President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Africans to demand equal treatment when engaging with other countries on the illegitimate and the unfair international order.
President Kenyatta asked the international community to accept that African countries equally have rights to exercise sovereignty in rejecting commitments which no longer work for the continent.
He said African countries have always accepted the sovereign decisions of other countries, and expect the same from their international counterparts.
“I cannot think of any African I know who did not accept that the United Kingdom had the right to choose to leave the European Union. But if Africans attempt to exercise their sovereign will, we hear a barrage of voices which tell us we can’t,” the President said.
The head of state, who spoke on Saturday night in Kampala during the 2nd annual Diplomatic Forum organised by the Diplomatic corps in Uganda, said global peace and stability will be realised when countries engage as partners.
“Even in the face of an international order stacked against us, built on our backs, Africans have made painful progress. For our partners from around the world, let it be clear that we are partners. Mutual respect is what we seek,” the President said.
He told African countries to open borders, connect people, increase trade, support innovation and promote African knowledge in their collaborative approach to successful competition with the rest of the world.
“As we seek to make the most of our potential now, we will need to drive the Pan-African agenda as a tremendous ideological wave that will lift all the boats of African socioeconomic transformation,” President Kenyatta added.
The President said rapid sustainable development, being the last agenda of Africa’s freedom struggle, requires Africans to unite and to speak with one voice.
“Let us therefore strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and solidarity throughout Africa. At the same time, let us engage abroad to ensure that our voice is heard and interests secured,” President Kenyatta said.
He underscored the important role African diplomats’ play in the vanguard of Africa’s modern iteration of the freedom struggle.
On regional peace, President Kenyatta affirmed Kenya’s commitment to supporting South Sudan through regional mechanisms in its quest for political stability.
The President regretted the unfortunate incident that led to the replacement of the Lt-Gen Johnson Ondieki as commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) in the youngest nation.
“Kenya will not agree to be scapegoated by a mission that has failed to execute its mandate. Pulling out troops will however not affect Kenya’s position in regional peace,” the President said.
Ugandan leaders led by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda commended President Kenyatta and the Kenya Government for enhancing efficiency at the port of Mombasa, thus lowering the cost of doing business in the region.
“We are really grateful to your excellency for improving efficiency at the port of Mombasa. Ugandan business community are the direct beneficiaries,” the leaders said.
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