The Indian Community in the country today joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 75th Independence Day of India.
The celebrations marking 75 years since the second most populous nation attained her independence from the British colonial masters is to promote social harmony, unity and empowerment of people.
Speaking today during the commemoration at the India House, the Indian High Commissioner to Kenya, Dr. Virandar Paul said the day was a great one to not only celebrate but look back at what has been achieved.
He specifically mentioned the Indian community in the country who are Kenyans nationals who have made the day significant by continuing to collaborate in fostering the big four agenda to ensure they partnered to see the development goals were realized.
“In the 75 years, the Indian have seen how after Independence, all the generations have toiled hard met great challenges and how now they have taken charge of their destiny”, he said adding that the lessons learnt in the process will prove useful as their Country move towards the next milestone in the journey of the nation.
The collaboration with Kenya, Dr. Paul said has seen healthcare especially during the COVID time be a major pillar of partnership between the two countries.
“The COVID pandemic brought our two countries working together in terms of telemedicine, vaccine use and also manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and currently we are in talks on establishment in pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing “., he said
The High commissioner noted that in the big four Agenda, India has been cooperating particularly with the private sector and this has seen various Business communities delegations from India come and visit kenya and partner in trade.
“Currently our bilateral trade volume stands at 2.78 billion dollars and this increased by 40 percent from the previous years despite it being affected by the COVID Pandemic and this increase in trade shows that as the pandemic recedes it is going to increase even further”, Dr. Paul said
The business delegation that was here recently , he explained, looked at ceramics, electrical , health care and also medical equipment such as imaging, radio diagnosis as well as follow up of patients who have had transplants in India and this , dr. Paul said is a good indication that it was not just a one off visiting but continuous in terms of collaborating and working together
Two years ago, in May 2019 India announced gifting of a state-of-the-art made in India cancer therapy machine – Bhabhatron II – to Kenyatta National Hospital and a grant of USD 1 million for the refurbishment of the Mahatma Gandhi graduate library of the University of Nairobi and holding of the first ever Festival of India in Kenya.
In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Kenya the , High Commissioner whose term is also ending after a tour of duty for the last two years said one of the 7 naval Indian ships across the world and and deployed only in Kenya in the African continent docked yesterday and today evening, dignitaries from both Kenya and India will be part of the larger celebration hoisting the Indian flag at the Indian oceans in Mombasa .
“As my tour of duty ends, my highlight in the last two years although overshadowed by COVID has seen much achievement gotten following various meetings both physical and virtual using technology with the aim of enhancing bilateral ties, strengthening the existing bonds of friendship and reinforcing co-operation”, Dr. Paul whose next tour of duty is taking him to Turkey said.
India is one of the largest trading partners of Kenya and India-Kenya trade relations that encompasses various sectors of economy.
The trade volume between 2019-2020 was to the tune of USD 2.2158 billion out of which Indian exports to Kenya was USD 2.126 billion and import from Kenya was USD 89.62 million.
Main Indian exports to Kenya include petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, steel products, machinery, yarn, vehicles and power transmission equipment. Main Kenyan exports to India include soda ash, vegetables, tea, leather and metal scrap.
By Wangari Ndirangu