Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday agreed to eliminate barriers hindering the smooth flow of trade and people between the two East African countries.
The agreement was arrived at during bilateral talks between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is on a two-day state visit in Nairobi.
“A joint team of experts will be set up to address the disjointed enforcement of cross-border Covid-19 containment protocols, one of the most pronounced non-tariff trade barrier between the two nations,” the Kenyan presidency said in a statement.
The statement added that the two leaders noted the need to develop modalities for mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results because a lack of harmonized protocols had negatively impacted the free flow of goods and people.
“Your visit has given us the opportunity to renew our relations and we want to assure you that the Republic of Kenya and my Government will be in the forefront working together with you and your Administration to ensure our unity especially as East African nations and neighbours, will continue to grow and be strengthened for the benefit of our people,” President Kenyatta said.
Kenyatta added that both nations will their Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) to allow it deal with trade-related issues.
Kenyatta also said the duo also discussed agreements on importation of natural gas from Tanzania to Kenya, which will complement Kenya’s demand, in addition to cultural exchanges.
“We also agreed to build a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa that will lower energy costs in Kenya and help our industries to access environmentally friendly energy.”
The two countries also agreed to strengthen their connectivity through new roads, aviation and maritime transport with an aim of boosting economic growth.
“We will strengthen aviation, railway, sea and lake transport as well as roads. We also discussed the need to hasten the construction of the Malindi-Lungalunga-Bagamoyo Road to ease movement of goods and people,” he said.
President Hassan is also expected to address a joint sitting of Kenya’s parliament on Wednesday the statement added.