Kenya is taking its turn in the spotlight at Expo 2020 in Dubai as the country celebrates its national day.
President Uhuru Kenyatta led a flag-raising ceremony in Al Wasl Plaza earlier this morning, with hundreds of onlookers present.
He was welcomed by sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, commissioner general of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Kenyatta said: “I wish at the onset of my remarks today to congratulate the government and the people of the United Arab Emirates for the successful and safe management of this expo.
“Organisers have effectively ensured adherence to the regulations set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“This has helped keep all those participating in this event safe, and indeed proved instructive, offering lessons, on how the world can deal with any such eventuality in the future.”
Each national day is dedicated to a participating country, with a cultural showcase on offer to guests.
Kenya will also seek to bolster business opportunities and foster partnerships between local and international investors.
Kenyatta added: “Kenya is very keen and strengthen existing relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – and, indeed, with all participants of this expo.
“We seek to harness the opportunities offered by this expo to build new business relationships, new investments, but also to bring tourists to enjoy Kenya and its renowned attractions.”
He continued: “Today, I invite all of you to visit our exhibition, to sample the goods and services on offer, and to participate in the esteemed tourism promotion event we are offering.
“Kenya is becoming a newly-industrialising, middle-income country, providing a high quality of life to all our citizens, as set out in the Kenya 2030 agenda.
“Trade and investment, as well as strong relationships with the private sector, are key to realising this mission.
“It is against this backdrop that we seek to increase trade with the GCC and partners across the Middle East.”
Expo 2020 visitors can today also enjoy a spectacular and colourful live performance of the traditional music and dance of Kenya.
Performed by the celebrated national dance company, the dance troupe will showcase the beauty and diversity of traditional Kenyan music.
Kenyatta concluded: “As a country, we are in a strong position – Kenya is without doubt the largest economy in eastern Africa, it is the business hub for the region, a trade and logistic facility for the surrounding eleven countries.
“Further, Kenya enjoys economic stability, we are a fully-liberalised economy, with a large domestic consumer market, and access to our most important asset, which is a youthful, educated population.
“These attributes have made Kenya the destination of choice for many multi-national companies, and a destination of choice for foreign direct investment in our region.
“In the spirit of our vision for 2030, we are here to promote business-to-business partnerships, and to establish links between public and private sector institutions.”