Kenya to host Tokyo International Conference on African Development

Kenya will host the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) summit scheduled for next year.

The decision was reached after an apparent stalemate between Kenya and Gambia over who between them would host the summit was unlocked on Thursday.

Kenya was given the honour to host the summit when the President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh withdrew his country’s offer to host the event in favour of the East African nation following lobbying by a Kenyan delegation led by Deputy President William Ruto in the Gambian capital of Banjul.

Mr. Ruto, who was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s special envoy, expressed Kenya’s gratitude to AU and Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Egypt and Gambia who had offered to host the summit but have now all withdrawn in favour of Kenya.

“I wish to express my gratitude for the overwhelming confidence that the African continent has shown in giving Kenya the opportunity to host the summit and assure them, Japan and other co-organizers of its success,” said Ruto.

“President Jammeh’s move to withdraw his country from hosting the summit and giving Kenya the chance was a demonstration of great statesmanship and pan Africanship, the gesture is generous open and a warm hearted agreement.”

President Jammeh assured Kenya of his full support in ensuring that she successfully hosts the summit, adding it was not about Kenya or Gambia but about the continent of Africa.

“I believe in joint economic collaboration between Africa and Japan and this summit will go a long way in ensuring the success of that collaboration.”

The two leaders agreed that unlocking of the stalemate was a demonstration that African countries can work together and break any barriers that could arise between them.

The Deputy President announced plans to offer five scholarships to Gambians to study in Kenyan institutions and have Kenya Airways extend its West African route to Banjul to unlock economic potential.

Kenya’s delegation included Deputy Speaker of the Senate Kembi Gitura, Senator Wilfred Lesan of Bomet, MPs Dan Kazungu of Malindi and John Muchiri of Manyatta and Meru women representative Florence Kajuju.

The delegation also included Kenya’s ambassador to Nigeria Tom Amollo who is also accredited to The Gambia and Kenya’s ambassador to Ethiopia and AU Catherine Mungai.

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