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Kenya, Tanzania Agree To Do Away With Non-tarrif Barriers

NAIROBI :Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to do away with non-tariff barriers as the initial renewal of the diplomatic and business ties that have deteriorated for years.

Non-tariff barriers refer to restrictions that result from prohibitions, conditions, or specific market requirements that make the importation or exportation of products difficult and costly.

In a joint statement at the Nairobi State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his visiting counterpart Samia Suluhu agreed to work together to strengthen the ties for the benefit of the two countries.

The countries will also have a joint health task force on Covid-19, that will oversee a smooth flow of business across the borders by expediating testing of Covid-19.

Kwa lengo la kukuza biashara, tumekubaliana kushughulikia vikwazo visivyo vya kodi… Mawaziri wetu wa afya waweke mikakati kuangalia mambo ya Corona kwa haraka, ili biashara ziendelee. (For purposes of business, we have agreed to deal with non-tariff barriers… Our Ministers for Health will lay in place strategies for faster Covid-19 testing, so that business can continue),” said Suluhu.

Suluhu also revealed that Kenya was the biggest investor in Tanzania among the East Africa peers with over 513 projects worth over Ksh170 billion, employing over 51,000 Tanzanians.

On the other hand, Tanzania has only 30 projects in Kenya, which President Suluhu promised would increase.

The two countries also signed an agreement to have a gas pipeline from Mombasa to Tanzania, which will be implemented by the two governments.

Tumeweka mikataba hasa kuhusu pipeline ya gas toka Mombasa hadi Tanzania. Pia tumeweka mkataba wa kuimarisha culture and national heritage, mkataba wa tourism (We have signed an agreement to have a gas pipeline from Mombasa to Tanzania.We have also signed an agreement to strengthen culture, national heritage and tourism),” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The MoU on Cooperation in Natural Gas Transportation means respective Ministers of Energy can start negotiating the design, cost and other logistical needs for the pipeline to be built.

A joint communique said it will enhance “energy sufficiency” with Kenya keen on importing gas from Tanzania’s nascent plant.

No timelines were given but President Samia said respective technocrats have been directed to start working on it immediately.

“That is a long-term project and we are thankful that today we have signed an agreement and what remains is implementation,” she said.

“We have agreed on the need to ease the transportation of key energy resources and we have reached one such understanding on the transportation of gas. What we need to do now is start implementing the project.”

President Kenyatta said the two countries must build on their close cultural and historic ties to ensure their citizens benefit from interactions.

“We are connected by a common culture; we have a common language and heritage. We do not take Tanzania just as a neighbourly country; we consider it a brotherly country.

“We have agreed to work on the main highway between Malindi through Lungalunga to Bagamoyo.

“We also agree that we will work on resumption of transportation services on Lake Victoria, which were useful in the movement of people and goods from Jinja to Kisumu and to Mwanza and Bukoba.”


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