Cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of Kenya- Korea Re­la­tions

Diplomat East Africa - - Diplospeak -

I am hon­oured to wel­come all of you to cel­e­brate the 4,346th An­niver­sary of the Korean Na­tional Foun­da­tion and most im­por­tantly to com­mem­o­rate the golden ju­bilee of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Korea and Kenya.

Ex­actly 50 years ago, the gov­ern­ments of the Repub­lic of Korea and Repub­lic of Kenya es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions. The of­fi­cial sign­ing in 1964 was, how­ever, to crown the al­ready ex­ist­ing con­sular re­la­tions way be­fore Kenya got in­de­pen­dence.

This story is of course longer and bet­ter than I can nar­rate it here since Korea and Kenya have been friends for ex­actly the same num­ber of years as Kenya stands in­de­pen­dent.

A lot has hap­pened; and to­day we are here to cel­e­brate great friend­ship of two coun­tries that have weath­ered so many chal­lenges be­cause of their peo­ple’s hope and de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed. There are many no­table mile­stones through­out this friend­ship such as high level re­cip­ro­cal vis­its be­tween gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the two coun­tries that trans­lated into key agree­ments, the es­tab­lish­ment of the Korean stud­ies depart­ment at the Univer­sity of Nairobi and King Se­jong of Korea Lan­guage and Cul­ture Cen­tre at Keny­atta Univer­sity, col­lab­o­ra­tions in en­vi­ron­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, fi­nance, to men­tion a few. Most no­table is also the fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion in the en­ergy sec­tor where a Korean company is at the fore­front in the ex­ploita­tion of geo­ther­mal en­ergy in Olka­ria, Naivasha.

I con­sider it a great hon­our and ex­cep­tional luck to have been posted to this beau­ti­ful coun­try, to also be the am­bas­sador host­ing this 50th an­niver­sary is even more ex­cep­tional. I feel blessed and wish to share this won­der­ful feel­ing with you. I have hopes of a bet­ter Kenya, a bet­ter Korea and ex­cel­lent friend­ship be­tween our gov­ern­ments and peo­ples.

Tra­di­tion­ally, The Korean Na­tional Foun­da­tion Day is de­rived from the Gaecheon­jeol which means ‘Fes­ti­val of the Open­ing of Heaven’. Heaven has been as­so­ci­ated with divine bless­ing and des­tiny. As we com­mem­o­rate this golden ju­bilee on the Korean Na­tional Foun­da­tion day, I wish divine bless­ings upon the friend­ship be­tween Korea and Kenya and the open­ing of a new heaven.

There have been care­ful and thought­ful prepa­ra­tions for th­ese cel­e­bra­tions. Please en­joy your­selves to the fullest be­cause such an op­por­tu­nity will not arise for another 10 years when we cel­e­brate our Di­a­mond Ju­bilee. After that, you will have to wait un­til the Sec­ond Ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions, the Cen­ten­nial and as you can see, that’s too re­mote to talk about.

I wish you ev­ery suc­cess, good health and hap­pi­ness. Cheers!

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