Press release

President Uhuru Kenyatta underlines Kenya-Seychelles relationship as one of ‘natural partnership’

March 20, 2014

On the final day of his official visit to Kenya yesterday, Minister Jean-Paul Adam and his delegation were received by President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta.  During the bilateral discussions President Kenyatta expressed his conviction that regional and intra-African partnerships are essential for our economies to benefit.  He underlined that Seychelles and Kenya had a lot to offer each other and have a natural partnership which must be enhanced by building on the already good relations through enhanced cooperation and trade links.

Minister Adam conveyed the best wishes of President James Michel to his Kenyan counterpart following the recent celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Kenyan independence, while also expressing support for Kenya following the tragic Westgate Mall attacks last year.  Minister Adam also commended the Kenyan government on the efforts to bring about true national unity in Kenya following the problems emanating from the disputed 2007 election.

In the discussions with the President, the huge potential for partnership around tourism and ‘the blue economy’ were highlighted.  Kenya has expressed its full support to the development of an African Union Tourism Strategy as agreed in the ministerial working group meeting in Seychelles on 14th March.  In addition the President gave his support for the development of a more engaged bilateral partnership in this sector based on joint marketing, better connectivity and people to people exchanges.

In terms of the ‘blue economy’ and fisheries in particular, President Kenyatta emphasized the importance of regional states working together.  Minister Adam indicated that Seychelles was ready to share its experiences in this sector with Kenya.  Kenya is just about to launch a new fisheries industrialization drive, and the President highlighted that Seychelles’ successful experience in this sector offers an ideal platform for exchanges.

“The Blue Economy is all about ownership by regional states of the resources around our islands and coasts.  We are extremely encouraged by the willingness of President Kenyatta and the government and people of Kenya to work with us to truly harness the development of our ocean’s potential” Minister Adam commented after the meeting.

President Kenyatta also stressed the need for more regional cooperation on maritime security and welcomed the efforts of Seychelles to combat piracy.  The Minister expressed the commitment of Seychelles to continue working with Kenya in the context of the East African Standby Force, and also its willingness to boost bilateral exchanges.  In discussions with the Kenyan Cabinet secretary for Defense H.E Rachelle Omamo, Minister Adam also explored avenues to enhance this security cooperation through better coordination of maritime surveillance and enhanced intelligence sharing.

Minister Adam also briefed the President on the existing trade initiatives which is growing between the two countries, based primarily on exports of fish from Seychelles and imports of agricultural produce and flowers from Kenya. Based on discussions with Kenyan private sector representatives, the potential for further growth has been highlighted extensively and it was agreed to better connect the two business communities through the organization of business forums later in the year.

Minister Adam was accompanied in the meeting by Joseph Nourrice, Seychelles Permanent Representative to the AU and High Commissioner Designate to Kenya, Mr. Jude Loveday, Seychelles’ Honorary Consul in Nairobi, Mr. Marco Francis, Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Terry Rose, Third Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Also present for the call was Kenyan Cabinet secretary for Foreign Affairs, H.E Ms. Amina Mohammed.