As we commemorate this occasion, Jamhuri Day, I begin by conveying our hearty congratulations and best wishes to H.E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of The Republic of Kenya, and the Kenyan people for a happy Jamhuri Day.

Also, I am particularly delighted to address Jamhuri Day message to all our interlocutors in Spain: in Government, in business, friends of Kenya and other collaborators as we mark the 59th anniversary of independence of our country. On this day, fifty-nine years ago, our country attained its independence after a protracted and painful struggle. Our beloved nation has since made significant strides in all aspects of development.

With independence also came the desire for our country to forge mutually beneficial cooperation with other sovereign states and take its place as a responsible member of the international community. Among the early countries to embrace Kenya as an independent state was Spain with which bilateral and multilateral cooperation have progressively grown.

In this respect, the last one year has amongst other things, seen an exchange of high-level visits between the two countries and further strengthening of relations. On October 25th – 26th, 2022, the Prime Minister of Spain made the first ever visit by a Spanish premier to Kenya. The highly successful visit was a clear indication that our two countries are ready to take our bilateral cooperation to a higher level and to build our business linkages for the benefit of our peoples. There have also been Ministerial level visits, that are useful in advancing collaboration between the two countries in various sectors of the economy.

Since establishment of diplomatic relations in 1965, Kenya and Spain have maintained cordial relations. The two countries have therefore reached milestones in our bilateral relations and have enjoyed one another’s support at the multilateral level. The increase in trade, investments and tourist arrivals in Kenya from Spain, is a sign of the increased awareness of Kenya as a key destination of the Spanish population. We take this opportunity to sincerely thank the stakeholders in Spain who have worked with Kenyan counterparts to realise these. Kenya is committed to strengthen economic and investment relations between the two countries and appreciate that bilateral flows have shown a very positive growth trend over the last decade. Towards even closer trade ties between Kenya and Spain, we welcome the interest of Spanish companies in various sectors including tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, water management and renewable energy.

Similarly, Kenyan firms have also identified Spain as among the high potential markets in the European Union for agricultural/horticultural produce (especially fruits, vegetables). I urge the various stakeholders in Spain, both in government and the private sector to work with us to explore the immense opportunities for business and investments in our country. I look forward to interacting with various stakeholders in the business communities of both countries and to facilitate more investments from Spain to Kenya, across various sectors, and more business-to-business engagements.

To the Kenyan Diaspora in Spain, I commend you for your unity and the significant role you continue to play in enhancing understanding and co-operation between the two countries. Further, the immense contribution you make to Kenya’s development through remittances is well appreciated. With the significant strengthening of the Diaspora Department in The Ministry of Foreign & Diaspora Affairs through the initiative of H.E. President William Samoei Ruto, the foundation has been laid for greater engagement with our Diasporians. You are a crucial constituency and the Embassy looks forward to upscale its engagement with you including on the best way to serve you and tap on your immense knowledge and skills for our national development.

Finally, I reiterate Kenya’s commitment to continue working closely with the authorities of the Kingdom of Spain, the business community, as well as other sectors to further deepen, expand and strengthen our friendship and cooperation.

I wish all a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year, and a pleasant holiday season.