Recalibrating Pakistan-Kenya Relations
Kenya is increasingly emerging as a regional hub of economic activity, especially after the formation of the East African Community, said Professor Juilus Kibet Bitok, High Commissioner of Kenya to Pakistan while meeting with Dr. Syed Mohammed Anwer President of the Maritime Study Forum in Islamabad.
Kenya’s location is crucial for Pakistan’s “Look to Africa” plan, says Anwer. The plan was formulated by the Maritime Study Forum in early 2019 as a concept map for the public and private Pakistani business communities to promote its maritime economy through investment in Africa. The plan aims to boost trade volumes through the creation of a bi-lateral maritime trading network and mutual investment.
Both states enjoy friendly ties with each other that span several decades, based on deeply rooted historical cultural ties. They cooperate with each other in various fields including trade, investment, education, tourism, cultural diplomacy and wildlife.
During the meeting, Anwer noted that Pakistan is a major importer of Kenyan tea, but he believes there are many other opportunities to be explored. Pakistan can learn many thing form Kenya in coastal management and development, he said, and it is therefore the need of the hour for both states to join hands in effectively boosting their maritime economies through mutual cooperation.
Anwer said that Pakistan could support Kenya in modernization of agriculture and in development of the fishing sector through the exchange of economically viable technology. He noted that food security was one of the biggest challenges for Kenya.
A case study researched by Anwer titled: African Ocean: A case for renaming the WIO Historic, Legal and Scientific Perspective was also presented to the High Commissioner. The study argues that the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) should be given the more representative name of the African Ocean based on historical, scientific and legal reasons.
To conclude, Anwer presented the shield of honor to Bitok and agreed to work closer with Kenyan maritime institutions to promote trade and tourism between the two countries.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.