Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / China-Africa

Kenyan president hails mutually beneficial ties

By Xie Songxin and Otiato Opali in Nairobi | | Updated: 2023-10-18 01:34
Share - WeChat

Ties: Kenya wants to share its experiences, Ruto says

Kenyan President William Ruto has said his country's relationship with China is mutually beneficial and based on win-win cooperation.

Ruto made the remark on Friday while speaking to the media in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, before heading to Beijing for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. He arrived in Beijing on Sunday, starting his first visit to China as Kenyan president.

Reacting to the rhetoric that China's aid to Africa is a "debt trap", Ruto said that African countries have been able to negotiate for themselves what they think is balanced and fair to the African people and to China as a partner.

"There is myth, there is rumor, there is perception. The reality is that our largest debt is not to China. We have huge obligations to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the United States and many other organizations," the Kenyan president said.

He emphasized that it is important for Africa as a continent to reengineer its relationship with the rest of the world. African heads of state have made a decision that whenever Africa is engaging with other partners, they will ensure that the process is structured, respectful and mutually beneficial.

Ruto referred to the deep historical ties between Kenya and China, cultivated by the nations' leaders and people over the past 60 years, as proof that the two countries maintain strong bilateral relations.

"We share a bond of friendship that goes beyond the ordinary government structure," he said, adding that it is deep-rooted in people-to-people exchanges in many areas including business and culture.

Ruto, who has just finished his first year in office, said the relationship between Kenya and China is growing from one based on trade and loans to one that encompasses investment. He said Kenya is happy that China does not seek to impose on others what it thinks is right.

Kenya is an example of an African country that has successfully implemented the Belt and Road Initiative, which was proposed by President Xi Jinping 10 years ago and aligns with Kenya's Vision 2030, Ruto said.

Within the BRI framework, Kenya has built its Standard Gauge Railway and more than 2,000 kilometers of road infrastructure, and it has welcomed more Chinese companies, which have now become household names in the country, he said.

The improvement in the quality and quantity of trade between the two countries was also hailed by the Kenyan president, who said his country can now export agricultural products such as avocados to China, and is seeking to expand its portfolio to include more products and services.

Ruto said the BRI is instrumental in global development because it involves more than 150 countries and almost 70 percent of the world population. He said he is looking forward to sharing experiences on the BRI with Chinese and other global leaders.

"For instance, in Kenya, we have the SGR and other infrastructure constructed under the BRI. We would like to share with other members how these projects have bolstered our economy, connected our villages, improved ordinary people's lives and facilitated business."

The Belt and Road Forum will be a platform to leverage what has been achieved in order to build a better tomorrow without leaving anybody behind, Ruto said, adding that Africa will be looking at new and modern aspects of cooperation such as digitalization in agriculture and commerce.

"I am looking forward to meeting with Chinese investors who are keen on opportunities in Kenya. We have up to 13 investment initiatives and agreements, which will be concluded during my visit."

With the forum being held in the run-up to the COP28 climate summit scheduled in the United Arab Emirates next month, Ruto said that Kenya and China have a complementary relationship in advocating climate action. This is because China is a global leader in spearheading technological advances in the renewable energy sector while Kenya has resources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy where these technologies can be employed.

He said that Kenya is at the forefront in advocating climate action both nationally and globally, and the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters based in the country is the only UN headquarters located in the Global South.

The UN-Habitat program is also based in Kenya, which is among the first countries to ban the use of plastic bags and is proud to have been the host of the first-ever Africa Climate Summit, held recently in Nairobi.

Ruto said that Kenya appreciates China's investment in renewable energy, and it is common knowledge that most of the infrastructure in the sector, such as solar power stations, is being actively developed in China.

"China is, therefore, assisting the world in coming up with interventions, technologies, equipment and infrastructure to promote climate action and provide solutions, and we are ready to implement these technologies as its partners," he added.

Contact the writers at

Online See more by scanning the code.
Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349