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47th "Jamhuri Day" Marked in Seoul
Envoy Stresses Growing Bilateral Ties
between Kenya and S. Korea

Kenyan Amb. Ngovi Kitau Hosts Reception
Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau at its 47th "Jamhuri Day" celebration in Seoul on Dec. 15, 2010.

On the occasion of the 47th anniversary of Kenya’s independence, Mr. Ngovi Kitau, ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to South Korea hosted a reception at a Seoul hotel on Dec. 15, 2010.

Well over 100 high-profile guests including scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul were invited to the dinner reception.

A group of local Koreans and many Kenyans living in S. Korea intermingled in the party, which lasted into the evening.

Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau (red tie in center) cuts with cake with other ambassadors at its 47th "Jamhuri Day" celebration in Seoul on Dec. 15, 2010.

In his welcoming speech, Amb. Kitau declared that this year's "Jamhuri Day" has special significance.

"It is the first time that followed the promulgation of Kenya's new Constitution in August 2010,”he said.

He said that the promulgation sparks hopes of rebirth, a renewed focus on Kenya’s political, social and economic transformation.

Mrs. Kitau (white clothe in center), wife of Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau , poses with spouses of other ambassadors.

"Kenya laid out in their development blueprint 'version 2030'", he said. "Kenya aims to restructure the country from a rural and largely agrarian economy to an industrializing and urban society”

The Kenyan ambassador went on to emphasize that under the “vision 2030” development strategy, numerous investment opportunities are accessible.

"We look forward to partnering with our friends in Korea, particularly investment in the energy sector, which includes geothermal, wind and solar areas,” he added.

Foreign envoys attend the 47th "Jamhuri Day" celebration in Seoul

Around the end of his speech, Amb. Ngovi Kitau pointed out that Kenya had great importance to the warm and friendly relations that exist with Korea.

"These relations have been nurtured over the years through mutually beneficial activities,”he said. "Bilateral trade between Korea and Kenya is expected to grow by more than 10 percent in 2010 and we look forward to even closer relations in the years to come”

The 47th Jamhuri Day was celebrated elsewhere around the world.

In particular, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki took part in the 47th Jamhuri day celebrations held on Dec. 12, 2010 at the Nyayo National stadium.

Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau (2nd from left) poses with high-profile guests at its 47th "Jamhuri Day" celebration

What Is "Jamhuri Day"?

This year of 2010 Kenya marked its 47th "Jamhuri Day," which was celebrated in many cities around the world as well as in Kenya.

"Jamhuri Day," or Kenya's Independence Day, is the most important national holiday in Kenya. It is celebrated on December 12 each year.

"Jamhuri Day" marks the day, Dec. 12, 1963, when the African nation gained its independence from the UK.

Jamhuri means "republic" in the Swahili language. "Jamhuri Day" is officially to mark the date of Kenya's establishment as a republic on Dec. 12, 1964.

The day is marked by numerous cultural festivities which celebrate the country's cultural heritage.

Kenya-S. Korea Relations

Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau (right) poses with his wife Mrs. Monicah Wangari Ngovi (to his left) and other staff.

The mutual relations has been on the steady rise since Kenya and South Korea established diplomatic ties on Feb. 7, 1964.

The recent visit to South Korea by Kenya's Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka marked the growing importance of Seoul to the African nation.

Kenya's Veep Musyoka met with numerous South Korean leaders including prime minister, National Assembly speaker, and Seoul mayor during his five day visit to Korea from Nov. 1 through Nov. 4, 2010.

Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau (right) poses with his wife Mrs. Monicah Wangari Ngovi at its 47th "Jamhuri Day" event

Mr. Musyoka is the highest Kenyan official ever to visit South Korea.

Trade and economic ties has been growing since Kenya signed Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement on August 4, 1977 with South Korea.

In 2009 the bilateral trade volume reached 137,430,000 US dollars. South Korea exported US$132,996,000 worth's goods including chemical products, textile, machineries, and rubber.

Kenya Ambassador to Seoul Ngovi Kitau (red tie in center) poses guests at its 47th "Jamhuri Day" event in Seoul on Dec. 15, 2010. At far right is Ms. Michelle Ham, manager of ABA Real Estate & Relocation Services.

Seoul imported from Kenya US$4,434,000 worth's of goods including agricultural products and steel.

South Korea offered to Kenya 3,210,000 US dollars in grand aid between 1990 and 2003.

As of the year 2008 over 700 South Koreans are living in Kenya.

For details or inquiries contact the Kenyan Embassy in Seoul at 3785-2903.

The following is the full text of Kenyan envoy's speech.

Speech by H.E. Mr Ngovi Kitau, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Korea on the occasion of Jamhuri Day celebrations, 15th December 2010 at Lotte Hotel, Seoul

Young excellent the ambassadors, heads of mission, representatives of the Korean government, honorable members of parliament, fellow Kenyans, members of the private sector, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you, and to thank you most sincerely for joining us to mark the 47th anniversary of Kenya’s independence. This is the day Kenya attended full independence and I wish to pay tribute to our freedom fighters for their bravery.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

This yeas’s Jamhuri Day has one added significance. It is the first, following the promulgation of our new constitution, in August 2010. With a new constitutional dispensation, a renewed focus on Kenya’s political, social and economic transformation has commenced. As laid out in our development blueprint “Vision 2030”, we aim to restructure the country from a rural and largely agrarian economy to an industrializing and urban society. To achieve this, the government has restructured the country into 47 countries. These countries will be the centers of growth and development.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Under vision 2030 development strategy, many investment opportunities are available. We look forward to partner with our friends in Korea and beyond in developing the beautiful landscapes, beaches and wildlife into attractive tourist facilities. In addition, investment in the energy sector including geothermal, wind and solar have guaranteed returns. The same applies to processing of agricultural produce like tea, coffee and daily products. Kenya is the gateway to east Africa and as the commercial hub of the region, investing in Kenya translates into immediate access to the regional markets of the east African community comprising five countries and, the common market for eastern and southern African (Comesa) comprising 19 countries.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On the international scene, Kenya continues to play an active role. Kenya’s contribution to various peace initiatives in the Eastern African region and beyond is well known and also very much appreciated. And as a member of the United Nations and other international organization, Kenya has been contributing immensely to peace-keeping and other initiatives aimed at securing global peace and stability.


Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Kenya attaches great importance to the warm and friendly relations that exist with Korea. These relations have been nurtured over the years through mutually beneficial engagements. Bilateral trade between Korea and Kenya is expected to grow by more than 10% in 2010 and we look forward to even closer relations in the years to come.


Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

May I now invite you to join me in a toast to the continued friendship between Kenya and Korea and to the prosperity of our countries, as well as good health and success in 2011.

Thank you!

For details or inquiries contact the Kenya Embassy in Seoul at 3785-2903~4.



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