Business / News
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 12:50 EAT
His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan has honoured Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun - a decoration awarded to those Japanese who have made distinguished achievements and, not commonly, foreign nationals in recognition of their distinguished achievements.
The decoration is a major boost to Mohammed, a strong and robust defender of the Kenyan Government known for articulating President Uhuru Kenyatta's foreign policies. The timing of the award is also appropriate because it comes four months after she lost her bid for the African Union Commission chair to a Chadian diplomat.
The awards ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was attended by among others Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Amb. Amina Mohamed was awarded for her immense contribution towards the promotion of close and cordial ties between Kenya and Japan.
Emperor Akihito of Japan
Ms Mohamed was instrumental in Kenya’s successful hosting the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit (TICAD VI) in Nairobi in August 2016. This was the first time ever for the conference to be held on African soil.
Commenting on the award, Amb. Amina Mohamed said; “This is a great honour to me and the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on whose behalf I receive it.” She thanked Japanese leaders for the honour, adding that Kenya-Japan relationship was solid and set to grow to even higher heights. The Order of the Rising Sun, established in 1875, features rays of sunlight radiating from the rising sun. The attachment is shaped into a chrysanthemum.
Kenya and Japan enjoy warm and cordial bilateral relations, dating back to 1965 when Japan opened a mission in Nairobi. The two countries cooperate in various areas including infrastructure development, energy, health, education, science and technology, agriculture, water and irrigation.
Major outcomes of the TICAD VI Summit were, the Nairobi Declaration and the Nairobi Implementation Plan and the Nairobi TICAD Business Declaration. The areas of focus of the TICAD VI resonate well with Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063. The implementation of these three development perspectives reinforce each other.
Substantially, during TICADVI Japan pledged $ 30 Billion mainly targeting people ‘empowerment’ and building ‘Quality infrastructure’, for a period of three years. Out of this amount $ 10 Billion is for developing quality infrastructure under Public Private Partnership. A total of 73 MoUs worth Sh3 trillion were signed to boost trade and investment between African countries and Japan. The MoUs cover infrastructure, education, health, agriculture, ICT and mining among others.
Kenya is the largest recipient of Japanese Development Assistance in Africa, and in addition hosts several regional assistance projects.Japan is also Kenya’s leading development partner.