|HE Andreas Peschke|
It was the beginning of the reunification of our country. It was the beginning of the end of the Cold War in Europe and in the World. It was the victory of the power of freedom over the chains of ideology.
I myself grew up beyond the Iron Curtain in East Germany. It is hard to describe this wonderful feeling of suddenly being free, free to say what you like, free to travel where you want, free to vote in a free election. Since the wall came down, I have never stopped enjoying the opportunities and challenges of freedom.
Since the wall came down, our country has come a long way. The two parts, the former East and the former West, have moved together. Both our President and our Chancellor are from the Eastern part. We all are joined in a Federation that is united but also respects the identity and the competences of our 16 federal states.
As a member of the European Union, the reunified Germany plays an active part in international relations. We have many partners and friends all over the world. Kenya is one of them which is very dear to our heart, not only because of its natural beauty, its beaches, and its National Parks, but most of all, because of its wonderful people.
Kenya and Germany are reliable partners and close friends. I am often reminded that my country was the first to recognize Kenya after independence. And I am happy to say that our relations are still going strong.
In the field of business, we have a lot of interest on the part of Germany companies in Kenya. When I arrived a year ago, the German Business Association in Kenya had 100 members. Today, the GBA has more than 130 members which is a remarkable increase in a short time.
In the field of development, German-Kenyan development cooperation focusses on health services, on agriculture and on water supply in Kenya. We are also active in the areas of energy, education and governance. The German side is ready to invest more than 200 million Euros in this development partnership with Kenya over the next 3 years.
Very importantly, Kenya and Germany also cooperate very closely to tackle global challenges like Climate Change, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, the fight against poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and the fight against the global threat of terrorism.
Germany stands by Kenya in its fight against terrorism. We have close police cooperation, we offer military cooperation, and we will continue to cooperate in the field of security. We also appreciate very much the diplomatic and military efforts by Kenya to help to bring back peace and stability to the neighboring countries of South Sudan and Somalia.
In the field of culture and education, we have our German School in Nairobi, teaching students from Kenya, Germany and many other countries. We have the Goethe Institute in Nairobi offering not only German language courses, but also a wide range of cultural activities. We have the German Academic Exchange Service which just celebrated its 40th anniversary in Kenya, and which, over the years, has provided 10.000 scholarships to students from Kenya and East Africa. We also have four German Political Foundations which are very active in Kenya.
There are truly many people and institutions who contribute a lot to Kenyan-German relations. I would like to thank the Kenyan government and all our friends and supporters in Kenya. I would like to thank all Germans who work hard for the friendship of our countries.
By HE Andreas Peschke
Ambassador of Germany to Kenya