Dr Vijoo Rattansi, Chancellor of the University of Nairobi,
Prof Peter Mbithi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi,
Members of the University Senate,
Jambo! Habaari gaani (Hello, How are you)?
I am happy to be here in energy filled surroundings.
I am truly delighted to be amongst the brightest and the best of Kenya.
You are the pride of this land; and represent Africa's tomorrow. Your aspirations, ambitions and actions will not only shape the direction and destiny of this great country.
But, you will also guide the march of this great continent into a future of prosperity. To you, the passionate gen-next of Kenya, I bring the warm friendship of over 800 million youth of India.
Of course, that includes me.
You see friends, when it comes to nation building, or nurturing ties with friends like Kenya, my heart matches the youthful passion of any twenty year old.
The University of Nairobi is a glorious institution. It enjoys a formidable reputation. Not just in Africa but all over the world.
And, when I see your young, eager and intelligent faces, I know why. Generations of political leaders, engineers scientists social activists and artists have passed through the doors of this seat of learning.
It has brought fame and repute to your country. And, it continues to mould Kenya's coming generations too. The University also showcases the shared history and similar experiences of India and Kenya as two developing countries.
Just now, before entering this auditorium, I paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, whose statue at this University was unveiled exactly 60 years ago. The connection between Mahatma Gandhi and this fine University is among early bonds of partnership between our two great nations.
It also echoes the value that our two societies place in having a strong education system for our national growth.
We have an ancient Indian saying:
व्याये क्राते इवा नित्यं, विद्या धनं सर्व धन प्रधानम.
Means: the wealth that increases by giving, that wealth is knowledge and is supreme among all possessions.
I am told you also have a Swahili proverb:
"Pesa, kama matumizi yake, huisha; kujifunza, kama matumizi yake, huongezeka”,
That is, money if you use it, comes to an end; But, learning if you use it, increases.
Kenya is a young nation in an ancient continent. But, even as a young nation you pride in several firsts.
Kenya’s Wangari Maathai, the famous environmental activist, was the first African woman to win the Nobel peace prize.
She was a product of this university.
Lupita Nyongo of Kenyan origin is the first African to have won an Oscar award.
And, as we all know, and no prize for guessing here, that Kenyan runners lead and dominate the marathon races the world over.
Kenya's climate nurtures not just the Big Five. But, it also provides the right eco-system for appropriate technology and innovation led growth.
It is an important financial and transportation hub in the East African region. It was in Kenya that M-Pesa was invented in 2007.
The idea took the world by storm. It pioneered and led the growth of mobile money services globally.
Not just in Kenya, but the world over. And, through M-pesa, those who stayed on the margins of financial system are now being empowered and mainstreamed.
We now have a version in India as well.
Today, both Kenya and India are flourishing democracies. We are two developing nations that seek peace and prosperity for their peoples.
And, our ties are age old.
Through centuries, the links of commerce and culture, trade and tradition, ideas and ideals, and beliefs and values have connected our societies.
And, in this, the warm waters of Indian Ocean have served as the bridge between our people.
I understand that there are 42 tribes in Kenya and that people of Indian origin are called the forty third tribe.
Like the rich fabric of your society, India too has a long-standing tradition of celebrating its vibrant diversity.
Indeed, along with democracy, freedom and equality, it is the very essence of modern India.
Last evening, President Kenyatta and I had a memorable interaction with the Indian diaspora. Many decades ago, they made Kenya their home.
Their affection and loyalty to Kenya is foremost. They are one of the most effective catalysts in the forward march of our ties.
And, this close inter-mingling of our people is a strong foundation for us to realize the promise of our modern day partnership.
Let us also not forget that together, India and Africa represent a third of humanity. Contrary to what others might say, and there are many who might want to pull us down, we are by no means a minority in this inter-connected world.
We want to forge a lasting partnership:
· That does not rely on old models and rules of engagement;
· One, which focuses on and empowers people;
· One, where we share the fruits of each others' economic prosperity;
· One, which seizes the opportunities of twenty first century;
· And, also responds to its challenges to bring safety and security to our societies; and
· Above all, serves the larger common good of the region and other developing nations the world over.
And, our partnership with Kenya is an integral part of this vision of the twenty first century engagement with all of Africa.
Among the rising African economies, Kenya has been one of the strongest performers.
You are a land of strong traditions.
You are also a country with abundant opportunities.
On the other side of the Indian Ocean, at about 7.6% per annum, India is experiencing a great economic revolution.
Given the depth and extent of our challenges, there is no option for both of us but to sustain the high economic growth rate.
This opens up a world of opportunities for us to work together. Not just in political sphere, but also in economic, social and developmental fields.
And, at several levels.
Already, we trade with each other more than ever before. With significant presence of Indian companies in Kenya, our investment partnership is robust, diverse and vibrant.
This, in turn, creates jobs for the young and educated in both our societies. As flow of goods and capital between us increases, we must explore ways of working together to manufacture in different areas.
Not just for Kenya and India but for Africa, and other regions.
Health care is one area that immediately comes to mind.
