Trade deals sealed as Botwana backs Kenya for UN council seat

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Botswana President Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi at State House Nairobi yesterday. [Maxwell Agwanda, Standard]
Botswana has promised to support Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said his country would vote for Kenya to take up the seat between 2021 and 2022.

“Kenya asked that we support its candidature for the opportunity to be voted into the Security Council of the United Nations on non-permanent basis, and we assure (you) that Botswana will vote for Kenya even before Kenya votes for itself,”  said President Masisi.

“We trust you (Kenya) with our issues, stability and willingness to engage. We hope you reciprocate the favor,” he said.

Masisi was speaking at State House during a joint press briefing with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Botswana president is in the country for a three-day State visit in which the two countries have signed three agreements on air transport, trade and ICT.

Three agreements

The three agreements include one that shields traders from double taxation, a bilateral air service agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT). 

The agreements were signed at the end of talks held between Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Masisi at State House, Nairobi and attended by Deputy President Dr William Ruto. 

Kenya has been lobbying for a non permanent UN Security Council seat which it has held twice in 1973-1974 and 1997-1998.

Last week, Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau met representatives from Latin America and Caribbean countries to lobby their support for Kenya’s 2012-2022 bid in elections expected in September during the 74th United Nations General Assembly.

The UN Security Council has 15 members. Five are permanent members with veto powers (France, Russia, China, UK and the US). The rest ten are non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.

Uhuru hailed the ties between Botswana and Kenya recalling his visit to Botswana in 2016 that saw the signing of an agreement to increase trade volumes between the two countries.

Yesterday afternoon, representatives from the private sector in both countries also met to discuss business partnerships.

“It is vital we foster business and investment exchanges for this this will encourage trade and investment in public and private partnerships and joint ventures between business communities , government to government as well as people to people,” said Uhuru.

He said that the bilateral talks also touched on how to speed up the African Union’s agenda especially the Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCTA) which seeks to reduce trade barriers and boost trade integration among African countries. 

“This is a step in the right direction towards continental integration and the freer movement of goods, people, services,” said Uhuru.

During the joint press, Uhuru said his administration was keen to broaden the two countries’ areas of cooperation to include minerals and mining, livestock breeding, trade, tourism promotion, agribusiness and manufacturing.

“I wish to reiterate Kenya’s steadfast commitment to continued cooperation with Botswana both at the bilateral and multilateral levels to further deepen our bonds of cooperation and friendship,” he said.

We are undertaking a survey to help us improve our content for you. This will only take 1 minute of your time, please give us your feedback by clicking HERE. All responses will be confidential.

United Nations Security CouncilMokgweetsi MasisiUhuru Kenyatta