NAIROBI, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese aid being channeled to Kenya will go a long way to enhance Sino-Kenya ties, a Chinese diplomat said on Friday.
Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said Beijing has a long history of ties with Africa with its foreign aid to the continent having begun in 1956 before most of the countries attained independence.
"In Kenya alone, China has financed nearly 100 projects through grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans to support infrastructure, health, education, agriculture as well as humanitarian assistance," Guo said in a commentary published in a local daily, the Daily Nation.
"Therefore, the Chinese aid is part of the continuation of the cooperation borne out of the long-standing relations between Kenya and China," he added.
Guo said China's foreign aid is based on the Eight Principles for Economic Aid and Technical Assistance that were unveiled in 1964.
However, it was not until 2004 after decades of sustained economic growth that China was able to increase its foreign aid, he added.
Guo said Chinese aid to Kenya conforms to the general idea that such assistance should be in accordance with Kenya's national priorities.
"So we support the goals and flagship projects in the national development agenda, Vision 2030 as well as the Second Medium Term Plan," he added.
He said the Chinese government, moved by the plight of the Kenyans affected by the ongoing drought, decided to donate approximately 22 million U.S. dollars worth of foods stuffs.
"The 21,336 tonnes will in the next few months arrive at the Mombasa Port to bail out for one month the 1.4 million affected by the drought," Guo said.
In 2011 when Kenya suffered a drought, China also donated 20 million dollars worth of emergency humanitarian food aid. The Asian nation has in the past four years drilled 20 boreholes in Western and Eastern Kenya.
"Nearly 20,000 people are already drawing water for their domestic use and livestock," Guo noted. In the environmental protection and climate change front, China has also been a good partner for Kenya.
"China has worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Meteorological Department to protect Kenya's wildlife, combat poaching, strengthen climate prediction as well as tackle climate change," the diplomat said.
In addition, from the 1980s to the 1990s, China helped Kenya build the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, the largest stadium in East Africa, with an interest-free loan.
In the area of cooperation in human resource development and education, Guo said China has expanded its training program for Kenyan officials and technicians.
"In 2015 alone, the number of trainees rose to 600, which is the second largest in Africa," he said.