Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi has highlighted the existing capacities to boost ties with Kenya, insisting that both countries are aiming to materialize a 10-fold surge in their economic cooperation.
Raeisi made the remarks on Wednesday during a visit to Nairobi, where he oversaw, along with his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto, the signing of five memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
He voiced Iran’s readiness to cooperate with Kenya in the fields of petrochemicals, agriculture, science, technology, medicines and medical equipment, as well as the fishery industry and the fight against narcotics.
The Iranian chief executive also described his trip as a “turning point” in bilateral relations, noting that it can create a good market for Iranian products in Kenya and East Africa.
He further emphasized that the ties between Iran and Kenya would not be limited to their borders.
“Just as Iran cooperates with the countries in the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, Kenya has relations with East African states. The relationship between the two countries will provide the ground for such contacts,” he added.
“We do not see any obstacles in the development of relations and this can help expand [our] ties.”
Raeisi also said that Tehran can soon host the Kenyan president. He expressed hopes for the expansion of the Iran-Kenya ties to “an acceptable level.”
At @StateHouseKenya, Nairobi, held bilateral talks with President Ebrahim Raisi where Iran agreed to boost Kenya’s pursuits in manufacturing, health and the blue economy through research and technology. pic.twitter.com/RWqMJClN7U— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) July 12, 2023
Kenya’s arms open to Iranian investors: Ruto
Ruto, for his part, said that Raeisi’s visit to Nairobi is a great opportunity for Kenya as it strengthens the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the two nations.
Kenya’s arms are open to Iranian investors and businessmen, he asserted, adding that the five MoUs signed with Iran were in the areas of communication and information, fishery, health, animal husbandry and investment.
Ruto further announced that Tehran had agreed to set up a car assembly factory in Kenya to produce Iranian vehicles with Swahili names in the African country.
Raeisi arrived in Kenya earlier on Wednesday on the first leg of his three-nation tour of Africa, which will also take him to Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Africa ‘a land of developing opportunities’
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is accompanying Raeisi in his tour, said in a tweet that Africa’s “young population, as well as good and warm-hearted people, have turned this continent into a land of developing opportunities.”
“Africa is firm in preserving political independence. The existence of a diverse export and import market is an important area of cooperation between Iran and Africa,” he wrote.