President Kenyatta due in Cuba for state visit

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to travel to Cuba on Tuesday for a three-day state visit.

Kenyatta’s visit is aimed at bolstering bilateral relations between the two countries, with particular focus on deepening collaboration and cooperation in health, sports, culture, blue economy and trade.

“Mid last year, Kenya and Cuba signed an MoU on Health Cooperation.  There is a great opportunity, during the President’s visit, for the two nations to expand the MoU implementation for the achievement of universal healthcare, an important deliverable in President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda,” a statement from the rpesidency read in part.

During his visit to Cuba, Kenyatta will seek Havana’s help in setting up a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in his country to serve the East and Central Africa regional market.

“The President will explore how to build Kenyan capacity, increase the number of medical specialists in orthopaedic surgery, oncology, neurology, and trauma management; and collaborate in research on cancer and diabetes drugs, and eradication of malaria. Kenya will also seek cooperation in veterinary vaccines,” read the statement.

Kenya will also be seeking deeper cooperation with Cuba in sports, which will see training exchanges on boxing, volleyball, track and field events. Nairobi will offer Cuban athletes and coaches opportunities to train in the East Africa country’s high altitude facilities.

Kenyatta is also expected to rally behing Cuba in its campaign for a complete removal of financial and economic embargoes imposed by the U.S.

Cuba established an Embassy in Nairobi in 2001, while Kenya first accredited its mission in Ottawa to Cuba, and then established its resident mission in Havana in September 2016.