Kenya, Cuba sign deal Sports CS Echesa enters deal with Cuban counterpart to develop sports in both countries

Sports Ministry Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has signed a 5-year deal with his Cuban counterpart Dr. Antonio Becali that will see Kenya benefit immensely towards sports development.

According to the contract signed yesterday, both parties will work towards raising the sporting level in both countries under the ‘innovative exchange’ program.

The agreement will implement activities such as organisation of sports programs, access to sporting facilities and equipment. Training and development of coaches and specialists has also been factored in the deal as well as academic exchange. Both countries will together explore issues like ports medicine, community sports and participation in long and middle distance races, doping control, sports management and computer Science applied to sports.

According to the CS Advisor on Communication & Strategy, Isaac Nyangay, other activities will be undertaken as may be agreed. Kenya is renowned global powerhouse in middle and long distance running meaning Cuba stand to benefit immensely from high altitude training programs by the expertise of local coaches and athletes.

Likewise, Kenya stands to benefit from Cuba who have dominated amateur boxing for years on the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) calendar.

Until the 1980s, Kenya was once a power house in boxing with Robert Napunyi Wangila winning the country Africa’s maiden Olympic Games gold and Steve Muchoki winning a World championship gold medal in Belgrade in 1978. But as technology and sports investment took centre stage in global boxing, the country’s fortunes have dwindled.

The introduction of computerised scoring meant a nosedive into the country’s gains in boxing.

Due to historical associations with the United States, many Cubans participate in sports which are popular in North America rather than the traditionally promoted in other Latin American nations. Baseball is by far the most popular other popular sports and past-times include boxing, where Cuba is a dominant force to reckon with.

The partnership will also focus on areas of performing Arts, visual Arts, Music, Heritage, film, cultural information and research.

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Cuban, Kenyan presidents vow to strengthen bilateral ties

Cuban President Raul Castro on Thursday met with his visiting Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta, with the two sides agreeing to strengthen political and economic relations.

The two sides expressed satisfaction with the official inauguration of the Kenyan embassy in Havana, which is scheduled to take place on Friday.

Castro also thanked the Kenyan government for its support and donation last year after Hurricane Irma hit Cuba's north coast, costing more than 13 billion U.S. dollars in economic losses.

Earlier in the day, Kenyatta unveiled a statue of his late father and Kenya's founding President Jomo Kenyatta at a park in Havana.

In a speech made after paying tribute to other African independence heroes at the park, the president stressed the need to strengthen ties among developing nations, including their bilateral relations.

"I thank the people of Cuba for their constant solidarity with the African nations. Africa will always keep its relations with Cuba high and together we will continue developing our beneficial links for the prosperity of our peoples and nations," he said.

In 2016, Kenya opened its embassy in Havana to boost future cooperation in sectors such as commerce, education, culture and health.

Kenyatta will return to Nairobi on Saturday after a three-day official visit to the Caribbean nation. 

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Cuba, Kenya Seek to Strengthen Relations By Opening Embassy

With the opening of Kenya''s embassy in Cuba this week the two countries seek to strengthen their political and cooperation relations, agreed sources from the two nations.

The inauguration of the diplomatic headquarters in this capital will be held next Friday, in the context of the official visit to the island of the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, scheduled from Wednesday to Saturday.

Nairobi and Havana have expressed their willingness to expand the ties established in 1995, which have solidarity as their characteristic, according to the parties.

According to data published here, 60 Kenyans graduated in the Caribbean country until the 2015-2016 academic year, while five currently study at the Latin American School of Medicine.

Cuba has had the support of Kenya in forums of the African Union and the United Nations in its demand to lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for more than half a century.

Regarding the visit of Kenyatta, spokesman Manoah Esipisu highlighted the 'special historical relations of Cuba with Kenya and with Africa'.

Cuba began its ties with the African liberation movements in the 1960s, and the Cuban revolution was a great inspiration, particularly during the struggles on the continent against colonialism and apartheid, he warned in Nairobi.

Esipisu pointed out that the president's trip will boost bilateral relations in areas of mutual benefit, among which he mentioned the public health.

According to the program of the visit, Kenyatta will pay homage in this capital to the national hero of Cuba, José Martí, and to the African heroes, and will hold official talks with high host authorities.

On Friday he will participate in the inauguration of the embassy and on Saturday he will complete his stay in the Caribbean nation.

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Uhuru Kenyatta's leaves for historic visit to Cuba

President Uhuru Kenyatta heads to the Caribbean in a historic visit to the island of Cuba on Tuesday, seeking a helping hand for his healthcare policy in the Big Four Agenda.

The president will be visiting the region for the first time since he took office in 2013.

It will also be the first visit by a Kenyan head of state since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2001.

State House said on Monday that the agenda of the trip will be boosting cooperation in health, sports and culture.


“Cuba has a well-developed health sector which has achieved great milestones such as discovery of vaccines against lung cancer, and the eradication of malaria. Cuba is also home to a thriving pharmaceutical industry,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said.

“There is a great opportunity during the President's visit for the two nations to expand the MoU on implementation for the achievement of universal healthcare, an important deliverable in President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda,” Mr Esipisu added, referring to an agreement signed between Kenya and Cuba last year.


