Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended the relationship between Africa and China against accusations of exploitation saying that China is only taking advantage of existing opportunities, which the West has ignored.
According to a communiqué from the President’s Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU), President Kenyatta said China has seen the returns of investing in Africa at the expense of European and North American countries who have been Africa’s traditional partners.
“Africa is not just opening its doors to China. China has seen opportunities in Africa. They have seen returns from various sectors. This is what we have been telling our traditional friends,” said the President during a meeting in New York with Canadian investors.
The president said he has reminded traditional partners to take advantage of emerging opportunities in Africa by investing in various sectors for the benefit of all.
He said although the West has been Africa’s traditional partners, it has ignored valuable opportunities that China is taking advantage of.
China is the single largest contributor of foreign direct investment in Africa, a position that it rose in less than a decade, according to Africa Attractiveness report by Ernest & Young.
Kenyatta assured the Canadian investors of the Government’s support and transparency in doing business reiterating that he will not allow any public officer to cut personal deals with potential investors.
Speaking on behalf of the Canadian investors, Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation Chief Executive, Michael Wilkerson, said they have updated themselves of on the Big 4 agenda and the potential investment areas.
“I know your Big 4 agenda and as I look at it, there are many opportunities beneficial to both Kenya and Canada. On the Canadian side we are very excited and as you know we are world leaders when it comes to renewable energy, engineering, technology, space industry, value addition to agricultural produce and the blue economy,” said Wilkerson.
The over 25 business executives, including the most recent investor David Kay whose Tenor Capital company has invested US$ 300 million in the renewable energy, expressed their desire to partner with the Government in achieving President Kenyatta’s ‘Big 4’ pillars of development.