Wang Yi Kicks Off African Tour with Kenya

From 22 to 31 July, Chinese chief diplomat is on tour to Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria as well as Turkey. His itinerary in Africa starts with Nairobi, followed by Johannesburg and Abuja.

Wang Yi landed in Nairobi on 22 July 2023 and met with Kenyan President William Ruto. Both discussed how to strengthen cooperation under the #FOCAC and #BRI frameworks. It is worth noting that 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Kenya.

In particular, both sides explored synergies between the China’s BRI and Kenya’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (#BETA). According to BETA, the government plans to undertake structural reforms and implement new policies on the five priority pillars which are:

  1. Agricultural Transformation
  2. Transforming the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Economy
  3. Housing and Settlement
  4. Healthcare
  5. Digital Superhighway & Creative Economy

President Ruto reaffirmed his country’s commitment to reinforce partnership centered on regional security, infrastructure, #ICT, #ClimateChange in line with #SustainableDevelopment principles, in general.

The Chinese side expressed interest to deepen cooperation in the areas of rail, road, aviation, water supply while promoting Sustainable Development Goals (#SDG).

In the past, China financed and built the 480-km Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (#SGR). The project is the largest infrastructure project in Kenya with a price tag of more than USD 5 billion, lent by the Chinese EXIM Bank. Currently, China is Kenya’s second largest creditor behind the World Bank.

In January 2022, Wang Yi visited Kenya and met with then President Kenyatta. During that previous tour, Wang Yi inspected the new Mombasa Oil Terminal built by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) at a cost of USD 350 million.

The two sides also agreed to expand ties at the political party level between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) of Kenya.

From 24 to 25 July 2023, he will be in South Africa. In addition to strengthening bilateral ties, he is expected to attend a ministerial level meeting of the BRICS countries on security affairs, in preparation for the BRICS Summit towards the end of August 2023.