Russia to invest in East Africa

Nov 17, 2010 12:00 AM

By Alex Kiarie - Nairobi, Kenya

Russia plans to invest in a modern railway system between Kenya and Uganda to enhance her economic presence in the region. The Russian government also intends to invest heavily in mining, education, transport and pipeline, according to the Russian foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov, who is on a three-day visit to Kenya said this at an international media conference in the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. He held bilateral talks with his Kenyan counterpart, George Saitoti, who is holding the Foreign Affairs portfolio in an acting capacity after the resignation of the former minister, Moses Wetangula.

A communiqué released to the press said the Russian government committed itself to an agreement of cooperation with the Kenyan government on the cultural exchange, between the National Museums of Kenya and the Institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister called for a harmonized international approach to the piracy menace in the Somali waters that has hindered international trade in the region. He called for the strengthening of AMISOM so as to have a lasting solution to the problem.

Saitoti on his part, disclosed that the Kenyan government is in pursuit of an international conference on piracy, which will be held in Nairobi on a yet to be agreed date. He also said that lasting peace in Somalia is the only guarantee to the end of piracy off the coast of Somalia. Lavrov is the first Foreign Affairs minister from Russia to visit Kenya for the 47 years that Kenya has been independent. Prior to the meeting with Saitoti, Lavrov had held a two hour meeting with the Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki.

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