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Kenya, Tanzania hold talks on improving relations

Kenya and the neighbouring Tanzania have continued having talks on how to better their relations for the benefit of their citizens.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Amb. Macharia Kamau said that the two countries are in agreement on the need to straighten issues which have been hampering smooth relations and in return hurting the local business communities.

Speaking Monday at a Nairobi hotel during a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) meeting between the Principal Secretaries of both countries and their delegations, Amb. Kamau said that they are looking forward to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the end of the deliberations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Amb. Macharia Kamau. Photo by Kibet Cheptumo

“We are hoping to put everything in order and agree on the key issues that we are addressing and give each other comfort around the technical issues,” he said.

Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Permanent Secretary (PS) Joseph Sokoine said that as directed by the heads of state of both countries, the ministers of trade of both Kenya and Tanzania met in July 2021 in Arusha Tanzania and were able to resolve over 30 out of 60 none-trade barriers.

Sokoine said that the ministers of both countries again met in August 2021 in Nairobi and discussed about harmonizing procedures on Covid-19 tests and lowering the related costs. “Furthermore, the technical meeting on boundary reaffirmation was held in Mombasa Kenya in June 2021 to ensure the commencement of the second phase of the reaffirmation of our international boundary for the review of the border from Lake Natron to the Indian Ocean in order to meet the deadline set by the African Union,” said Sokoine.

He added that the two governments have continued to build a conducive environment which includes the establishment of trade policies and laws which have boosted confidence of the business community to engage and take advantage of the opportunities created within the two nations and the East African region at large.

According to Sokoine, the business communities of both countries have realized profitable business ventures through increased trade, partnerships and service flow.

He added that there is great potential to increase trade volumes among themselves and other East African community members.

“I would like to encourage more public and private sector players to operate and explore business and investment opportunities which have been made available by the cordial relationship between the two countries,” said Sokoine.

He said that the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) is indeed a valued and effective mechanism to further enhance cooperation between the two countries as it enables the countries to prioritize issues and identify a plan of action to effectively implement these issues.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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