As events to mark the Kenya-China diplomatic relations 55th Anniversary celebrations get underway, Chinese firms operating in Kenya have celebrated their outstanding local staff members.
The firms operating under the Kenya –China Economic Trade Association (KCETA) awarded achievement certificates to 55 Kenyan employees drawn from 20 Chinese enterprises. The employees drawn from various project sites across 24 local counties will also enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Beijing and Shanghai China in April next year.
Among the Chinese enterprises that will facilitate the trip to China are: China Road and Bridge Company, Huawei Technologies Kenya Co., Ltd., and Keda Kenya Ceramics Company Ltd.
Speaking at reception to celebrate the award winners, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Charge d’Affaires Mr. Li Xuhang, reiterated the Chinese firms’ commitment to deepen bilateral relations through skills transfer programmes and provision of a conducive work environments.
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“As we celebrate the local employees in these companies, we take this opportunity to commend each and every employee for the dedication that they have shown over the years. As we focus on growing our relations, we want to continue providing an enabling environment that will see more local employees enjoy and thrive while working within KCETA member companies,” said Mr. Li Xuhang.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Ababu Namwamba while commending KCETA for their gesture said that the celebration is a reminder that the outstanding local employees are the most valuable assets for the Chinese companies.
“Your employees bring vitality, diversity, energy, and cultural integration into your organizations. They are the ones to help their organizations to achieve targets and realize developments that contribute to Kenya’s modern transformation journey and should always be afforded an opportunity to thrive,” said Namwamba.
Delilah Wendy Aminilwa of China Road and Bridge Corporation speaking on behalf of the 55 winners shared her life journey and added that, “working with the KCETA companies has proven to be a worthwhile journey. The recognition we have received today is well appreciated as it showcases the appreciation that the companies have to the local communities. We look forward to touring China in April.”
Richard Gowi speaking as a representative at the award ceremony shared his career development path at Huawei Technologies. He testified that the two cultures are easily integrated and can work harmoniously to ensure that both partners benefit from working together. He further highlighted the various benefits that Huawei Technologies has brought to the country such as the modern communication networks and further lauded their contribution in Kenya.
Kenya and China have enjoyed close relations over the last 50 years. China is Kenya’s largest trading partner, having overtaken the traditional trade partners in value and volumes of goods and services exchanged between the two countries.
Speaking on behalf of Ms Betty Maina- Principal Secretary State department for Industrialization in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperative, Joseph Mbeva a director in the ministry lauded KCETA members for being deliberate in ensuring that they constantly increase the number of local representatives in their institutions.
“During the last decade, trade between our two countries has sustained a positive upward trajectory and we look forward to working more closely with the Chinese community toward a mutually beneficial result. In the coming years, the relationship between the two countries will continue to grow and the ties that unite us will deepen. Congratulations to the 55 local employees recognized today. It is our hope that the same spirit of collaboration will be shared among all other locals in the coming years,” said Mr Mbeya.
As a non-profit organization with 97 Chinese company members, KCETA aims to explore business cooperation between China and Kenya and enhance cultural exchanges; while actively shouldering Corporate Social Responsibility to promote community cohesion. KCETA has been a catalyst force for promoting cooperation between the two countries.
According to a 2016 World Bank Report, Chinese businesses in Kenya on average employed 360 local employees, more than the average 147 locals employed by other foreign enterprises in Kenya.
According to the latest KCETA data, KCETA members have increased the number of local jobs from 42,000 in 2016 to more than 50,000. The localization rate of employees of KCETA members has reached 96% the highest by any entity.
KCETA member companies committed to broaden their cooperation in terms as seen in the recently held Career Fair that saw the member companies avail over 1500 job opportunities to Kenyan youth.