By Calvin Noche
On Friday evening, August 31st, President Uhuru Kenyatta left Kenya for Beijing, China for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) conference.
Uhuru’s presidential jet took off JKIA on Friday evening shortly after 7 PM. He was headed for Beijing, China, where he will be attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. President Kenyatta is one of the 1000+ African representatives that are expected to join the global summit.
President Kenyatta being escorted by Chief of Defense Force, General Samson Mwathethe
President Kenyatta’s Beijing trip comes barely three days after he finished his US trip that was meant to bolster the trade and regional security of the country.
This has been a busy week for the president as he had met with British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in Nairobi on Thursday, 30th. “Kenya will follow realistic cooperation with all global partners that have reciprocal interests,” said the president in a joint press conference with the British PM in Nairobi.
Hours before leaving for China, Uhuru witnessed the destruction of illicit goods worth Shs. 1.5 billion, which included 149 vehicles. This follows the most recent fight against corruption that the president vowed to support in every way possible. However, the destruction of the illicit goods was meant to save millions of jobs for the youth, which are being lost through illegal entry of cheap goods.
Uhuru witnessing the destruction of 149 vehicles
The president was seen off by Majority Leader, Aden Duale, along with the Chief of Defense Force, General Samson Mwathethe, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, and other senior government officials.
The 2018 FOCAC conference is the sixth since its inception in 2003. It is also known as the High-Level Dialogue between China and African Leaders [and Business Representatives]. The conference aims at boosting the economic and financial link between China and Africa. The FOCAC conference will run from Monday, September, 3rd to Tuesday, September, 4th.
The head of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Jiang Zengwei, stated that the 2018 FOCAC summit had attracted a lot of applicants. “Applications for attendance significantly surpassed our expectations,” said Mr. Zengwei.
However, the president has more to do than just attend the FOCAC summit. Uhuru is expected to meet with the President of China, President Xi Jinping. The two heads of states will hold bilateral talks on education, trade, investment, technology, and infrastructure.