Africa News Bulletin

Kenyatta, Kagame meet in Nairobi to discuss trade and cooperation

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday hosted his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame where they discussed trade and transport between the two countries.

The Rwandan leader arrived in Nairobi on a working visit just days after his country reopened the common Gatuna/Katuna land border with Uganda, easing transportation of cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Kigali.

A dispatch from State House in Nairobi said the two leaders discussed “a wide range of areas of cooperation between the two countries including trade and transport,” as well as other continental issues.

President Kenyatta welcomed Rwanda’s move to re-open its Gatuna-Katuna border with Uganda, saying “it will ease the movement of goods and people between the two neighbouring countries,” State House said.

The border point, one of the busiest in the region, had been shut in 2019 following a diplomatic tiff between Uganda and Rwanda, forcing transporters to reroute their importation through the Port of Dar es Salaam, which is longer.

The dispatch said Nairobi asked Kigali to “diversify its imports from Kenya and continue taking advantage of the improved services at the Port of Mombasa to facilitate the movement of goods.”

Kenya sees Rwanda as a strategic country linking Kenya to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s market.

The DRC is due to be admitted into the East African Community once it completes the penultimate stage of negotiating entry to the Community’s protocol.

But the DRC too is facing a security problem, requiring cooperation of neighbours to tame the scourge of militias.

Uganda and the DRC in November launched a joint military offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel group with origin in Uganda but now operating in eastern DRC.

Kenyatta and Kagame also affirmed their commitment to working together to finding lasting solutions to conflicts facing Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.

They said Kenya and Rwanda will continue to play a leading role in promoting dialogue and peace.

Original story on The East African

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