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Chinese Government Report Spurs Optimism and Collaboration in Kenya's Economic Landscape

Amidst the annual two sessions, a gathering attended by approximately 3000 delegates, including Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, the unveiling of the Chinese government's comprehensive report on 2023 and the ambitious economic targets set for 2024 has ignited reflections and reactions from prominent figures in Kenya. These insights shed light on the profound impact of Chinese investments and initiatives, underscoring a burgeoning spirit of collaboration and optimism within Kenya's economic landscape. Zhao Jian, Vice Chair of the Kenya China Overseas Association, provided contextual significance to the two sessions meeting, stressing its pivotal role encompassing China's National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Jian elaborated on China's unwavering commitment to innovation and research, particularly in solidifying ties with Africa for mutual prosperity. He emphasized China's impressive economic strides, spotlighting a 5% GDP growth and the creation of 12.44 million urban jobs, coupled with a commendably low urban unemployment rate of merely 5%. Jian lauded China's global leadership in electric vehicles, responsible for manufacturing 60% of the world's electric vehicles and related components, notably lithium batteries. Shaffi Ramadhani, the Social Impact Officer at Ahadi Wireless, applauded the transformative impact of Chinese investments in Kenya, notably within the telecommunications sector. Ramadhani emphasized the pivotal role of companies like Ahadi Wireless, a Chinese-owned entity, in revolutionizing wireless internet accessibility across urban landscapes, with a distinct focus on underserved communities. Ramadhani highlighted Ahadi Wireless' dedication to bridging the digital divide by extending accessible internet services to locales such as Thika Road, Githurai 44, Githurai 45, Kahawa Wendani, Babadogo, and Kariobangi. He outlined the innovative flexibility of Ahadi Wireless, allowing users to access WiFi services beyond their registered areas, provided a nearby Ahadi station is available. Furthermore, Ramadhani underscored the company's commitment to social impact, elucidating initiatives ranging from scholarship programs to mentorship and community development initiatives, all aimed at fostering lasting positive change. Francis Okongo, HR Manager of Startimes, lauded the positive impact of China's work report on job creation within Kenya. Okongo highlighted Startimes' instrumental role in providing employment opportunities, particularly for the youth demographic aged 22-35 years. He Public Data showcased Startimes' impressive statistic, with 85% of its workforce comprising young individuals, emblematic of the company's dedication to youth empowerment through job creation. Furthermore, Okongo emphasized the invaluable knowledge transfer facilitated by partnerships with China, citing tangible examples within Startimes' operations that have contributed to local expertise and technological advancements. Proposing a strategic approach to loan repayment, Okongo advocated for transformative measures such as converting loans into grants or offering more favorable terms, fostering sustainable development and strengthening the partnership between China and African nations. In aggregate, the perspectives shared by Zhao Jian, Shaffi Ramadhani, and Francis Okongo reflect a resounding chorus of optimism and collaboration catalyzed by the Chinese government's comprehensive report on 2023 and the ambitious economic targets unveiled for 2024. As Kenya embarks on a trajectory of economic growth and development, their insights serve as beacons guiding bilateral cooperation between China and Kenya, heralding an era of innovation, prosperity, and socio-economic empowerment.
By Nobert Njoroge
Vice chairperson kenya China alumni Association

Celebrating Cultural Harmony
The Chinese New Year Gala in Nairobi at Two Rivers Mall -10th February,2024

The Chinese New Year Gala in Kenya themed “Warmly Welcoming Spring, Celebrating the Chinese New Year” was held at CK Square on the Ground floor of the Two Rivers Mall. It was a vibrant celebration of the first day of Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year. Hosted jointly by the Kenya Overseas Chinese Federation and the Kenya Chinese Women association, the event brought a unique new year to each and every attendee. At the venue, a lively and unique Chinese New Year cultural feast unfolded, featuring dragon and lion dances, medleys of songs, traditional Yue opera performances, a solo performance on the gǔzhēng , a qípáo fashion show, interactive games, and a delightful gourmet experience. This diverse array of activities brought joy and harmony to Chinese community, local residents, and international visitors, creating a vibrant atmosphere filled with happiness and goodwill. With the participation of 53 Kenyan Chinese organizations and enterprises, nearly 150 performers showcased their talents at the fair. The cultural booths, featuring traditional Chinese arts such as calligraphy, painting, chess, and music, attracted the attention of local residents. The stage performances, including traditional acts and a dragon and lion dance fused with African elements, received continuous applause. The event immersed locals in the festive spirit, providing a unique experience to deepen their understanding of Chinese traditional culture and feel the warmth of the Chinese New Year, even for the Chinese in a foreign land. One of the participants expressed that despite residing in Kenya since 2014, this year marked their first attendance at the gala, making it a particularly lively and special experience. Visitors from countries like Germany and India also enjoyed the lively atmosphere of the Chinese New year gala, expressing their fondness for Chinese cuisine and cultural experiences. Notably, high-skill performances such as dragon and lion dances, martial arts, and face-changing were executed by local students from the Confucius Institutes at Kenyan universities. The Vice Chancellor of Egerton University, Mr. Mwova, expressed joy in witnessing local students learning and teaching Chinese culture to fellow Kenyans, highlighting the positive trend and hoping for strong and continued development in Sino-Kenyan relations. Dignitaries including , Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations office in Nairobi and Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya participated in the Chinese New Year activities, adding to the festive atmosphere. expressed admiration for the temple fair, extending warm wishes for the Chinese New Year. Ambassador Zhou and Director-General Zainab Hawa Bangura graced the occasion, underscoring the significance of Sino-Kenyan relations. Henry Rotich, Chairman of the Kenya China Alumni Association, lauded the bilateral ties, highlighting opportunities for mutual growth and collaboration, including scholarships for Kenyan students to study in China. Encouraging cultural exchange, Rotich urged Kenyans to embrace their heritage while fostering an appreciation for diverse cultures

