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Agreement to Strengthen Kenya-Tanzania Trade Ties

As the result of a recent meeting between Kenya and Tanzania, an agreement has been reached to further strengthen the economic and political ties the two East African nations, which is expected to further bolster the Kenya-Tanzania trade relationship as the meeting was specifically designed to reinforce and restore a framework for cooperation that was originally created 21 years ago.

During the meeting, which took place over the weekend, the vice president of Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka, and the vice president of Tanzania, Dr. Ali Zhein, agreed to speed up the process of executing the agreement.

According to the agreement, the ministries of Foreign Affairs for the two East African countries would begin the work on the protocols leading up to the launching of the Joint Commission for Cooperation, which was originally created and signed by President Ali Hassan Mwinyi and President Daniel Moi in 1988 in order to deepen economic and political ties between the two East African nations.

At the meeting, the two country’s representatives also reviewed the overall investments that were made by Kenyan and Tanzanian companies in their respective countries and noted that there was need to strengthen economic ties there as well.

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In addition, Mr. Musyoka went on to thank Tanzania for the large role that it played in the peace negotiations in Kenya that occurred last year, following the post-election violence and said that after the signing of the common market treaty in November 2009, the integration of the two nations would begin more fervently.

In a recent report by the Daily Nation, the Tanzanian vice-president, Dr. Zhein, said that Tanzania has already felt some of the effects of the global recession, as evidenced by the reduced number of tourists in Arusha, the Serengeti and Zanzibar.

“We are waiting to see the effects this will have on our national budget,” he indicated.

The Daily Nation also reported that Mr. Musyoka indicated a feeling that the overall bilateral and economic ties between Kenya and Tanzania should be strengthened in order to help protect the two countries against the effects of the current global financial crisis.

“This is the time we need strength in numbers to survive. Economic cooperation of a united East Africa is the way to go,” said Mr. Musyoka, “The European Union learned from the East African Community of 1977. Yet while they went ahead to implement and integrate, leading to a strong European Union today, we in East Africa lost momentum until recently.”

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