Conferment of Honorary Doctorate to the Prime Minister of Kenya

Address by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Limkokwing, November 17th 2012, Hall of Fame, Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya
17 November 2012

The Right Honourable Raila Amolo Odinga, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Dr Ida Betty Odinga and Members of the Prime Minister’s distinguished delegation,

Yang Berhormat, Senator A Kohilan Pillay, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia,

Their Excellencies, Ambassadors and High-commissioners, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by welcoming and thanking each and every one for being here to share in this occasion. We feel deeply privileged that you have set aside time to be with us.

We do consider it an honour to have with us today one of Africa's most distinguished leaders. We warmly thank the Right Honorable Prime Minister for making this trip here.

Yesterday the Prime Minister discussed with us the possibility of this University playing a role in his Government's effort to build in Kenya a regional innovation-driven technology hub.

I told the Prime Minister that our bags were already packed and right behind him he would always find us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we know, there is a growing sense of optimism about Africa. Investors describe the continent as "one of the few bright spots on the gloomy economic horizon".

They say Africa will become "the next growth frontier on the planet" within 20 years.

Those of us who visit Africa frequently enough will easily concur with those observations.

Africa is a continent that is changing and transforming. Massive infrastructure work is taking place across the continent.

New highways and railways are being built. Technology parks are being put in place. Fibre optic cables are being laid. New airports and sea-ports are taking shape. New economic frontiers and avenues are being created. New universities are now coming on-stream. Manpower development is running full steam.

By 2030, Africa is expected to overtake China and India with the largest and youngest workforce in the world. This continent is in transformation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kenya is one of the countries that is leading Africa in this ground-breaking transformation. Through its Vision 2030, Kenya is driving to build momentum in tourism, trade, agriculture, manufacturing, business and financial services.

Kenya is on track to picking up speed, and widening its lead.

Already, Kenya is now East Africa's largest economy.

Kenya is the world's biggest exporter of black tea and one of the world's best known country brands for coffee.

Kenya's Konza Technology City, which is being planned, is set to become a regional model of digital creativity and industry innovation.

Kenya is ranked second in the use of Twitter in Africa, and seventh in the use of Facebook.

In business competitiveness, Kenya is one of Africa's top ten nations. In tourism, Kenya is one of Africa’s fastest growing destinations.

Kenya's soccer team is one of the most feared and admired in Africa, and Kenyan athletes are among the finest we know in the world.

Even in the consumption of beer, Kenya is ranked among the top three countries in Africa.

What I am telling you is absolute true! I am not saying it just because the Prime Minister is seated next to me!

Today, we pay tribute to the outstanding leadership of a truly remarkable person, the Right Honorable Raila Amolo Odinga, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya.

In a short while, we will be conferring upon him the Honorary Doctorate of Leadership.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This University has a well-established tradition of conferring Honorary Doctorates upon international leaders of great stature from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

This is evidenced by the fact that our enrolled Honorary Degree holders include Dr Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia and Dr Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana.

Today we take pride in recognizing the inspiring leadership of the Right Honorable Raila Amollo Odinga with an Honorary Doctorate of Leadership in Societal Development.

In Kenya, the Prime Minister plays a leading role in the country's economic and societal transformation that is now picking up speed.

Here in Malaysia, we stand ready to lend support where we can make a difference, especially in youth and human capital development.

On behalf of everyone in this hall and on this campus, may I extend to the Prime Minister my heartiest congratulations.