Strengthening Kenya-China Ties: FOCAC as a Catalyst for Multifaceted Collaboration
By Dr Henry Rotich, Chairman of the Kenya-China Alumni Association

In a recent exchange of letters, President Xi Jinping's warm response to representatives and alumni of Kenyan students at Beijing Jiaotong University marked a significant milestone in the flourishing relationship between Kenya and China. As Chairman of the Kenya-China Alumni Association, I view this as an opportune moment to deepen collaboration between our nations, tapping into our shared history and values to build a future marked by prosperity and cooperation. One vital avenue for this enhanced partnership lies in leveraging forums such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which serves as the primary multi-lateral coordination mechanism between African countries and China. FOCAC, known for fostering economic and political ties between China and African countries, brings forth more opportunities to expand collaboration in various sectors, including education, research, infrastructure, and tourism. Our education sector greatly benefits from increased cooperation between Kenya and China through FOCAC. The presence of Chinese-educated alumni in Kenya has played a role in fostering understanding and collaboration. They have pursued higher education in China, creating a bridge of cultural exchange and knowledge transfer. The Kenya-China Alumni Association, for example, serves as a valuable conduit for maintaining and strengthening bilateral ties, promoting people-to-people connections, and facilitating business and academic collaborations. Our engineers have built and maintain the infrastructure that connects our communities; our teachers have imparted knowledge that shapes young minds; interpreters have facilitated understanding and communication on a global scale; economists and bankers have contributed to our economic growth; international relations experts have fostered diplomatic ties; tour guides have showcased the beauty of our nation to the world; and performing artists have enriched our culture and heritage. By facilitating scholarships, exchange programmes, and joint research initiatives, FOCAC can act as a catalyst for academic partnerships that transcend borders. This would not only enrich the educational experience for Kenyan students but also contribute to the global exchange of knowledge. Moreover, research collaboration is a key pillar that can be fortified through FOCAC. By encouraging joint research projects, technology transfer, and knowledge-sharing initiatives, both nations can harness their collective expertise to address common challenges and contribute to global advancements in science and innovation. By having African scholars engage directly with Chinese scholars, they are able to inject African strategic thinking and their lived experiences into the future of China-Africa relations. Tourism is another sphere where FOCAC can play a pivotal role. A 2021 report by the World Tourism Organisation showed Chinese tourists were the biggest spenders in the world, with each spending more than $1,250 (Sh180,000) per trip, which was almost 35 percent higher than their European counterparts. By fostering cultural exchanges, promoting tourism initiatives, and encouraging people-to-people interactions, FOCAC can contribute to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich histories and vibrant cultures that Kenya and China share. This can boost the 2024 entry of Chinese tourists into Kenya from the current number of around 60,000 to over 300,000 by marketing Kenya through strategic cooperation in media and film. Last year, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports, and the Arts launched the Kenya-China Film Week and the Chinese Media Gala to expound on ways to showcase the beauty of Kenya to China. This kind of partnership will not only boost economic ties but also enhance mutual understanding between our people. The success of projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, the Moja Expressway, and the magnificent GTC towers, also known as the “I love Nairobi” building, serve as a testament to the potential within the infrastructural domain. The Belt and Road Initiative can further amplify the impact of such ventures, providing a platform for dialogue and collaboration that goes beyond physical connectivity to play an important role in the continent's industrialization and economic transformation. In his response, President Xi Jinping urged the alumni to dedicate themselves to realising the plans of the Belt and Road cooperation and the China-Kenya comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership. As we look towards the future, the alumni and the younger generations, with their dynamism and innovative spirit, will play a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of our nations. FOCAC, by fostering cooperation in education, research, and tourism, will empower the youth to become ambassadors of a shared future, fostering enduring friendships between our countries. As China prepares to host the 2024 FOCAC meeting, let us all continue to explore ways to strengthen the bond between Kenya and China. Seizing opportunities in education, research, infrastructure, tourism, and beyond propels us on a dynamic path to shape a future defined by shared prosperity and enhanced mutual understanding.
Dr Henry Rotich
Chairman, Kenya-China Alumni Association

