Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has underscored the strong relations and shared interests between Jamaica and the Republic of Kenya, noting that both countries had championed social and economic development, worked side by side against racism, and the protection of the rights and development of Peoples of African Descent.
Sir Patrick was speaking at the State Dinner in honour of visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his wife, Margaret on Monday evening at King’s House.
The Governor-General observed that as developing countries, the strength of both countries lay in their solidarity and unity in advocacy of common concerns, advancing common causes, and achieving common objectives.
Referring to the influence of National Hero Marcus Garvey on Kenya, Sir Patrick said Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first Prime Minister and President, modeled Garvey’s Pan-Africanism and determination to fight for the unity and independence of Africans. Both countries, he said, shared a strong interest in the promotion of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and good governance.
Sir Patrick also noted Jamaica’s cultural impact on Kenya where Reggae music was played on radio stations around the country
Pointing to Kenya’s establishment of the largest wind power farm in Africa to provide clean, reliable and low-cost electricity, Sir Patrick commended President Kenyatta in promoting environmental responsibility and development of the marine economy.
In his reply, President Kenyatta said the bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Andrew Holness had been “fruitful”, adding that he looked forward to deeper discussions and implementation of some of these areas.
He said, “We are one people and we need to re-establish bonds for all our peoples. Kenya and Jamaica need to strengthen partnerships in order or go forward.” The President committed to ensuring that Kenya and Jamaica invested and grew together to tackle emerging issues.
President Kenyatta and his wife, who were in Jamaica from August 5 – 7, were the special guests of the Government for the 57th Independence celebration. This is the first time that a sitting Kenyan President has visited Jamaica. Both countries established Diplomatic relations in 1976.