Kenya offers 300 places for Djiboutians to study locally

Monday, June 12th, 2023 10:20 | By
President William Ruto with Djibouti counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh
President William Ruto with Djibouti counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kenya is extending an offer of 300 positions in the country’s higher learning institutions to Djiboutian students, at the same fees applicable to local students.

President William Ruto said Kenya and Djibouti agreed to expedite the negotiation of a framework that enables the reciprocal recognition of certificates issued by respective institutions of higher learning. “I have informed the President that Kenya is extending an offer of 300 positions in our higher learning institutions to Djiboutian students, at the same fees applicable to Kenyan students,” said Ruto.

He made the remarks in Djibouti yesterday in a press conference after holding bilateral talks with his Djibouti counterpart, Ismail Omar Guelleh.

The President will also participate in the 14th Ordinary Assembly of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Heads of State and Government today.

Ruto also said that they engaged in discussions regarding support for English language training and its integration into Djibouti’s curricula, adding that Kenya is fully prepared to provide support and necessary teachers to assist in this endeavor.

“To enhance the language proficiency of Kenyan graduates who seek employment abroad, Kenyan Technical and Vocational Education Training institutions, as well as medical training colleges will benefit from the inclusion of French language trainees from Djibouti,” said Ruto.

Direct interactions

To promote people-to-people interactions, trade, and investment, Ruto said he is committed to eliminate barriers imposed by visa requirements for Djiboutian citizens traveling to Kenya.

“We recognize the immense potential for mutual benefit by harnessing Kenya’s skilled workforce. In this regard, I express my gratitude to my esteemed counterpart for hosting over 600 Kenyan professionals in Djibouti. To facilitate this process, we have established a Joint Technical Committee dedicated to these efforts,” Ruto stated.

To unlock the vast untapped potential for expanding the value and volume of commercial relations, he said the Joint Business Council has been established.

The council is expected to work towards synergizing trade missions and facilitating improved market access, even as he encouraged the business community from both countries to actively engage with their counterparts, particularly within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Ruto stated a key impediment to the desired trade between the two nations is the absence of direct flights connecting to connect them.

Resume direct flights

He said they agreed to focus on generating demand from both sides, aiming to resume direct flights, including review of existing Bilateral Air Service Agreement to address existing challenges.

“This restoration of air connectivity will undoubtedly have a profound impact on enhancing trade between our nations,” he said.

He also said Kenya will review the proposal by Djibouti Telecoms to sell its undersea cable infrastructure to Kenya’s TEAMs, taking into account technological advancements and the requirements of both parties.

Respective institutions will convene in Nairobi in two weeks to advance the discussions on this matter. During the meeting, four Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between two nations were signed, one of which included facilitating cooperation in the field of energy development.

The agreement entails sharing technical skills, techniques, experiences, information, documentation, knowledge, and materials between the parties through reciprocal participation, focusing on geothermal development.

He said President Guelleh is expediting negotiation process, facilitating the establishment of necessary infrastructure and equipment, and initiating the implementation of the proposed Hanle Garabbayyis project.

Kengen contract

Under this project, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) will drill two geothermal wells in Djibouti and has already fulfilled Phase One of the contract with the Office Djiboutien De Development De Energie Geothermique (ODDEG) and successfully drilled one geothermal well in the Galla Le Koma project’s initial phase.

At the same time, Ruto addressed the Djibouti National Assembly where he regretted that the continent is losing over 10 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to adverse impacts of global climate change.

At present rates, he stated that Africa will forgo all prospects of development through economic growth, as more of its resources go towards coping with climate change to guarantee the survival of her peoples.

“The injustice of the matter is monumental and staggering: 54 countries only contributed 4 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions yet they have to bear the brunt of the loss and damage arising from the unabated rise in global temperatures,” Ruto told the Parliament.

Additional reporting by PSC

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