This year, the Sultanate of Oman celebrates its 49th National Day under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said with a stronger faith in its firm political principles derived from its civilised values represented in building a modern state.
These values are based on mutual respect between countries, promoting constructive cooperation tools and enhancing common interests for the welfare of the land and people.
With these ideals, the Sultanate of Oman has distinguished itself with a steadfast approach and a positive diplomacy, which have earned it global respect and appreciation, and become an orient of peace and coexistence.
Focusing on people as the backbone of development, and in accordance with its sound vision, the sultanate directed its efforts to its development.
Empowering the Omani people, in terms of education and capacity building to enable them undertake their entrusted role in steering the country’s development, is the top priority for the government.
The Omani woman, for whom the monarch has dedicated October 17 of every year as the Woman Day, has also got a significant share of those responsibilities.
Five Omani women efficiently participate in strategy development and government policymaking in their capacity as ministers.
From ancient times, the name Oman has been synonymous with the sea and maritime navigation.
In the present day, the strategic location of Oman on the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman has made it the prime spot in the region, attracting international commercial shipping lines.
Its big modern seaports in Salalah, Sohar and the Duqm Economic Zone attract billions of dollars in direct foreign investment.
Above all, Oman’s location has placed it in direct engagement with most regions of the world, thus creating different relations.
Our ties with Africa in general and East Africa in particular is neither new nor for immediate economic interests.
Rather, the relationship is an ancient historical, deep-rooted and robust one that derives its strength and stature from family links and the Swahili culture.
Oman is, arguably, the only country outside East Africa where Kiswahili is extensively spoken.
In Oman, you will hear the language with its fascinating mix of the original Arabic vocabulary and the Bantu languages, reflecting the distinct sociocultural blend of our ancestors coming from Oman and their brothers in the East African region with its civilised cultural and social heritage.
This unique bond is evident in the distinctively formidable relations between the two friendly countries of the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Kenya.
The relations have evolved over the years beyond the historical and cultural ties to involve many other aspects of cooperation.
The new world order demands more engagement, better cooperation and stronger interaction among nations on the basis of mutual respect so as to advance the common good of their peoples.
Oman is keen and determined to take these strong ties to the highest level in the best interest of the two peoples of the sultanate and Kenya, and of the wider East Africa region.
Mr Al-Harthi is the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Kenya. [email protected]