The Kenya-China Alumni Association would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the gracious response from the President of the People’s Republic of China

The Kenya China Alumni Association, would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the gracious response from the President of the People’s Republic of China Mr. Xi JinPing to the letter from representatives and alumni of Kenyan students at Beijing Jiaotong University. The congratulatory message resonates deeply with the joy we share in appreciating the invaluable education we received in China. We acknowledge the historical ties between Kenya and China and recognize the significance of the Belt and Road project, particularly the Standard Gauge Railway, as a "railway of happiness" linking our nations. The encouragement for us to be architects of the shared future is both inspiring and humbling. The Alumni Association, which comprises of about 1500 members is committed to shaping the future of our countries through infrastructure development and cultural diplomacy. We are currently working on projects that will further put to use the knowledge and expertise we have acquired from our studies in China. This include; the Chinese Mashinani Initiative which seeks to disseminate Chinese language and culture in the rural parts of Kenya, organizing cultural events like the Chinese Food Extravaganza, capacity building of members through interpreter training and other thematic trainings, professional workshops, networking. Our goal is to further explore the potential of the symbiotic relationship between Kenya and China. Joseph Maritim, Kenya's first alumni in China, stands as a testament to the transformative impact of education received in your country. As a seasoned engineer, he has contributed significantly to Nairobi's skyline with his work on numerous skyscrapers. His success exemplifies the potential within each Kenyan student who studies in China. We urge fellow alumni to follow suit, becoming catalysts for change in Kenya by applying the skills acquired in China in a transformative manner. By doing so, we aim to contribute to the growth and prosperity of both nations, building a stronger foundation for the shared future you envision. We would like express our best wishes for the enduring friendship between Kenya and China. Sincerely, Dr Henry Kibet Rotich
Chairman
Kenya-China Alumni Association
Mobile: +254-727-043-763
Email: kenyachinalumni@gmail.com

09
DEC 2023

Kenya-China@60

Celebrating 60 years of Kenya-China relations

The event brought together more than 100 Kenyans who studied in Chinese universities and featured activities including Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese music, dances, poetry awards for alumni who have excelled across diverse sectors of the economy as well as a screening of a documentary on achievements from Sino-Kenya relations.

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Location:

Nairobi

02
Dec 2023

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Youtube
Nation

Chinese food extravaganza

This was the first ever chinese food extravaganza to celebrate 60 years of Kenya-China relations

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Location:

Panari hotel, Nairobi

09
Jul 2023

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Capital FM

The Star

All Africa

50 Kenyan students awarded full chinese scholarships

More than 50 Kenyan students awarded full Chinese scholarships are preparing to travel in September to begin their studies in various universities. The students are spending this week touring various China-Kenya cooperation projects so as to help them understand and appreciate the strong partnership the two countries enjoy, dating back 60 years.

Location:

Nairobi

23
Feb 2023

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Confucius UoN

STAND WITH YOU CHINA—CIUON&KENYA-CHINA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DONATE TO FIGHT EPIDEMIC

On February 23rd, local time in Kenya, CIUON joined the KENYA-CHINA Alumni Association to donate to fight the novel corona virus pneumonia epidemic. Counselor Wang Xuezheng of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, Prof. Mbeche, the local director of CIUON, Dr. Henry Rotich, the chairman of Kenya-China Alumni Association and Director of Kenya Bureau of Standards, more than 50 members of the KENYA-CHINA Alumni Association all the faculty and staff of the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi attended the event. A total of 63,300 KSH, equivalent to RMB 4,405 was donated to the Education Development Fund of Tianjin Normal University for epidemic prevention and control.

Location:

Nairobi

07
Jul 2023

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Twitter

60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya

On 8th-9th July,to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya, the Chinese embassy and the Kenya-China Alumni Association held an friendship visit tour for 2023/2024 Chinese Government Scholarship applicants.

Location:

Nairobi

01
Apr 2023

Interpreter training cohort

The Second cohort for community Interpreter training for Chinese, Swahili and French starting on 01 April and ending on 01 June

Location:

Nairobi

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Email us on: kenyachinalumni@gmail.com
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Kenya-China Alumni Association
Ring Road Westlands Lane
Off Ring Road Westlands
P.O. Box57405, 00200
Nairobi, Kenya