PM Abiy, Kenyatta commit to increased trade

Monday December 14 2020
Uhuru Kenyatta and Abiy Ahmed.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Moyale on December 9, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed marked his two-day state visit to Kenya last week with an inspection of the progress of the Lamu port construction, and the launch of the Moyale one-stop border post on Wednesday along with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The leaders committed to boosting trade between the two countries by reducing trade barriers and jointly funding projects, and to allocate more resources for infrastructure projects to ensure the seamless flow of people and cargo between their two countries.

The Ethiopia-Kenyan border stretches for over 830km, making the Moyale border post a significant trading point between the two countries.

“With the completion of Moyale border post, the two countries have demonstrated the political goodwill to address the challenges and impediments facing businesses from both sides. In addition to facilitating trade between the two countries, the border post will also enhance mutual interactions among our people and create synergy and unity of purpose,” said President Kenyatta.

Mr Abiy said the new Moyale one-stop border post will help expedite movement of goods and people across the Kenya-Ethiopia border, which will in turn boost tourism.

In Lamu, the two leaders stressed the need to prioritise funding of the multi-billion Lamu Port-South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor projects which will play a key role in boosting intra-trade between the two countries and other East African states.


Nearing completion

They also promised to allocate resources to ensure Lapsset projects that are still pending are completed before the commissioning of the Lamu Port.

The first berth and container terminal at the port are complete. Berth 2 and 3 both at 86 per cent completion. The Lamu-Garsen highway is now at 75 per cent completion, and the port, will be launched once most of the road networks are complete, is set to be commissioned in October next year.

The leaders were accompanied by Kenya’s former prime minister Raila Odinga, who is also the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development.

“The government has committed resources and time to ensure the road network is completed to attract more investors. Already Lamu-Garsen road is almost complete, Lamu-Garissa road has started, while the Lamu-Isiolo road tender has been advertised,” said President Kenyatta. “We have also inaugurated the 500km Hawassa-Hagere Mariam-Moyale Road, which is part of the Trans African Highway and a key segment of Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa transport corridor, and it will help in boosting trade between the two countries.”

“The Ethiopian government has committed to ensure Kenya is supplied with adequate electricity from Ethiopia as a means for us to commit to the project. Apart from that, we are also doing our road networks to ensure there is a seamless connectivity to boost intra-trade in the region,” said Mr Abiy.