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The East African : December 16th 2013
16 PICTORIAL Kenya marks 50th Independence anniversary K By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent enya celebrated 50 years of Independence by embracing pan-Africanism and promising stronger ties with its neighbours to hasten regional integration. In a colourful ceremony at Sa- faricom Stadium at Kasarani, Nairobi attended by 14 heads of state and government and other dignitaries, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that visitors holding African passports will obtain visas on arrival and will be allowed to stay for six months. Besides playing a key role within the African Union Mision in Somalia (Amisom), Kenya will also contribute 6,000 troops to the African Union Rapid Reponse Force meant to strengthen peace and security in Africa’s hotspots like DRC and the Central African Republic. Kenyatta said that Kenya is ready to champion the fast tracking of the implementation of the African Infrastructure Programme within the East Africa region. One of the major regional projects is the Lamu Port, South Sudan, and Ethiopia Transit (LAPSSET) project, which will open a second major corridor of development in the region. He added that Kenya was ready to partner with others to fast-track the implementation of the recently adopted Continental Free Trade Area. Speaking at the fete, Presi- dent Yoweri Museveni of Uganda lashed out at the West and criticising the cases facing President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Malawi President Joyce Ban- da thrilled the crowd by greeting them in Swahili. Banda lived in Kenya in the mid 1970s while working with civil society. Dependency on Kenya President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania added more colour to the celebrations with his flowery Tanzanian Swahili. He pointed out that other countries in the region depends on Kenya’s economy and that the country should take the lead in deepening regional integration. Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn pointed out the importance of partnership with Kenya, which is instrumental in ensuring peace and security in the Horn, especially Somalia. The celebrations started with the hoisting of the national flag at Uhuru Gardens at midnight just like 50 years ago when the Union Jack came down and the Kenyan flag went up symbolising Independence. Traditional dancers entertain guests at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi. The EastAfrican NEWS DECEMBER 14-20,2013 President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour on his arrival at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi - the venue of the celebrations. Left, Malawi President Joyce Banda. Pics: Correspondents Rwandan traditional dancers at the stadium. entertain guests Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and his daughter Natasha walk to the VIP section at the stadium. South Sudan President Salva Kiir waves to the crowd at the stadium. Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete shares a light moment with former Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki.
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