Mar 23, 2017

Good Afternoon

Let me begin by thanking H. E. President UHURU KENYATTA and the people of Kenya for hosting us and for their outstanding hospitality.

Your Excellency:

It is indeed a pleasure for me to be here with you today, to discuss how our two brotherly nations can grow and prosper together.

Kenya is one of Somalia’s strongest partners in the East Africa — from hosting the largest number of Somali refugees for decades, to contributing to the peace building in Somalia through AMISOM, among many other things.

We are mindful of this generosity and exemplary solidarity at a time of our greatest need. On behalf of the people of Somalia, please allow me to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Government and people of Kenya. We will never forget what you have done for us.

Your Excellency: Our two countries share much more than a long porous border. We share history and common destiny. We have similar aspirations for our countries and people. Our fate is inseparably linked. It is with this in mind that we continue to collaborate and collectively work to defeat the current scourge of our region – terrorism, poverty and corruption– and usher an era of economic transformation and prosperity for our countries and the wider region.

This state visit is happening against the backdrop of the broader need for close cooperation between our two countries in the areas of security, drought response investment and trade. Close economic cooperation between Somalia and Kenya will not only help improve the lives of millions of our people on both sides of the border, but it will also enhance the security.

Mr. President:

There is no country better positioned than Kenya to benefit from a peaceful and stable Somalia. Kenya has an advantage not only in terms of proximity but because of a long list of favorable cultural, social, economic, educational, security, and political relationships we developed together over many decades.

Your excellency: When it comes to trade, I believe that the answer is not only to remove barriers to trade, but it is also to do trade right, by making sure that it has strong labor standards, strong environmental standards, that addresses ways in which the rights of the ordinary people of both countries are protected.

One of the most persistent obstacles to better trade and economic development is corruption. My government will spare no effort in the fight against corruption. In the near future, we will deploy all tools available to us by targeting corrupt syndicates who enrich themselves at the expense of majority of our people who are destitute. We will also take measurable steps to simplifying trade between our countries and beyond.

Your Excellency: under your leadership, we know we have a trusted partner who we can work with to realize the immense economic potential between our nations. As good neighbors, and with a relationship anchored on the principles of mutual respect and mutual interest, there will be no challenges that we cannot surmount.

Once again Mr. President, AHSANTI SANA much for the warm reception and hospitality. I look forward to reciprocating that in Somalia soon Insha’Allah.