December 18th 2017

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At a public lecture, Indian Prime Minister Modi charms Kenya with praise for country

The PM acknowledged the role Kenya has played in boosting the economy of India, pointing to the high number of Kenyan students in Indian universities.

By Martha Kwamboka and Patience AkengaMonday, 11 Jul 2016 23:00 EAT

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who is on a historic visit to Kenya, paid homage to a number of Kenyan cultural icons and praised his country's historical relationship with Kenya which he said had benefited both countries.

Prime Minister Modi, who is recognised for his oratory skills, spoke favourably about leaders like Wangari Mathai, Africa's first woman Nobel Peace Prize winner and the only one to date whose contribution to environmental protection is world renowned

He interacted with students and members of the public at The University of Nairobi’s Taifa Hall, where he also drew a close link between India's and Kenya's struggles for economic development. He paid homage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi before proceeding to the University’s hall, accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Education Fred Matiang’i, the Nairobi University Council chairman Idle Omar Farah and the university's chancellor, Vijoo Rattansi among others.

He pointed out the key issues of his visit, among them being maintaining peace between India and Kenya and promoting the economy of the countries. He recognized that trade across the Indian Ocean has given rise to new jobs for the youths at the coast and in the transport sector fostering growth in Kenya's economy.

Modi acknowledged and highly praised the late Wangari Mathai, asking the students to respect ‘mother nature’ as the late Mathai espoused in the motto, “Let us promote a government that does not destroy our environment.” 

He linked the environment to the economy, stressing that keeping the environment promotes the growth of the country not only economically, but also politically and socially. Modi also acknowledged Lupita Nyong’o for becoming the first African to win an Oscar.

The PM acknowledged the role Kenya has played in boosting the economy of India, pointing to the high number of Kenyan students in Indian universities. 

He said that India’s economic dynamism was based upon the creativity of her youth. He said the country was working towards creating about 500 million jobs by the year 2022 and urged the students never to let anybody pull them down. He exhorted the students to ‘Dream Big and Do more’ for a better tomorrow.

Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Kenya. He has been on a four-state visit to Africa from July 7. The other three states he visited are Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania in that order.

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