Mudavadi urges Kenya, Ethiopia to remove trade barriers

The road heading towards Kenya and Ethiopia border where people cross and trade freely. [Maxwell Agwanda, Standard]

Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign and Diaspora Affairs CS Musalia Mudavadi has called on Kenya and Ethiopia to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to ease trade.

Speaking when Kenya and Ethiopia concluded a strategic framework to promote bilateral cooperation in key economic and social development areas, Mudavadi, said that the trade barriers were stifling bilateral relations between the two countries.

"I am excited by this great opportunity to explore ways to strengthen the friendly relations between our two countries,” he said.

The 36th Ethiopia-Kenya Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) on economic, social, security and foreign relations was co-chaired by Mudavadi and the JMC with Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Taye Atske Selassie.

The two countries pledged to enhance their cooperation and signed a memorandum of understanding in seven specific areas—tourism, wildlife, culture, blue economy, petroleum, correctional services and capacity building in public service.

Amb Selassie assured of Ethiopia’s commitment to work for peace and prosperity, including through enhanced security along the common border.

The two sides agreed to promote parliamentary diplomacy through exchange visits by the Speakers of Kenya’s National Assembly and Ethiopia’s House of Peoples Representatives.

The 36th JMC further provided an opportunity for Kenya and Ethiopia to enhance their cooperation in regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The JMC, established in 1963, aims to deepen historical ties between the two countries and promote the prosperity of the people.

The agreed minutes of the two sides set the stage for the implementation of decisions with far-reaching impacts on bilateral ties.

“The two sides further agreed on time-bound monitoring, including a midterm review hosted by Kenya in February 2025, to assess progress and prepare for the next JMC in 2026,” said Mudavadi.

The Prime Cabinet Secretary and Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister appreciated the JMC negotiation teams spearheaded by Ambassador Fisseh Shawul, Ethiopia’s Director General for African Affairs, and Kenya’s Ambassador Moi Lemoshira, Director General of Bilateral and Political Affairs.

The Kenyan delegation included Kenya’s envoy in Addis George Orina and Chimwaga Mongo, Secretary of the State Department for Roads.