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Kenya Achieves Landmark Bilateral Agreements with Egypt

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Dr. Alfred Mutua has achieved landmark agreements with his Egyptian Counterpart His Excellency Sameh Shoukry, during the ongoing development bilateral discussions in Cairo.

The two agreed on ways to enhance the social, political and economic cooperation between the two countries with emphasis on immediate and sustainable benefits.

On free visa entry, they agreed to establish free visa entry for diplomatic and official passports of both countries in three weeks’ time, from April 1st of this year.

They also agreed to start and finalize discussion towards 100 per cent FREE VISA REGIME between both countries for ordinary passports within six months by October 1, 2023.

This agreement will enhance tourism, grow trade and support economic free flow of people and goods as envisioned by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, leading to more money in the pockets of Kenyans.

On the matter of Kenyan Tea, Coffee, Nuts, Meat, Wheat and Flower Exports to Egypt, the two Ministers agreed to hold the 7th Kenya-Egypt Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) within weeks, to solidify and expand trade deals between both countries for fast and effective benefits in several areas.

The areas include; Export of wheat, Macadamia (and other nuts) and coffee to Egypt where there is a huge market for the products; Introduction of export of Kenyan meat, hides and other meat products to Egypt; Enhance export of value-added tea to Egypt which is the second largest importer of tea from Kenya but whose demand for tea is still unfulfilled; Direct export of Kenyan cut flowers from Kenya to Egypt as currently they are transported from Kenya to Egypt by other nations.

At the same time, Egypt, a major supplier of fertilizer, is willing to make available fertilizer for Kenyan farmers. Further, as part of their support for Kenya’s 15 billion tree initiative, Egypt will also support Kenya in dam and borehole construction.

In addition to that, the two ministers discussed reclaiming Kenya’s semi-arid lands using Egyptian modeled irrigation techniques that will see goods being grown in Kenya’s arid and semi- arid regions.

On the other hand, Dr. Mutua with his counterpart discussed opportunities for Egypt and Kenyan investors to invest in the two countries on Rail, Road and Connectivity.

From the discussions, Kenya has welcomed Egyptian investors to take advantage of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) system to invest in Kenya by building roads, light rail and other infrastructure development.

“Kenya is a hub for regional development and Egyptian companies are welcomed to Kenya to set up factories and businesses because their market will also be the East African Market,” said Mutua.

While Egypt has also welcomed Kenyan investors to invest in Egypt, Kenya is currently organizing a business forum to attract and facilitate investors.

Meanwhile, touching on Scholarships and Diaspora Matters, Egypt will soon let Kenyans know how many scholarships they can offer Kenyan students to study in Egypt in various fields including mechanized agriculture, water, marine engineering, health and other fields.

The two Ministers agreed on the need for diaspora to have a framework that will enable them to work, trade and interact in Egypt. This will be ironed out in the following few weeks.

On the Nile diplomacy, Mutua and Shoukry discussed the sharing of the waters of the Nile and the ongoing unease between Egypt and other nations due to the principles of sharing waters of the Nile and activities that impact water flow.

The CS assured Egypt that Kenya will play its role in finding a lasting solution that is beneficial to all.

“One thing is clear – as a continent blessed with natural resources including natural flow of water, we can find ways of reducing tension and formulate modalities that will be beneficial to all of us.” Mutua reiterated.

Ultimately on issues concerning Green Energy and Reforming the Financial Sector, Mutua assured that Kenya could soon be selling green hydrogen to Egypt.

The two also agreed to work together to champion for a reformed International Financial System that captures the reality of climate change.

“So far, the level of our relationship has grown and we look forward to reciprocal visits by our Excellency Heads of State as we strengthen our friendship further,” the CS maintained.

By Michael Omondi

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