King's Day celebration in Nairobi
By Thomas BwireOn Friday 26th April, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Kenya H.E. Ambassador Frans Makken hosted celebrations to mark King’s Day in Nairobi, Kenya. The King’s Day event was held at his official residence in Muthaiga, Nairobi.To kick-start this unique day that comes once a year, official national anthems for both countries opened the celebrations. This was then followed by speeches from Amb. Tom Amolo, the Political and Diplomatic Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and H.E. Amb. Frans Makken. King’s Day - Formerly Queen’s Day - is the annual Dutch national holiday in honor of King Willem-Alexander’s birthday on the 27th of April. It was on this day in 1967, that King Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, who ascended to the throne following his mother's abdication in 2013, was born. It remains a special day in the calendar of the Dutch people. During his address, H.E. Amb. Frans Makken noted the warm economic and diplomatic relations that the two countries enjoy. ‘This year’s celebrations mark 55 years of bilateral relations between our countries. Dutch official development assistance has supported Kenya’s development and the Netherlands is among the top 4 export destinations for Kenyan products. This is a relationship we hope will continue into the foreseeable future.’ Amb. Makken. On his part, Amb. Tom Amolo spoke of his admiration of the Dutch entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit. He chuckled guests when he spoke of the common practice of using Holland and the Netherlands interchangeably to identify the country, ‘When we were growing up, we knew of a country called Holland, only to discover later that Holland was just a province somewhere in that great country.’After the speeches, Dutch delicacies and refreshments, were served in plenty for the guestspresent. There was also an opportunity for companies to showcase their goods and services to all in attendance – a total of 10 companies had exhibiting stands. The ‘Alumni Corner’ was also available to register new members into the Kenyan Holland Alumni family.All in all, this year’s King’s Day was a huge success and we look forward to an equally successful one in 2020.