China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has announced that China will name a special envoy for the Horn of Africa region. Wang Yi made the announcement while on a tour of the new Ksh. 40 billion Kipevu Oil Terminal project at the Port of Mombasa with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Wang said that conflicts in the Horn of Africa hamper the region’s potential for development, adding that the new envoy will work “to share political consensus and to coordinate actions.” He did not provide further details on the envoy’s new role. He however said that China hoped to help Eritrea develop its Red Sea coastline.
Kenya has been involved in diplomatic efforts to bring about an end to the conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. China remains opposed to sanctions.
Previously on his tour of East Africa, Wang visited Eritrea on the northern border of the Tigray region. Eritrea is aligned with the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the conflict. The region’s other major war is in Somalia, where Islamist militants are battling a Western-backed government.
Wang urged nations in the region to “resolve various ethnic, religious and regional differences in an African way.” China has a naval base in Djibouti and has made loans to the Ethiopian government, with significant investments in the oil sector in South Sudan.
While in Kenya, 6 agreements were signed with Wang, including one trade agreement that will see avocados from Kenya shipped to China. Kenya is also set to receive 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China.