SPEECH BY THE HIGH COMMISSIONER, H.E. JOHN LEPI LANYASUNYA, MBS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE JAMHURI DAY ELEVATIONS CHRISTMAS PARTY

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The President and Members of the Elevations Cooperative,

Fellow Kenyans,
Invited Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking you for inviting me to join you today in celebrating the Jamhuri Day and Christmas party. As we do this, I am aware that Elevation Cooperative is an organization composed of citizens from the member countries of the East African Community as well as from Congo. This celebration provides us all with the opportunity to reflect on the achievements of our nation Kenya and by extension all the other East African countries. It also allows us to plan and commit to the milestones that we must achieve for a better future for ourselves, our children and our nation as a whole.

My fellow Kenyans,

12th December 1963 marked the beginning of our full independence, as a free people and a free nation. Further, on 12th December 1964 Kenya became a Republic with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as the President. On this day, we pay tribute to the courageous struggle for liberty of the Kenyan people led by our founding fathers and freedom fighters. We thank the Almighty God for guiding us and for the many blessings he has bestowed upon our nation. We also take the time to reflect on the challenges we face and seek ways of addressing them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy to note that this Co-operative has set clear objectives geared towards assisting and supporting members socially and economically through the spirit of cooperation. The five principles and practises set out by the cooperative are a clear manifestation of where this cooperative wants its members to be. I have also been informed that you recently acquired a building to house your cultural and settlement events here in Toronto. I wish to Congratulate you for this achievements and urge you to continue as you are in the right direction – the sky is the limit.

As a Mission we shall continue to support initiatives of the cooperative as we look forward to enhancing the wellbeing of our people both here in Canada and at home. Canada has been a home away from home for many of you here and I wish to take this opportunity to thank the government and the people of Canada for their generosity and warm hospitality. Wherever I go in this wonderful country, I meet Kenyans who tell me stories of how they were taken care of by fellow Kenyans who were total strangers until they were able to stand on their own feet. Most of such benefactors extended their generosity without considering the ethnic background of the Kenyan in need. That is quite touching, and I want to urge you to foster that spirit of being our brother’s or sister’s keeper as members of the East African community.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is encouraging to note that the members of this cooperative have been undertaking investments individually and as a group. I commend the effort and urge you to diversify the investments both in here in Canada and back home. For the Kenyans, the improved road and railway infrastructure in the country has created incentives for investments especially in the real estate sector. For example, the completion of the Thika super-highway has tremendously increased the demand for land and housing along the highway. More so, the Lamu Port and Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) project will see the construction of a highway, a pipeline and a railway line that will link the upcoming Lamu Port with Southern Sudan and Ethiopia when completed. These projects, amongst many others have made Kenya one of the more preferred destinations in Africa. We remain hopeful that more progress will result from the recent discovery of oil in our country.

The devolved governance system which has created 47 counties, has opened up new economic frontiers which will avail enormous opportunities in all the sectors of the economy. I challenge you to consider how this can be another opportunity to participate in and contribute to our nation’s development and prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the years, Kenya has continued to attract world attention as a strong stable country and beacon of peace in a turbulent region. In the recent past we have witnessed increased high level visits to the Country by the world leaders. The President of the United States of America, Barak Obama, visited Kenya between July 25-26 this year, where he officiated at a 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit hosted jointly by Kenya and United States. The Pope visited Kenya in November and the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 15 to 18 December 2015. As I address you today the President of the Republic of Liberia Sirleaf Johnson is in Kenya for an official visit. In addition to the above, Kenya has received major recognitions internationally:-

  1. At 6% per annum growth expected in 2015, Kenya becomes one of fastest growing economies in the world, joining China, India, Philippine and Indonesia in the region.
  2. Kenya is also now the 9th largest Economy in Africa with a GDP of $55.2 billion.
  3. Kenya has also been ranked 6th in the Middle East and in Africa overall now 3rd in Africa most preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investments.

Before I conclude my remarks, I wish to reiterate the importance of Kenyans in Canada registering with the High Commission. This will facilitate in key decision making such as electoral matters and provision of consular and emergency services whenever Kenyans are in need. In the past the Mission has received requests from desperate Kenyans trying to locate their loved relatives and without this information it has been a daunting task.

The High Commission remains open to all of you and I urge you to visit or contact us if you require our assistance. You are also called upon to make use of our website and make contributions in form of articles to the Magazine the Mission is in the process of rolling out.

Finally, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year, 2016.

God bless you all.
Amb. John L. Lanyasunya, MBS
HIGH COMMISSIONER
December 12th, 2015