NAIROBI — Kenya has invited Cuba to co-sponsor the United Nations High-Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy Conference to be held here in November, 2018, says Kenyan Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Foreign Affairs, Monica Juma.

Juma extended the invitation when she met the Cuban Minister for Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, in Havana, when she accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta on a State visit to the Caribbean island nation last week.

Juma said the conference would provide a platform to engage on action-oriented strategies pertaining to a sustainable blue ocean economy which is people-centric with ocean-driven investments.

Kenya is fully committed to exploiting the blue economy in a sustainable manner. As coastal countries, Kenya and Cuba have enormous opportunities to optimally exploit the water resources in the crucial areas such as fisheries, aquaculture, shipping and maritime transport, tourism, renewable and non-renewable energy as well as blue carbon, Juma said.

She informed the Cuban trade minister that Kenya would also be co-chairing the Oceans Conference with Portugal, which would be held alongside the conference.

In view of the importance of the water resources to Cuba, I invite the government of Cuba to participate at the highest possible level, said Juma.

Malmierca said his government was more than willing to share experiences gained over the years in areas of health and disease control and provide technical expertise which the country has gained through many years of research and development (R&D).

The two Ministers also agreed to urgently come up with a comprehensive economic agreement which will be structured to allow for two alternating meetings between Nairobi and Havana every year by technical teams to review progress.

Kenya is also seeking to benefit from Cuba’s well-documented tick vaccine that completely eliminates the vectors in livestock.