Written by Leonard Wamalwa and Obed Simiyu
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Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka is seen off by the Deputy Governor and Minister for Education Hon. Manase Lomole Apollo Waya of the Central Equatorial State as Information and Communication minister Samuel Poghisio looks on. [Photo/Joshua Wangwe/WestFm]
As world states scramble for a stake in the newly declared independent republic of South Sudan, Kenya now wants the new state to be integrated into the East Africa Community (EAC).
Speaking from South Sudan, Kenya VP Kalonzo Musyoka argued that it would only be in good taste that the new state be made member state of the EAC to foster its faster growth to the benefit of her citizens.
In an exclusive live interview with West Fm from South Sudan, Kalonzo said that the country would comfortably join the EAC as most of her leaders and citizens went through the education system of the member states.
Besides, Kalonzo said that most of South Sudan citizens had already established good relations and had even set up business investments a move he said is already a step forward.
In addition, Kalonzo said it was paramount that the member states of East African Community (EAC) through its respective ministers, to hold a joint meeting to look into the laws and regulations governing the community so as to iron out issues that could hinder a swift relationship amongst the states.
Kalonzo noted that it was of great urgency that the member states meet and discuss the inclusion of South Sudan as a member state arguing that most of her citizens and leaders had went through the East Africa education system besides doing business within member states and that it could only be fair if it was part of the community.
By doing so, Kalonzo observed that the socio-economic and political development would be hastened as well as infrastructure to help the new nation grow rise steadily into a vibrant economic state in the continent considering its vast untapped resources.
He said that Kenya is ready to support and work together with the South Sudan government as earlier stated by President Kibaki during the independence ceremony on Saturday adding that measures are being put in place to ensure that infrastructure and other basic requirements are in place to ensure a smooth network between the two states.
"We are supposed to improve the link between Juba and Nairobi especially from Kitale through Lokichogio and the border with Sudan to ensure that the road network and other means of infrastructure is up to date," said Kalonzo.
However he noted that the two governments are working on harmonizing the rules and regulations of cross border businesses, employment and other opportunities between the residents of the two countries to match the ongoing process within the East African Community EAC countries.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka talks to West Fm's Leonard Wamalwa at the Juba International Airport in South Sudan. [Photo/Joshua Wangwe/WestFm]
Kalonzo, who was accompanied by Information and Communications minister Samuel Poghisio, however cautioned that Kenyans should also beware of the cross border process adjustments being done between the two governments before the process is fully fledged.
The government of Kenya is encouraging its citizens to capitalize on the opportunities posed by the new nation as a measure to curb the high levels of joblessness among Kenyans.
Speaking from South Sudan, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said that Kenyans stand the greatest chance to benefit economically from the new nation as compared to other neighboring countries based on the two country’s long history.
In an exclusive live interview with West Fm from South Sudan, Kalonzo also assured Kenyans that their security was assured and that they should not fear to venture and invest in the new country.
Mr. Musyoka said that he had held talks with senior South Sudan government officials where he sought assurance that Kenyan businessmen and businesswomen were not harassed as had been the case earlier before attainment of their sovereign independence.
He challenged Kenyan entrepreneurs to venture into South Sudan especially the unemployed but skilled and qualified youth so as to uplift themselves economically and financially to avert the biting levels of joblessness among Kenyan youth.
Kalonzo implored upon trained youth especially those trained as teachers, to be on the frontline of offering their services to the people of South Sudan saying the education sector in would be the most vibrant and promising and a priority for the government of South Sudan as it seeks to impart knowledge and skills to her citizens.
Further, Kalonzo said the government of South Sudan was in the process of setting up institutions of higher learning and urged lectures to be open to the opportunity.
In addition, the VP assured Kenyans that proper mechanisms and logistics to facilitate their entry to and from South Sudan were being put in place so as to avoid harassment along the borders and while in the country.
According to the VP, the Juba government is proud to work with Kenya all sectors and to develop their economy and infrastructure as a way of giving back to the humble gesture that Kenya offered them during their long decades of war and hosting thousands of her people who flew to Kenya for safety.
“Ni jambo la kujivunia kama jirani zao kwamba wako tayari kabisa kutukaribisha kama vile sisi kwa upande wetu hatukujali hata ni gharama gani ingetupata sisi (it is worth to be proud that we us their neighbours, they are ready to welcome us just like us on our side we did not bother what it could cost us), “said the VP.
Kalonzo who was hosted at a luncheon by the Deputy Mayor of the Central Equatorial State, Manase Lomole Waya said that many Kenyans are aspiring to join and explore the available opportunities in the new born country that has many untapped resources.
He revealed that many Kenyans are eager and rearing to venture in Juba and invest in education and other aspects noting that some higher learning institutions including The Kenya Methodist University, Catholic University and Daystar University are ready to open campuses in Juba.
At the same time the senior South Sudan official expressed his appreciation to the support and assistance the Kenyans gave the Sudanese in time of war and need hence calling upon them and other partners especially from the East African region to come and support the country in this time of transformation.
"We know you stood by us during the time of need and we do appreciate the support we received from the entire Kenyan community and the East African region as a whole and we still call upon you to still come and assist in building this new country," said Lomole who is also minister of Education.
He pointed out that the major areas to be given priority in investment are education, agriculture, business and industry among others.
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