Kenya is among Tanzania’s main trading partners, representing 4.3% of all Tanzanian exports and 4.1% of all imports. Tanzania is a strategic partner of Kenya in many areas, particularly trade, security (military), education, agriculture, and energy.
On 7 July 2000, Tanzania and Kenya along with Uganda re-established the East African Community (EAC), which has contributed significantly in improving trade and overall relations between both countries.
So far, about 529 Kenyan companies have set base in Tanzania and invested USD1.7b, creating more than 56,260 jobs for Tanzanians.
In October 2016, Tanzania’s late President Magufuli met with Kenya’s President Kenyatta in Nairobi.
During the meeting, Tanzania and Kenya have agreed to cooperate for infrastructure development to benefit the economies of both countries.
The countries have agreed to start working on key infrastructure projects such as the construction of the road from Bagamoyo in Tanzania to Malindi in Kenya and another one from Isebania in Kenya to western Tanzania.
Furthermore, Magufuli and Kenyatta agreed to revive meetings under the Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) to boost trade and investment between Kenya and Tanzania.
JCC was originally created by former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Kenyan President Daniel Moi in 1988 in order to deepen economic and political ties between the two East African nations.
However, the last time the two countries met within the framework of JCC was in September 2012 in Kenya.
In addition, Kenya and Tanzania have been at odds over economic and logistic issues, with traders from both countries rivaling each other.
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.
However, in May 2021 Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan paid 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, and re-energize the Joint Commission on Cooperation.