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Economic diplomacy top of Esipisu's agenda for UK ties

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By GABRIEL OTACH
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Manoah Esipisu, the incoming United Kingdom High Commissioner, has promised to advance Kenya’s economic interests with its former colony.

He made the promise during his first public appearance in London on Tuesday, at a reception hosted by the Kenya Society at the Royal Over-Seas League in the UK.

Mr Esipisu previously served as the secretary of communication, State House spokesperson and the head of the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU).

“I propose to take up, right away, the matter of economic diplomacy, which will be profitable to us,” he said.

“We all accept, I believe, that Kenya could do a far better job finding investors abroad, and informing them of the opportunities we offer. I look forward to doing my part to ease the path of potential investors looking to apply their expertise and experience in Kenya.”

On reciprocal benefits, he said, “Equally, we don’t find as many opportunities for Kenyan investors abroad as we could. It’s time, in my view, to change that. it’s time to rededicate ourselves to the search for opportunities for our people, born here and abroad. We are devoted to win-win partnerships.”

Ambassador Esipisu reiterated Kenya’s readiness to utilise the Brexit to the fullest.

He cited Britain’s post-Brexit vision as outlined in October by Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of the 2018 Conservatives’ Annual Conference.

“When, in her speech at the conference, [Ms] May called Kenya an engine-room of growth in years to come, she was right. She asked the people of the UK to meet the possibilities Kenya presented. I couldn’t agree more. Indeed, I see it as my job, in my new role, to ease both sides’ search for those possibilities”

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Mr Esipisu, who has served in the government since President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election in 2013, thanked the society for organising the “Karibu Balozi” reception and consistently supporting Kenya’s interests.

Mr Esipisu, who is yet to be initiated, did not hesitate to sell the government’s big four agenda on universal healthcare, food security, affordable housing and manufacturing,.

He noted that it can only be delivered through a combination of public and private sector financing and the sharing of knowledge, experiences and expertise.

Mr Esipisu acknowledged the significant role that foreign direct financing will play in the implementation of President Kenyatta’s final term project, for which he appealed for support.

He said, “I expect that some of the finances will come from those in this room, you who are at the heart of partnering without country and are keen to see it ascend in its reform and growth agenda.”

Guests at the reception including Mr Patrick Orr, The Chairman of the Kenya Society; Dr. Diana Owen, Director General of the Royal Over-Seas League; Mr. Kamal Shah, Head of Stephenson Harwood’s Africa and India groups; Mr. Juvenal Shiundu, the Deputy Chairman of the Kenya Society, Distinguished Members of the Kenya Society, and High Commission staff.

Tributes were paid to  Dr Josephat Karanja, Bethuel Kiplagat, Dr Sally Kosgei and Lazarus Amayo all who have served in the same office.

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