NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya and South Sudan have reached a raft of deals to deepen their trade ties including a plan for Kenya to hold a trade expo in Juba in November.
Kenya has also agreed to allocate land for a dry port to South Sudan at the Naivasha Special Economic Zone and for a logistics hub near the new Lamu Port.
The land deal will add to a similar one between Kenya and Uganda sealed in March this year.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni confirmed in March that President Uhuru Kenyatta has given his country land in Naivasha for the construction of a dry port.
The Kenya-South Sudan agreement was announced on Monday at State House, Nairobi, after bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his visiting counterpart from South Sudan.
“To further ease the movement of goods consigned to South Sudan, the Kenya Government has set aside 10 acres of land at the Inland Container Depot in Naivasha Industrial Park, for use as a dry port by the Government of South Sudan,” said President Uhuru when he addressed a joint press conference with President Salva Kiir.
The President made the revelations as he assured South Sudan that Kenya is fast-tracking the completion of the LAPSSET projects, including transnational highways, Oil Pipeline, and the Lamu Port, among others, to link the two countries.
“The first berth (of the Lamu Port) will be ready this August while Berths 2 and 3 are expected to be completed within the year 2020,” said Uhuru.
The President said Kenya and South Sudan would put more efforts into completing trans-national highways including Eldoret-Lokichoggio-Nadapal-Kapoeta-Torit-Juba Road.
“In pursuit of our shared vision to deepen further our cooperation, it is important we fast-track the implementation of the LAPSSET Corridor Highway, that is, from Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo-Lokichar-Lodwar-Nadapal-Kapoeta-Torit-Juba,” he said.
In further efforts to deepen trade ties, President Uhuru announced that Kenya will hold a trade expo in Juba this year.
He said the trade expo, while deepening trade ties between the two neighbouring nations, will also work as a show of confidence in South Sudan’s economy.
“The Expo will not only showcase Kenyan products but also reciprocate by exposing South Sudan’s products to Kenyan business people,” said the President.
The two leaders also said that they have initiated efforts that will guide amicable resolution disputes that may arise over the shared border and announced that a ministerial team has concluded an MOU on delimitation and demarcation of common borders.
“The framework will provide the necessary guidelines for engagement on boundary matters, which, in the spirit of brotherhood and in recognition of the deep friendship between our States, will always be amicable,” said President Kenyatta.