By Brenda Czeda/Christine Muchira
Statehouse Spokesman Manoah Esipisu says that the declaration of drought as a national disaster by President Uhuru Kenyatta gives the Government powers to make available all resources at its disposal to combat the catastrophe.
He said the Government will allow the importation of maize by licensed millers, a process which will be closely monitored to ensure transparency.
Esipisu said any help needed by the Ministry of Devolution and planning to deal with drought will be made available by all Government ministries, departments and agencies.
Adding that this will see a significant increase in the cash transfer programme, food and water distribution, as well as initiatives to support pastoralists whose herds are threatened.
Other measures include the expansion of water trucking to areas and institutions without permanent sources of water as well as scaling up the provision of livestock feed as well as the sale of livestock by owners to the Government.
Meanwhile, Statehouse Spokesperson noted that Slovakian President Andrej Kiska will make a three-day State Visit to Kenya beginning Monday which is the first time a sitting Slovak President is making this visit.
He said President Kiska will be received by President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, where the two leaders will lead their delegations in bilateral talks.
The Slovak Republic is a high-income advanced economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union.
The economy has mainly been driven by Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). The country’s GDP is $138.277 billion (2015 estimates.) and GDP per capita stands at $25,525 (also 2015 estimates).
Esipisu mentioned that Kenyan businesses will be looking to leverage the Slovak Republic’s areas of relative strength.
“Kenyan businesses will be looking to leverage the Slovak Republic’s areas of relative strength as the country looks to expand its basket of trading partners,” said Esipisu.
He noted that Kenya is one of the three countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where Slovakia maintains diplomatic missions; others are South Africa and Nigeria.
“The balance of trade between Kenya and Slovakia is in favour of Slovakia and the talks on Monday will partly focus on getting more Kenyan goods into the Slovakia market.” he noted.
President Kenyatta will cite Kenya’s central position in the East and Central Africa region as ideal for investors from the Slovak Republic to use as a launch pad to penetrate the enormous market of over 650 million people of the recently concluded Tripartite Free Trade Area arrangement which brings together three (3) established Regional Communities of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
The Tripartite FTA has created a seamless market from Cape Town to Cairo.
President Kenyatta will also make clear that the continent of Africa is also working towards consolidating its economies into a large Continental Free Trade Area therefore providing more business opportunities.