Tanzania and Kenya to Re-Ignite Trade and Economic Cooperation

Suluhu with Kenyatta in Nairobi in 2021

Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan has just completed a two-day official visit to Kenya where she met her Kenyan counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta with the aim to unlock trade and strengthen economic relations.

President Suluhu addressed the Kenyan parliament, where she pledged to develop co-operative projects including road construction, the construction of a 400-kilowatt power line from Singida to Kenya, complete the One-stop Border Post, and the construction of the Dar es Salaam-Mombasa gas pipeline for which the two Presidents signed a memorandum of understanding.

President Suluhu also participated in the Kenya-Tanzania business forum that took place during her visit and assured participants that the Governments of both countries are ready to give them any cooperation they will need in promoting trade and investment.

“I want to go faster, I want to open up the country, whoever wants to invest should come and invest,” President Suluhu stressed.

For his part, President Kenyatta said that Tanzania and Kenya should not compete in business but cooperate to further promote trade, business, and investments.

For this, he instructed the Ministers involved to allow Tanzanian businessmen to enter Kenya and invest without needing a business visa or work permit, and end the crisis that led to the banning of maize imports from Tanzania to Kenya.

Suluhu and Kenyatta also agreed to strengthen cooperation in tourism, transport, and logistics.

Tanzania-Kenya Relations

Kenya is among Tanzania’s main trading partners, representing 4.3% of all Tanzanian exports and 4.1% of all imports.

However, Kenya and Tanzania have been at odds over economic and logistic issues, with traders from both countries rivaling each other.

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Despite both countries being part of the East African Community (EAC), border checks and conflicts have resulted in unrest and protests along the border.

These have been exacerbated by the different approaches the two countries have when dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of procedures or protocols to protect against coronavirus in Tanzania.