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SPEECH BY H.E.

PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA AT THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE FORUM DURING THE STATE VISIT TO KENYA BY PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN Excellencies, Honorable Ministers, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Members of Nigerian Business Community Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the people and the government of Kenya, i extend a very warm welcome to our friends from the the federal republic of Nigeria. With this historic visit, you do us a great honour. I am particularly grateful to my good friend, H.E. President Goodluck Jonathan, for allowing me to host him and members of his delegation. I hope that your visit here will be as fulfilling for you as my recent tour of Nigeria was to my team and I. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I want to state at the outset that one of my highest priorities as president of Kenya, is to break perennial barriers that have hindered the development of investment and trade among African nations. There is absolutely no reason why so much of Africa should stagnate in poverty amid so much opportunity. Our generation has no greater challenge than the imperative to unlock our continent's economic potential. It is in this spirit that I welcome all of you to this business forum. My desire is that the interactions that have taken place here will inaugurate a building of bridges between our two nations bridges that will facilitate initiatives to grow our economies and strengthen our friendship. Ladies and gentlemen Without a doubt, Kenya and Nigeria are among Africa's cornerstone economies. Our two countries have enjoyed excellent and cordial relations anchored in common economic, cultural and historical ties. There is much more that we can and should do together in furtherance of this bond. Because there are challenges to confront together, we recognize that earning the benefits of partnership requires commitment, focus and a dedication to our shared interests. We must therefore commit to eliminate the barriers that currently constrain movement of goods and services between our countries. My government will highly appreciate the Nigerian government's lifting of various restrictions presently limiting Kenyan exports to Nigeria. This would significantly increase trade volumes between our countries. Products of interest currently on Nigerias import prohibition list include cement, beef and textiles.

Over the years, the Nigerian entertainment industry has grown a large following in Kenya. The productions of Nollywood have made your show business personalities of note household names locally. The Kenyan market for Nigerian entertainment is so steadfast that it is now common to find youngsters imitating the Nigerian speaking cadences and pidgin as a fad. Whilst this is not exactly what i mean when i speak of strengthening our ties, it certainly an indicates our warm affinities for things Nigerian. I will use this opportunity to underscore my governments commitment to eradicating harmful and undesirable business practices, especially those involving counterfeit goods and banned products. We are working on a number of measures to contain the problem, and it is our belief that such strict controls will build confidence and enhance trade between us. Our cooperation in this critical area is of utmost importance. Ladies and gentlemen, As you know, Kenya is undergoing a fundamental governance transformation. Within the framework of our three year old constitutional order we have decentralized the management of our national affairs and devolved both resources and power to county governments. On this subject there is much to learn from the Nigerian federal experience. I must once again register my immense pleasure with the expanding and intensified interaction between our two countries at all levels. This forum's importance in this respect cannot be overstated. I appreciate and thank those who have worked hard to make it a possibility, and trust that the fruits of your deliberations will be enjoyed for years to come. Thank you, and god bless you. September 2013