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Raila Odinga praises Kenya’s exhibition at the Dubai expo

By Patrick Vidija | November 1st 2021
By Patrick Vidija | November 1st 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga when he visited Kenya's pavilion in the ongoing Dubai 2020 Expo in Dubai. [Twitter]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has said Kenya diverse culture plays a critical role in the tourism front.

Raila on Monday said the diverse culture has placed the country at par with other international countries.

The AU Special Envoy for Infrastructure spoke when he visited Kenya’s pavilion at the Dubai 2020 Expo.

He said the move by Kenya to exhibit its products at the expo which is an international event that takes place every 5 years is welcome.

“It is an opportunity to showcase what Kenya has to offer to the rest of the world. As they say, if you don’t tell your story nobody will tell it for you,” he said.

“What I have seen here is very impressive, from agricultural products to processed goods and value-added goods. Showing tourism potential of our country in relation to our different cultures, our unity in diversity or in other words azimio la umoja,” he added.

The Expo is a world expo, currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

About 92 countries are participating among them Kenya and each is showcasing their opportunities are their designated pavilions.

The Expo is not just about exhibitions but there are also forums on topical issues such as climate and biodiversity, space, urban and rural development, tolerance and inclusivity, knowledge and learning, travel and connectivity, global goals, health and wellness, food, agriculture and livelihoods and water.

Each country participating has been allocated a national day to promote its culture, trade, investment and tourism opportunity to the world.

Kenya's pavilion is managed by the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency - KEPROBA

Raila was received and shown around by Kenya's Ambassador to UAE Kariuki Mugwe, and  Kenya's consular General Dubai Consulate Peter Mwendwa

Kenya’s national day will be held on 16th February 2022. However, Kenya has planned to have an entire Kenya week which will involve various activities such as flower activation on Valentine’s Day, the Kenya UAE trade investment and business forum and Kenya Diaspora Business State Dinner.

The ODM chief said the exhibition is clear evidence that Kenya measures very well with what other countries produce.

“I’m here as African Union’s High Representative on infrastructure development. Africa needs to trade more with itself.  At the moment it stands at just about 15 per cent we want to upscale it to 30 per cent, then 50 per cent gradually,” he said.

Raila disclosed that one of the inhibiting factors has been the poor infrastructure in the continent.

“We have to ensure that the infrastructure in the continent is improved so that we can increase trade among African countries,” he said.

Raila left for Dubai on Wednesday last week at a time the race for State House has begun heating up with daily campaign meetings across the country.

Although there have been speculations that the trip was about mobilistaion of political resources, insiders have denied the claims.

In July this year, Raila flew to the United Arab Emirates city on another trip that was linked to resource mobilisation ahead of his 2022 presidential campaigns.

This comes amid reports that the former Prime Minister will be making an official declaration on his presidential bid.

Sources within the planners have said the declaration will be made on December 9, at the Bomas of Kenya during the ‘Azimio la Umoja’ convention.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, other party leaders, diplomats, guests from around Africa and ordinary Kenyans are among those to be invited to the convention.

The sources further said the declaration will be under the Azimio la Umoja banner that is set to be transformed into a coalition on whose ticket Raila plans to vie for the presidency.

So far Raila is said to be working on a pre-election coalition agreement with President Kenyatta's Jubilee Party and they have been reaching out to One Kenya Alliance (OKA) of Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) and Gideon Moi (Kanu).

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