Kenya, South Sudan agree to deepen trade ties

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta walk in State House, Nairobi, on Monday, July 1 2019. (COURTESY: PSCU)

Kenya and South Sudan have agreed to deepen trade ties following bilateral talks on Monday at State House in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. This includes a plan for Kenya to hold a trade expo in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, in November this year.

The Kenyan government also said it has agreed to allocate land for a dry port to South Sudan at the Naivasha Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and also for a logistics hub near the Port of Lamu in the coastal region.

The announcement was made as South Sudan President Salva Kiir began an official visit to discuss issues of mutual interest.

In March, Kenya also offered Uganda land to build a dry port at Naivasha as part of the partnership on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had invited Uganda, the largest buyer of Kenyan goods, to join hands and extend the line from Naivasha to Kampala.

In addition to this, both countries will set up a joint border commission to manage their common border. President Kenyatta announced that both countries have begun efforts to conduct amicable resolution of border disputes. Additionally President Kenyatta said that a ministerial team has concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on delimitation and demarcation of borders.

President Kenyatta assured President Kiir that Kenya is working toward the completion of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project to link both countries. President Kenyatta said the first berth of the Port of Lamu will be ready in August while berths 2 and 3 are expected to be completed within the year 2020.

The two presidents also witnessed the signing of several MoUs including the Agreed Minutes of the Inaugural Session of the Kenya-South Sudan Joint Commission of Cooperation and MoUs for Political Consultations and for Joint Commission for Cooperation.