Free trade deal offers Kenya, Djibouti chance to increase partnership – Uhuru
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 — President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement offers Kenya and Djibouti opportunity to increase public and private partnerships towards better prosperity.
President Kenyatta said the agreement provides solutions to remove bottlenecks that have traditionally hampered intra-Africa trade.
The Head of State spoke at State House, Nairobi, when he and the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a State Banquet in honour of Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is in the country for a three day State Visit.
He said the continental trade pact is a significant milestone for Africa as it heralds the dawn of a new era for Africa.
“This will provide impetus towards achieving the African Union flagship projects as projected in Agenda 2063,” said President Kenyatta.
He thanked President Guelleh for being part of the leaders who ushered in the historic agreement for Africa.
Kenya is expected to deposit instruments of ratification of the CFTA to the AU Commission on Thursday this week.
President Kenyatta said President Guelleh’s visit to Kenya will give new energy to drive the cooperation between Kenya and Djibouti especially in people to people partnership.
“I am delighted to note that we have a vibrant community of Kenyan diaspora in Djibouti, who have been working well with our Djiboutian friends in the various sectors of the economy, including the education, banking, hospitality, transport sectors and in the non-governmental organizations,” said President Kenyatta.
He said he takes pride in the contribution by Kenyans in Djibouti economy.
“My Government has continuously called on Kenyans wherever they are not only to work towards contributing to our national development agenda, but also to use their capacities to enrich the relations with their host State,” said the President.
He also encouraged the private sector in Djibouti to explore ways of working with Kenya through joint ventures particularly in the Big Four Priority Sectors of providing universal healthcare, construction of affordable housing, manufacturing and value addition as well as food security.
Speaking during the State Banquet, President Guelleh said Kenya and Djibouti have comparatively advantage, which can be optimized and put into qualitative combination to broaden the scope of regional integration.
“Kenya has successfully positioned itself as the African leader in geothermal energy exploration and exploitation, and Djibouti is very much eager to learn from the expertise and know how so as to exploit its enormous geothermal resources,” said the Djibouti President.
He pointed out that the signing of Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments would go along way in promoting trade between the two countries as it creates conducive environment for investment.
Earlier in the day the two Presidents oversaw the signing of agreements to deepen the trade and bilateral ties between Kenya and Djibouti.
The agreements signed included Trade Agreement, MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Livestock Sector, Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments and an agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports.
Also present were the Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries, Diplomats and Senior Government officials.