State Visit to Kenya Reaps Results for Both Nations
Thu, 06 April 2017
Seychelles and Kenya have made great strides in further consolidating bilateral relations during President Danny Faure’s State Visit to Kenya. Some of the key agreements made by the two Heads of State have already transpired into concrete actions following bilateral talks on Monday.
Combat against trafficking of illegal narcotics
The Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Mr Kishnan Labonte, formed part of the Presidential Delegation to Kenya where he held talks with his Kenyan counterpart as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). An agreement was reached for the exchange of information and also the exchange of intelligence between the NDEA and its respective counterpart in Kenya.
The decision was also taken to increase security at the ports and airports in both countries to curtail the influx of illegal drugs.
Agriculture and Fisheries
President Faure has held fruitful discussions in Kenya in relation to agriculture and fisheries whereby three main areas of collaboration have been identified.
These include cooperation in fisheries where Kenya can learn from Seychelles’ management of sustainable fishing, more specifically in the areas of joint monitoring and control to fight against piracy and IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, establishing information protocol, exchange of experiences in food processing, and sharing of knowledge in fish inspection and quality assurance.
In the sector of horticulture, Seychelles can now import flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs and spices from Kenya.
The third area is the trading of livestock products (meat, poultry and dairy). The Seychelles delegation met with representatives from Farmer’s Choice and Kenchick and it was decided that Seychelles will facilitate the importation of products from both companies in line with Seychelles’ efforts to lower the cost of living.
The Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has expressed his interest to come to Seychelles to visit the tuna canning factory (IOT).
Seychelles will start recruiting professionals from Kenya where there is a surplus, particularly in the education sector where there is a need in Seychelles for teachers of science, mathematics and social sciences subjects, and land surveyors, architects and project officers for the Department of Land Use.
Work has also begun to modernise the technical cooperation agreement signed in 1990 by Seychelles.
Civil Aviation and Tourism
Seychelles and Kenya will be working together for a joint marketing strategy of the two destinations, promoting the safari brand of Kenya and the beach brand of Seychelles.
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports, and Marine Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, during the State Visit to Kenya, signed an agreement on behalf of the Seychelles Tourism Board for a Joint Marketing Agreement with Kenya Airways, on 4th April 2017.
Following discussions with Kenya Airways, there is also the possibility of having a cargo plane flying in to Seychelles once a week. The service will begin as soon as the necessary groundwork and preparations are concluded in Seychelles.
Discussions to increase the frequency of Kenya Airways flights to Seychelles from four flights per week to five flights per week in the near future also took place. However, this will also depend on the effectiveness and success of the marketing strategy for the joint holiday package.
Kenya Airways and the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) will be coming to Seychelles in mid-May for further talks, which is expected to lead to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between STB and KTB.
With regards to training in the hospitality sector, Seychelles has decided to relook into the MoU between Kenya’s Utali College and the Seychelles Tourism Academy and increase exchanges.
Civil Society and establishment of partnership and exchanges
Mr Wilson Nancy, Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce (SCCI), signed a MoU with the chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) on 5th April 2017.
Mr Jules Hoareau, chairman of CEPS, also signed a MoU with the NGO Coordination Board and the Kenyan Civil Society on 5th April 2017.
Defense and Security
The decision was taken for Seychelles to help Kenya build its Coast Guard so that they are prepared for the fight against illegal drugs trafficking, and IUU fishing via joint patrolling, training, and intelligence exchange.
Parliamentary Diplomacy and Exchange
Part of the Presidential Delegation were two members of the Seychelles National Assembly, Hon. Sylvanne Lemiel from Parti Lepep, and Hon. Ahmed Afif from Linyon Demokratik Seselwa. The two parliamentarians had the opportunity to meet the Speaker of the Kenyan National Assembly Hon. Justin Muturi.
Following these discussions that included an overview of how parliament operates in Kenya and best practices in place, it was agreed that there will be future exchanges between the two parliaments.
Bilateral Joint Commission
Following the successful bilateral talks, it was agreed by the two countries to set up the first Bilateral Joint Commission. This event will take place in Seychelles in June or July 2017 and aims to follow-up on decisions taken in the State Visit and ensure there has been action within the timeframes set.
Invitation for President Kenyatta to visit Seychelles
President Faure also extended a formal invitation to President Kenyatta to visit Seychelles.
President Faure and his delegation is expected back in Seychelles today, 6th April 2017.