various sectors. . There he made a special call to the private sector to take advantage of this opportunity and to implement the signed agreement.
7 “Your visit to Seychelles testifies to the importance we attach to our relations. It provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the long-standing friendship between our two sister countries. A friendship built on solid foundations, shared values, common ambitions and mutual aspirations. Also it is an affirmation of our political will to build on that friendship and deepen it, all in the interest of our two peoples,” said President Ramkalawan.
9 As President Kenyatta prepares to step down as President, President Ramkalawan again expressed his admiration for his leadership and that Seychelles as a country will continue to need his support and guidance.
11 “My dear Uhuru, my brother, my friend and the leader of such a great nation, as you prepare to step down from the presidency and hand it over to your successor, tonight I want to reiterate our respect for your leadership and wish you well. We look forward to his support and guidance. You have never been afraid to take on new challenges. We know that Kenya will need you, but remember that the world and the little Seychelles will also need your guidance. We look forward to welcoming you back to our shores. From now on you are also our ambassador. Blessings for the future,” he said.
13 In proposing his own toast to the long life and health of HE Wavel Ramkalawan, the wealth and prosperity of the people of Seychelles; and before the promise of fraternal relations, President Kenyatta commented: “Seychelles is a country with gigantic possibilities for Kenya and the region”.
15 Reiterating Kenya’s commitment to convene the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) between Kenya and Seychelles as soon as the dates have been mutually agreed upon, President Kenya commended Seychelles for the critical role it is playing in the blue economy and on issues related to climate change. In addition, to the important role that Seychelles played in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism and the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean.
17 “I am pleased to note that Seychelles is a key champion of the blue economy as an important pathway to sustainable economic development in Africa. I applaud the various efforts your government has spearheaded on climate change and the blue economy.”
19 Regarding the maritime and shipping industry, Seychelles also has a well-developed maritime and shipping industry, President Kenyatta said that Kenya is willing to collaborate through training and capacity building programs for our mutual benefit. In the tourism sector, he said he was pleased to note that Kenya Airways has signed a joint marketing agreement with the Seychelles Tourism Board, which provides a collaborative framework to promote tourism within Africa.
21 In the international arena, he stressed that Kenya will intensify efforts to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote trade and investment between the two countries.
23 In concluding, President Kenyatta said that he is confident that his successor will continue to strengthen and elevate relations between Kenya and Seychelles.
25 The banquet was attended by the First Lady, Ms. Linda Ramkalawan, Vice President Ahmed Afif, senior officials from the Kenyan delegation, the Seychelles Cabinet of Ministers, private sector representatives and other distinguished guests.