Jamhuri Day came to Israel with the annual celebration hosted by the Embassy of Kenya at the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv. Diplomats, business and civil society leaders, Kenyans, and friends of the embassy joined the celebration to mark 56 years of the Republic of Kenya.
The green, red and black of the Kenyan flag adorned the stairs and tables, while large screens showed bright images and videos showcasing Kenya and the Kenya-Israel connection. A large banner highlighted Kenya’s suitability for the 2021-2022 UN Security Council seat.
After hearing the anthems of both countries, H.E. Mr. Samuel Thuita, the ambassador of Kenya to Israel, welcomed the guests and presented his remarks. Ambassador Thuita, in his first Jamhuri Day celebration since arriving in Israel, praised the strong ties between Israel and Kenya. The ambassador noted the historical connection of the two countries, including then Foreign Minister Gold Meir’s visit to Nairobi to establish the first Israeli Embassy in Kenya. Ambassador Thuita also emphasized the Mashav program, through many Kenyans have studied advanced agricultural techniques, health, medicine, and food security in Israel.
Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Ofir Akunis, spoke next on behalf of the state of Israel. Minister Akunis noted the rich cooperation between Israel and Kenya in a range of fields such as agriculture, security, trade, health, education, and innovation. The minister quoted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement “Israel is back in Africa, and Africa is back in Israel” as an indication of Israel’s priorities in bolstering ties with African nations. Kenya’s prominence among them is highlighted by Nentanyahu’s two visits to Kenya in recent years.
Minister Akunis also mentioned the growing commercial relationships, and the role of the private sectors of the two nations. Last year Israel opened a Trade Office at the Israeli Embassy in Kenya to continue facilitating this growth, and Mr. Akunis expressed his hope that there would soon be direct Nairobi-Tel Aviv flights to bring the Israelis and Kenyans closer together.
Minister Akunis concluded his remarks by reiterating congratulations to the people of Kenya, and then Ambassador Thuita and the minister offered a toast to the best wishes of both nations. Following the toast, a lively dance circle began, and the guests were invited to join a lavish dinner.
Among the many distinguished guests in attendance were Ambassador Meron Reuben, chief of state protocol in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Vice Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Silvan Shalom; Former Minister of Communications of Israel, Mr. Ayoob Kara; Ambassador of Israel to Kenya, Oded Yosef, Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the Ambassador’s Club; David Freeman, representative of the Bahá’í International Community; Mr. Ephraim Fortis, Founder, President, and CEO of Open Sky ( Kenya Airlines ); Zvi Herman former director of the Center for International Agriculture & Development Corporation; Carina Baum, CEO and founder of Building Bridges; Alain Mendoza, regional manager at the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, Orly Spagnul, IMTM business development manager, and an Israeli boy named Kenya.
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the Embassy of Kenya in Israel and offers best wishes for the people of Kenya