India's experiences in this field can help build systems, institutions and capacities in Kenya. And, our engagement in specialized medical skills can be of particular purpose and importance to Kenya's youth.
Our growing trade ties in pharmaceuticals can be supplemented by manufacturing links. They can respond to the health needs in Kenya.
And, also meet the health care demands regionally. Kenya's future is in the hands of its youth.
Similarly, you may be interested to know that India's drive towards its destiny is also fuelled by India's 800 million youth.
And for them, we have undertaken a nationwide campaign to create 500 million new jobs by 2022.
This, of course is not possible without skilling and educating our youth at a scale not seen before.
'Skill India' and 'Start Up' India are aimed at transforming the face of employment generation and personal enterprise in India.
We would be happy to share our capacities, experiences and abilities for the benefit of our Kenyan friends.
We already have a robust cooperation in the field of institution and capacity building, especially in the field of education.
But, that is not enough.
The need of the hour is to diversify it to areas such as Telecom, agriculture, energy and Information Technology.
Areas that would not just propel and modernize our economies, but, also create jobs for our skilled youth.
Our shared developmental challenges do not face the problem of scale.
And, between us we have the ability to generate access to cost efficient technologies.
M-pesa showed how, combined with technology, a home grown idea can quickly and effectively transform the lives of excluded sections of our society.
As our economies grow and our partnership thrives, we have a responsibility to ensure that it is not heavy handed on environment.
Indeed, one of our shared values is respect for mother earth.
And, the Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai captured it beautifully.
She said, and I quote, "We need to promote development that does not destroy our environment."
Our common tradition to live in harmony with nature is an ideal platform for us to build a partnership for "Green Africa."
A partnership that would also create new economic opportunities.
In fact, protection of our environment is the prime driver for India to shape an International Solar Alliance.
It is aimed at harnessing the power of sun as a permanent renewable source of energy.
The Alliance, which currently enjoys partnership of over 120 countries, is also one of the emerging areas of our engagement with Kenya.
Similarly, India’s ancient heritage of yoga stands for holistic living that is in tune with nature.
I am delighted to know that over 7,000 yoga enthusiasts celebrated this International Yoga Day on 19 June in the grounds of the Nairobi University.
A steady march towards our economic goals is indeed a priority.
But, we also cannot ignore the safety of our people.
Our economic prosperity and social development would mean a lot more, if our societies were safe and our people secure.
As President Uhuru said in Delhi in October last year, terrorism is "an evil that knows no boundary, has no religion, no race and no values."
Indeed, we live in a world where preachers of hate and violence are threatening the fabric of our society.
As young dynamic citizens of Kenya and as members of the African society, you would need to be watchful of those who spread radical ideologies.
And, be equally condemning of those who give shelter to terrorists and use them as political instruments.
Youth can also play an important role in building a counter narrative to extremist ideologies.
As two maritime trading nations, and as members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, we also need to stand guard against sea borne threats.
And, ensure that piracy does not threaten our trade and safety of our seafarers, and there is freedom of navigation for all.
On way to Kenya, I had also visited Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
Over millennia, the East Coast of Africa has had strong maritime links with India.
Today, the same eastern coast is facing a complex set of strategic and security challenges.
The entire domain of maritime and coastal security is therefore mature for deeper engagement between our two countries.
This is the age of inter-dependence;
In this world of growing opportunities and complex challenges, you would inherit its tomorrow.
And, shape the future of this great country.
A safe and prosperous Kenya and strong Africa is your destiny.
Let no one take it away from you.
And, as you pursue your ambitions, you would do well to remember that nation building is an unending process.
As such, let you actions guide and lead others to:
· aspire high;
· dream big; and
· do more.
Your motto says it all "Unitat et Labore”; work hard and in unity, the fruits of the labour will be yours.
And, as you march towards your destiny, you will find in India a trusted and reliable partner.
· who would rejoice in your success;.
· who would always be there with a helping hand.
· And, who would be on your side in your hour of need.
It has been a privilege speaking to you.
I am grateful to the University of Nairobi, its faculty and most of all you the future of Kenya, its students, for this opportunity.
Asante sana, Dhanyavaad.
Thank you very much.
To you, the passionate gen-next of Kenya, I bring the warm friendship of over 800 million youth of India: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 11, 2016
I paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi whose statue at this University was unveiled exactly 60 years ago: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 11, 2016
Kenya's M-Pesa took the world by storm. It pioneered and led the growth of mobile money services globally: PM at @uonbi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 11, 2016
With significant presence of Indian companies in Kenya, our investment partnership is robust, diverse and vibrant: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 11, 2016
A steady march towards our economic goals is indeed a priority.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 11, 2016
But, we also cannot ignore the safety of our people: PM @narendramodi
'We need to promote development that does not destroy our environment' @PMOIndia quotes Wangari Maathai— UniversityofNairobi (@uonbi) July 11, 2016
Congratulations to the 7000 kenyans who celebrated the International yoga day here at the University -@PMOIndia— UniversityofNairobi (@uonbi) July 11, 2016