/ 28 May 2008

Kenya: We have learned our lessons

Kenya President Mwai Kibaki said on Wednesday that his country has learned its lesson from post-election violence and promised to focus on improving the economy.

Kenya, long considered one of Africa’s most stable countries, suffered weeks of political violence that claimed at least 1 500 lives after the disputed December general elections.

Kibaki, addressing a summit on development involving 40 African heads of state in Yokohama, Japan, thanked the international community for support during the crisis.

”As a country we have learned our lessons,” Kibaki said.

The political crisis was resolved under a power-sharing deal brokered by former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan.

”Today we have in place a grand coalition government and I have no doubt that through our unity of purpose, we will be able to implement a broad reform agenda that will position our country on a path of rapid economic development,” Kibaki said.

”At the same time, we are committed to ensuring greater political stability and social equity,” he said.

Kibaki said that despite high growth rates in much of Africa, major challenges remained that needed the attention of both African leaders and donor Japan.

”We need to pay all our attention to the fight against HIV/Aids, TB [tuberculosis] and malaria, while also re-energising our joint efforts more on enhancing good governance and peace and security,” he said.

Fifty-two African nations are taking part in the three-day summit of African leaders.

Japan launched the summit by announcing a major boost in foreign aid and a bid to double African rice production to alleviate the global food crisis. — Sapa-AFP