Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has begun his four-day visit in Africa to cement trade relation where he is expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements and memoranda with African countries.
Mr Wang began his visit in Eritrea and Comoros on January 4 and is expected to fly to Kenya where he is expected to meet Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
Mr Wang’s visit will focus on how to promote and implement the outcomes of the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was held in Senegal in November 2021.
His visit to the three countries in Africa keeps up with Chinese foreign ministers’ tradition of choosing Africa for their first overseas visit every year for the 32nd consecutive time, demonstrating the great importance China attaches to Africa and the development of China-Africa relations.
Mr Wang has served as the Foreign Minister since March 2013 and a State Councilor since March 2018.
The Chinese foreign minister’s visit comes at the beginning of the new FOCAC nine-point programme of the Chinese Development Co-operation, which holds great promise for China-Kenya and China-Africa corporation.
The key areas Mr Wang expects to address while in Kenya include peace and security, health, climate change and blue and green technology transfer, circular economy, and other areas for the transformation of Kenya’s economy and for the global economy in general.
“Kenya’s Big Four programme that has left the signature legacy projects for President Uhuru Kenyatta have enjoyed significant support from China as part of the previous FOCAC programmes of cooperation between Kenya and China, and this will be reviewed during the bilateral conversations as well as with discussions with his Excellency the president,” reads the communique from the Kenyan government.
President Kenyatta, who is also the chair of United Nation Security Council, will hold talks with the minister on the relationship with China in the Peace and Security Council of Africa at the African Union and in the UN security council, as well as on regional Peace and Security issues in the horn of Africa.
Ms Omamo will meet Mr Wang for the bilateral consultations between the government of Kenya and the government of China. She will be joined by CS colleagues from the ministries of National Treasury, Transport and Housing, Health, Trade, ICT and Agriculture, and other government officials.
The delegation will visit Mombasa and undertake an inspection tour of the Kipevu Kenya Oil terminus (KOT) at the port of Mombasa, a huge legacy project of the Kenyatta administration that has significant ramifications for Kenya as well as the entire eastern and central Africa region.
In the project, Kenya seeks to double its capacity of handling transit petroleum products to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, starting January next year, from the current 35,000 tonnes at a time.
The new oil terminal has the capacity to handle up to four vessels compared to the existing one, which can handle one vessel at a time.
The KOT is set for a dry run test next month and is expected to cut the cost of petroleum products by cutting the cost of demurrages which contribute greatly to high costs.
The new KOT is constructed directly opposite the second container terminal at the port of Mombasa with the capacity to handle vessels with a Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) of 200,000 and a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) line that authorities hope will stabilise gas supply in the country.
Several Bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding will be signed by key ministries between China and Kenya.