Wetangula urges Egypt to support open African market

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula with Egyptian ambassador to Kenya Wael Nasreldin Attiya when the envoy paid him a courtesy call at Parliament Buildings on August 9, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula has urged Egypt to rally behind the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to establish an integrated and open African market.

He said Egypt plays a pivotal role within the continent and makes valuable contribution in realisation of AfCFTA's objectives.

"With Egypt, an esteemed member of the 'Big Four Brothers' within the continent, standing as a signatory to the AfCFTA, the aspirations of member nations rest upon its robust participation," he said.

Mr Wetang'ula made the remarks when he hosted Egyptian Ambassador to Kenya Wael Nasreldin Attiya yesterday.

"The AfCFTA stands as a paragon of economic progress for Africa. The success of this initiative promises to usher in an era of unparalleled economic advancement across the continent," he added.

He called for enhanced intra-African trade and fortification of regional and local value chains through the AfCFTA opportunities.

"The vast potential of free trade in Africa not only paves the way for investment, but it also acts as a catalyst for escalation of intra-Africa trade, while nurturing regional and local value chains hitherto unexplored," he said.

He said Egypt has excelled in irrigation of desert areas noting that the same can be applied in Kenya through Egypt-modelled techniques and help in food production and reclaiming arid and semi-arid areas.

On climate change mitigation, the Speaker advocated propagation of Egypt's successful afforestation initiatives and borehole installations within drought-prone regions.

The duo also discussed collaborative Parliamentary Friendship Group uniting the legislative houses of Kenya and Egypt. This alliance would serve as a fertile ground for exchange of strategic insights, enriching the parliamentary landscape of both nations.

"Once this mechanism is firmly established, and a comprehensive exchange itinerary crafted, plans are afoot for a reciprocal visit by Kenyan parliamentarians to Egypt, slated for either November or January next year," said Wetangula.

Ambassador Attiya lauded the bilateral rapport shared between Kenya and Egypt, urging the Kenyan Parliament to fortify the ties.

He announced the forthcoming 7th Kenya-Egypt Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) event scheduled in Kenya.

"This conference will be a platform to consolidate burgeoning trade avenues between the two nations and catalysing growth," he said.

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