As DR Congo’s President Félix Tshisekedi signed a treaty to formally join the East African Community bloc in Nairobi last Friday, he also oversaw the signing of a bilateral agreement with Kenya, which will see the two countries cooperate to improve food security and trade in agriculture.
The bilateral agreement on cooperation in agriculture was signed by DRC’s ministers Mzinga Birihanze Desire (Agriculture) and Bokele Djema Adrien (Fisheries and Livestock), and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo, on behalf of her Agriculture counterpart Peter Munya.
In the agreement, the two states agreed to cooperate to boost agricultural productivity and food security, including through “mutually beneficial trade,” research and education.
“The objectives of the agreement include promoting increased agricultural productivity in Kenya and DR Congo, encouraging joint investment ventures between respective private entrepreneurs as well as boosting mutually beneficial trade between the two countries,” State House Kenya said in a statement.
Being a net importer of agricultural products, DRC will provide a ready market for Kenya’s food products, which are its main exports, accounting for about 33 percent of the country’s GDP.
State House Kenya said the agreement will cover the areas of “crop development and promotion, agricultural and livestock research, animal health and production.”
“Other areas are fisheries, aquaculture and Blue Economy, marketing of agricultural commodities as well as promotion of youth in agriculture programmes such as 4K clubs.”
The 4K – Kuungana Kufanya KusaidiaKenya – clubs (Unity in Acting to Aid Kenya), were started in 1962 to “encourage young people to change their mindset and join agribusiness.” They are currently active in Kenyan primary schools.
Kenya’s journey to bilateral relations with DRC began in April 2021 when President Kenyatta visited President Tshisekedi in Kinshasa, where he signed a Defense agreement and commenced discussions on how to improve both countries’ food security.
Kenya then sent a trade delegation to DRC, consisting of officials from the ministries of trade and agriculture and members of the business community, with the aim of mapping opportunities in bilateral trade, investment, and agriculture.