Officials say the President sees Cuba as important in helping him achieve some of the Big Four issues, which include universal healthcare, adequate housing, manufacturing and food security.

Cuba, despite being under the communist leadership of Fidel Castro - who died in November 2016 - for five decades, has achieved what the World Health Organisation calls a model healthcare system.

Based on socialist tenets, Castro engineered a system based on accessibility and preventive medicine (vaccination) and regarded health as a basic human right.


Health services are offered for free and include check-ups, surgery, medical dispensing and doctor visitations.

Under Fidel’s brother Raul, the World Bank reports that Cuba’s community health has remained intact, reporting an infant mortality rate of four in 1,000 live births and a life expectancy of 80.

Kenya’s infant mortality rate is 37 out of 1,000 live births while the life expectancy is 62.


In Cuba, one medical doctor can serve up to 150 patients, beyond the World Health Organisation standard ratio of one doctor per 300 people.

In Kenya, a doctor has to work harder because he stands for 16,000 patients.

A preparatory concept note for the President’s visit said Kenya could tap into Cuba’s pharmaceuticals as well as its medical missions.


“The President will explore how to build Kenyan capacity, increase the number of medical specialists in orthopaedic surgery, oncology, neurology, and trauma management; and collaborate in research on cancer and diabetes drugs, and eradication of malaria,” State House said on Monday.

“Cuba is interested in registering and selling its pharmaceutical products in the Kenyan market. It is also keen to cooperate in vector control.

President Kenyatta will encourage Cuba to set up a pharmaceutical plant in Kenya to serve the East and Central Africa regional market.”


Cuba’s engagements with the outside world had been limited until 2016 when the US agreed to lift the sanctions it imposed on the country in the 1960s, and reopened its embassy in Havana.

President Barack Obama then made a historic visit to Havana. A few months later, Kenya announced it would open an embassy in Cuba.

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Kenya land invite: National boxing team set to train in Cuba ahead of Commonwealth Games in April

The national boxing team ‘Hit Squad’ has been invited to participate in a Four Nations training-cum-tournament camp in Cuba ahead of the April’s Commonwealth Games slated for Gold Coast Australia.

Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) chairman, John Kameta, said the deal for the Four Nations event was realised during the AIBA Congress in Dubai, where he held extensive talks with officials from the Cuban Federation.

“Depending on availability of funds, the Hit Squad shall be traveling to Cuba to join the hosts United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Ethiopia. We are discussing with the government on this issue and we hope all will be well. We also want to establish what the hosts will offer on the event so we can firm up everything,” said Kameta.

The national boxing team, which returned from India Open International Championship last Sunday, has been joined by their sparring partners at Police Depot in Mathare Nairobi where they are shaping up under coach Patrick Maina of Prisons. All the losing finalists AT the Kaloleni trials are in the team as non travelling sparring partners.

Kameta said the final team of seven men and four women will be named just before departure to Gold Coast to avoid over confidence by boxers who may be selected.

“We are back at Mathare, where the boxers have been training prior to India event. The one thing with Mathare depot is that its home to Police training base where we will enjoy good teamwork,” Kameta said. Kenya failed to win medals at the India event but Kameta reiterated it was good practice for the boxers ahead of Gold Coast.

The Kenya team is scheduled to begin their final phase of preparations at Madison Square Garden, Nakuru, which is synonymous with Kenya’s world beaters among them Philip Waruinge, who is one of the greatest boxers to have represented the Hit Squad.

Provisional squad for Commonwealth Games—Light fly: Shaffi Bakari (Police), Matayo Keya (KNH); Fly: Mohammed Ali (Kongowea), Simon Mulinge (KDF); Bantam: Benson Gicharu, Isaac Meja (KDF); Light: Nick Okoth (KDF), Ethan Maina (Police); Middleweight: Edwin Okongo (KDF), Erick Otengo (Prisons); Light welter: Victor Onyango (KDF), Joseph Shigali (Police); Welter: Jacob Kimathi (Prison), Boniface Mugunde (Police); Middle: Edwin Okongo (KDF), Erick Otengo (Prisons); Light heavy: Nick Abaka (KDF), Peter Abuti (Prison); Heavyweight: Elly Ajowi, Frederick Onyango (KDF); Super-heavy: David Njuguna (Police), Fredrick Ramogi (KDF); Women: Fly: Christine Ongare (Nairobi), Veronica Mbithi (Dallas); Light Welter: Lornah Kusa (NRB) and Ruth Odongo (Kisumu).

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Cuba and Kenya Tighten Relations

Cuba and Kenya expressed today the willingness of tightening their relations in the context of the official visit to this country by Kenyan Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Amina Mohamed.

To Cuba, the relations with Africa and Kenya are a priority, said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, after welcoming his Kenyan peer at the Foreign Ministry headquarters.

We appreciate our cooperation exchange in a great extent and are proud of the excellent development of the bilateral relations and their great prospects, said the foreign minister before expressing Cuba's respect to the African and Kenyan struggles for peace and development.

During the meeting, Rodriguez highlighted the leading role of Kenya in Africa and thanked the solidarity from that country, especially for its objection of the US economic blockade of Cuba for more than 50 years.

Amina Mohamed highlighted the historic relations with the island and remarked that this visit aims at keeping a solid and healthy relation between both countries.

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