Madaraka Day commemorates the day that Kenya attained internal self-rule in 1963, preceding full independence on 12 December 1963. On Friday June 1, the 49th annual celebrations were held at President Mwai Kibaki's Residence, the State House, and the Embassy of Israel was represented by Yaki Lopez, the Deputy Ambassador.
Kenya's State House - President Mwai Kibaki's Residence
In his address to the state, President Kibaki pledged the Government’s commitment to fix Kenya’s infrastructure and revive the agricultural sector. He further said that food security has been a priority of the Kenyan Government which will continue to rehabilitate and expand irrigation schemes in order to reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture. In this regard, the Government will spend over tens of billion shillings to rehabilitate and expand irrigation schemes in different areas. He also said the Kenyan Government has increased funding for agriculture.
A choir Performs at the Madarak Day Celebrations
Kenya and Israel have over the years enjoyed a strong and fruitful relationship. Even before Kenya’s Madaraka, the State of Israel has been in the forefront to help Kenya in many sectors of the economy such as the Agriculture and Water sectors. Through MASHAV, Agency for International Development Cooperation, Israel has been involved in various development projects, consultancies, and has trained thousands of Kenyans in different areas such as Agriculture, Agri-business and Water.
Israel Foreign Minister Golda Meir and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta at the ceremony
laying a cornerstone for the Israeli Embassy in Nairobi (December 1963)
In 2011, the Embassy of Israel in Nairobi received a major award from the UN Millennium Development Goal’s Centre for its contribution to achievement of MDGs in Kenya. [‘Donor Partner of the Year’ for Israel’s efforts to help Kenya achieve food security through support to sustainable development initiatives in addition to charitable projects] The State of Israel will continue to support Kenya achieve its goals of vision 2030.