The ongoing roll out of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme and the development of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dongo Kundu dominated talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the ongoing TICAD 7 conference in Yokohama, Japan.
During the bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Abe said Japan will continue supporting Kenya's ambition to achieve UHC through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements.
In a statement issued following a meeting Mr Abe and President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move would fast-track the projects. He singled out commencement of the SEZ and construction of the Likoni Gate bridge as priority areas.
Japan to support UHC programmes across Africa
Prime Minister Abe had earlier, during the opening session of TICAD 7, announced his government's pledge to support UHC programmes in Africa that will benefit over 3 million people.
On December 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot project amid much fanfare in Kisumu. The first phase of the programme targets 3.2 million Kenyans with full rollout in all the 47 counties expected by 2022.
Millions of Kenyans cannot afford to pay for health services in public or private clinics because of poverty and lack of affordable medical insurance.
Healthcare is one of President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda and the president hopes to revolutionised the sector before he completes his last term.
Japan to help fast track construction of Kenya’s Special Economic Zone
On the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dongo Kundu, the two leaders agreed that with the support of the Japanese government, Kenya will fast track the commencement of the SEZ as well as the construction of the Likoni Gate bridge.
President Kenyatta welcomed the news and noted that in the last three years Kenya had seen a significant rise in the number of Japanese companies opening shops, which rose from 41 to 57.
“This is a success indicator of the growing bilateral ties between Tokyo and Nairobi,” Mr Kenyatta said.