A group of former Kenyan students who pursued their higher education in China now says it will play a part in promoting existing ties between Nairobi and Beijing.
The group under the umbrella “Kenya-China Alumni Association” pointed out that cooperation between the two countries has been fruitful and ought to be strengthened for the benefit of the people.
Led by their chairman Henry Rotich, the members who held an interactive session with Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian on Friday indicated that they have studied and understood the Chinese given the number of years they spent there and indicated that they will be more than happy to utilize their knowledge to promote interaction and partnership, especially with Chinese investors. He said the Chinese mean well and ought to be encouraged into putting a lot more of their money into the country.
“My team is very keen on working with Chinese. We have a mindset change and we believe we can do better by working with the Chinese. There is something we can do to promote the partnership that we have with Chinese companies,” he said
“When you look at developed countries, they developed because of people who came to those countries., and we believe the coming of Chinese to Kenya will speed the development of our country and create more opportunities for our people and contribute toward our economic development,” Rotich emphasized
They also promised to share their experiences while in China noting that there is a lot that fellow Kenyans can learn from their counterparts in the East Asian nation.
“When I reached China I could see a lot of things, and one of them was the culture which I think shaped who I became. They are hardworking people, very friendly, and honest. For eight years that I was in China that is what I learnt – to be honest and always work hard,”
“We promise to do all we can to achieve that goal. So that we can always explain the benefits we got,” he said
Rotich argued that the numerous investments made by China in Kenya have opened up opportunities for locals and that this ought to be encouraged even more. He gave an example of how the Standard Gauge Railway, the Nairobi Expressway, and numerous building and construction projects spearheaded by the Chinese have created job openings for Kenyans. He believes these and other projects run by the Chinese community in Kenya can be exploited even more for the good of the country.
“We have the SGR, it’s an opportunity we can use to promote tourism. May SGR now needs to organize very nice boardrooms, so that even some people can have board meetings as they travel to Mombasa, and its quite exciting,” said the chairperson.
“I believe we have a lot of opportunities we can leverage and work with in partnership with the Chinese and grow the economy and also make the alumni job creators and not job seekers,” he added
The Chinese ambassador welcomed the undertaking from the association even as he acknowledged that there will be opportunities and challenges, but reiterated working together to seize opportunities that would bring extra benefits to the two countries and peoples.
“We need everybody on board because “kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa” (old Swahili proverb which translates to “unity is strength”),” said Zhou
The Chinese top diplomat expressed optimism that China’s future development will bring greater opportunities to ‘development partners and good friends’ like Kenya if more people bring out the truth about what China stands for.
“Let’s work together for mutual benefit and we look forward to members of the alumni association playing an indispensable role in our joint efforts to promote China-Kenya friendship and cooperation,” he said
Referencing President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the 19th CPC Congress, the ambassador said China cannot develop in isolation, and that the world also needs China.
At the same time, the envoy lauded the outcome of the recently concluded CPC 20th National Congress saying China demonstrated that it is certain about what it was going to do in the next five years and beyond.
“We have drawn our plans and blueprints, and basically the Chinese are embarking on a new journey to build China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
“But we know very well that during this process we need friends and we need partners and the members of the alumni association is a very unique driving force in cooperation with China,” he said
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