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Uhuru and DRC President to sign bilateral agreements

AFRICA
By Jacob Ng'etich | April 21st 2021
DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi (L) and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta (R). [Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta is today expected to sign several bilateral agreements on his second day State visit in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Kenyatta is on a three-day State visit to the DRC at the invitation of President Felix Tshisekedi.

Speaking in Kinshasa ahead of President Kenyatta's arrival, the country's ambassador to DR Congo, Dr George Masafu, said the State visit is aimed at cementing bilateral ties between Kenya and the DRC through enhanced trade and people-to-people interactions.

Uhuru and Tshisekedi are expected to sign agreements on counter-terrorism, small arms and light weapons, immigration, custom and border control and police cooperation.

Other areas of the bilateral agreements will be on aviation, maritime security, cybersecurity, agriculture, transport and infrastructure.

On Tuesday, April 20, Amb Masafu said President Kenyatta’s visit is meant to strengthen the relationship between the two nations, especially on business.

He said the State visit will focus on diplomacy, trade, security and other areas that will build both sides, in a win-win situation. The Kenyan ambassador noted that the civil war in parts of DR Congo had hindered trade, noting that the return of political stability in 2014, had seen more Kenyan businesses set up shop in the country.

For many years, trade between Kenya and DRC has been insignificant. The reason being that the DRC was at war. It was not safe to do business here. Since 2014, we (Kenyan businesses) made an entry into this country," Masafu said, adding that Kenya was keen on growing its exports into the vast Central African nation.

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"In agriculture, most of the food in DRC is imported. There's an opportunity for Kenyans to participate in food security in this country," he said.

He also encouraged Kenyans to invest in DRC's emerging service sector citing the example of Kenya's Equity Bank which has successfully positioned itself to become the country's second-largest financial institution.

He identified aviation, insurance, hospitality, mining and construction as some of the other sectors that present the highest potential for success and encouraged Kenyan traders to take advantage of direct flights between Nairobi and Kinshasa by Kenya Airways.

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