REMARKS BY H.E. AMB. JOHN L. LANYASUNYA, MBS HIGH COMMISSIONER TO CANADA ON THE OCCASION OF THE WELCOME RECEPTION, OTTAWA, 2ND APRIL 2015
I am humbled by your presence here today, to welcome me to Canada as the High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to Canada.
I had the privilege of presenting my credentials to the Governor General HE David Johnston last Tuesday and I am delighted that you could join me in celebrating this special occasion.
I arrived Canada about three weeks ago, to my first experience of Canadian weather but had to leave shortly afterwards to attend the 15th Biennial Conference of Ambassadors/High Commissioners, which has been taking place in Kenya for the past two weeks. I was able to participate over the past week, but had to return to Ottawa to present my credentials to the government as scheduled, to enable me to commence my official duties in Canada.
I am aware that a great task awaits me as indeed all of you Kenyans in pursuing our government’s vision for the benefit of the people of our great nation.
Our government has made tremendous strides in the political economic and social spheres, making Kenya a leader in many respects. Pursuant to the promulgation of our constitution in 2010, a number of milestones have been achieved. Devolution is taking root and we are now a middle-income economy and the 9th largest in Africa, and one of the fastest growing economies in sub-saharan Africa according to the latest Kenya Economic Update published by the World Bank and UNCTAD. Ernst and Young have also named Kenya as one of the best destination for Foreign Direct Investment in Africa.
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta is focused on creating an enabling environment that will integrate the Kenyan diaspora and enable them to invest in the nation’s development. The government is also committed to deepening engagement with the diaspora beyond remittances and recognizes the enormous potential in our diaspora skills, knowledge and expertise.
It is widely acknowledged that our education system and youth are one of the most dynamic and technologically savvy in the African continent and Kenya remains the bastion of peace and stability in the region.
On regional integration, great strides have been taken towards harmonizing the EAC, COMESA and SADC regional blocs and a tripartite agreement will soon be concluded. As an active UN and AU member Kenya continues to champion the course of regional stability in Somalia, South Sudan and the Great Lakes Region.
In a remarkable show of our government’s resolve to promote a vibrant regional economy and accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions and improve security, Kenya will next July be co-hosting together with the United States government the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi; the first time ever that this summit is to be held in sub-saharan Africa. Further to this, Kenya will also host the WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2015 and the TICAD Summit in 2016 both being held in Africa for the first time.
Our new Foreign Policy and Diaspora Policy recognizes the diaspora’s key role in achieving our development aspirations as articulated in the Kenya Vision 2030. The national Diaspora Policy is a key pillar of our foreign policy. We have made significant headway, but a lot remains to be done. We are fortunate that Kenya and our Canadian hosts share similar values, presenting immense opportunities for cooperation for the mutual benefit of both our countries.
I wish to assure you of my personal commitment and that of the Kenya Mission in pursuing these noble goals of our Government and appeal for your support in ensuring that we meet the expectations of our fellow Kenyans back home.
I wish to thank you once again for the warm reception that my family and I have received since our arrival in Canada and look forward to interacting with you more over the duration of my tour in Canada.