Kenya and Tanzania vow to boost regional integration

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi (left) with his Tanzanian counterpart  Dr January Makamba in Kampala, Uganda.

Kenya and Tanzania have resolved their differences and pledged to work together for the benefit of their people and the region.

This was the message from Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, during his meeting with his Tanzanian counterpart Dr January Makamba in Kampala, Uganda.

The two leaders are attending the Ministerial meeting of the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Member States Summit, where they discussed ways to strengthen the relations and enhance trade and security cooperation between the two countries.

Mudavadi affirmed Kenya’s commitment to work with all member states in strengthening the East African Community’s (EAC) integration and prosperity.

He called for cooperation between all member states in order to achieve the region’s vision which is pegged on a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable and politically united East Africa.

“Kenya and Tanzania enjoy long-standing historical ties with close cooperation in key sectors of economic and cultural advancements. Being one of our key trading partners within the region, this collaboration extends beyond EAC and Africa as Kenya is known to have continuously improved its foreign relations and diplomatic engagements globally,” Mudavadi said.

He also urged the NAM members to reinvigorate their leadership in multilateral efforts, addressing evolving threats to international peace and security.

“As members, we have to reinvigorate NAM’s leadership in multilateral efforts, addressing evolving threats to international peace and security,” he said.

He advocated for fortified cooperation in political, economic, and social realms, urging collective efforts to safeguard and enhance the functionality of the multilateral system for the benefit of all.

“I call for collaborative solutions to surmount barriers to financial access, endorsing reforms in the international financial architecture, debt relief, concessional finance, grants, and de-risking lending instruments and boost investment in critical sectors that drive our economy,” he said.

Makamba echoed Mudavadi’s sentiments and said the EAC mission aims at widening and deepening economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of the people.

He affirmed that this will be possible through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments.

“We are like conjoined twins and when one of us is hurt, we both feel the pain. We must be cognizant of the fact that within the contemporary globalized environment, there are emerging challenges some of which have deep diplomatic ramifications,” Makamba said.

“But how we address the situation at hand and work collectively towards getting common solutions to the problems is what will move the integration forward and help our people.”

The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to pursue extensive bilateral engagements as a measure of strengthening and advancing their foreign diplomatic policies and addressing any differences through diplomacy.

The meeting comes a day after the aviation restrictions controversy between Kenya and Tanzania was resolved following diplomatic engagements between Mudavadi and Makamba aided by Transport Ministries of both countries.

Kenya and Tanzania have also agreed to give their respective support towards efforts of restoring peace and normalcy in the conflict-hit Eastern DRC, a region that has continuously witnessed fragile calm and threat to humanity.

The conflict in Somalia emerging from the territorial stand-off with Somaliland is also an issue that the ministers said they will be seeking more interventions to see to it that peace is restored at the horn of Africa.

The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organisation of eight Partner States namely Burundi,  Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania and headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania.

The work of the EAC is guided by its Treaty, which established the Community. 

It was signed on November 30, 1999 and entered into force on July 7, 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States - Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.