Kenya, Mozambique to revive cooperation
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma and her Mozambique counterpart H.E. Jose Condungua Pacheco on 30 March held bilateral talks on the sidelines of President Uhuru Kenyatta state visit to Mozambique.
The two Ministers held bilateral talks on a wide range of issues of cooperation. The meeting was a follow up to earlier discussions between President Kenyatta and his host President Filipe Nyusi which directed the Ministers to fully engage in the areas of cooperation between Kenya and Mozambique.
During the meeting, it was observed that the Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) entered into and signed in 1991 had not taken off. The State Visit had provided a new opportunity to operationalise areas of cooperation between the two countries earlier discussed. The joint JCC will now translate into Joint Technical Committees (JTC) that will commence work immediately in preparation for talks to be held in Nairobi in June 2018.
Minister Pacheco thanked Kenya for the pledge to open a consulate in Maputo to further deepen the ties that exist between the two countries, and giving citizenship to Mozambicans who lived in Kenya and now form the 43rd tribe of Kenya.
On Defence pact, it was agreed that Kenya will provide training opportunities for the Mozambican army through the National Defence College (NDC) and National Staff College. On their part, Mozambique said that they were ready to cooperate and share their experiences on defence matters.
On mineral resources, Minister Pacheco disclosed that they have huge deposits and reservoir of natural gas in the southern region of the country most of which is exported to South Africa. Mozambique invited Kenya to consider importing the gas. Mozambique also has huge deposits of coal and is ready to export it to Kenyan through Beira Port.
As part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda, Amb Juma said the President has made a commitment for the government to increase the GDP share of mining from 7 to 15 percent in the next five years. Through cooperation in mining, therefore, Kenya will borrow best practices from Mozambique.
On the issue of correctional services, Mozambique expressed interest in learning the best practices on Kenya’s Justice Reforms system. Mozambique seeks training on how to manage the reintegration process practised in Kenya.
The two Ministers also discussed areas of cooperation in infrastructure, culture and tourism, youth and sports, bilateral air services and food security. Mozambique invited Kenya investors in Agribusiness to take advantage of the available vast tracts of land for floriculture, apiculture and horticulture farming and processing within the value chain.
To increase the volume of trade between the two countries, CS Juma, urged Mozambique to take advantage Kenya’s scrapping of visa requirements for Mozambicans travelling to Kenya which takes immediate effect.
Presidents Kenyatta, Nyusi root for a strong private sector partnership
Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Filipe Nyusi have assured their commitment to facilitate the private sector to thrive in Kenya and Mozambique.
Addressing a joint Kenya-Mozambique business forum in Maputo, President Kenyatta and President Nyusi voiced their support to grow the private sector in the two friendly countries.
President Kenyatta acknowledged that the private sector was the true driver of economic growth, saying his administration has taken the necessary steps to streamline rules and procedures to ease business operations.
“And we, in Kenya, are doing everything we can to ensure we create an enabling environment. We are keenly focused on improving our ease of doing business index. We have simplified the procedures and the rules to make it easier for businesses to operate because we believe if businesses succeed, Kenya succeeds,” President Kenyatta said.
President Nyusi encouraged members of the Kenya business community to set shop in Mozambique as a step towards deepening relations between the two countries.
Rooting for increased intra-Africa trade, President Kenyatta called for increased partnership between Kenyan and Mozambican business communities.
He expressed the need for African countries to look at themselves as a continent of potential and a market of over 1.2 billion people instead of seeing themselves in isolation as small countries.
“And if we did this, this would facilitate large investments, it would facilitate job creation because today we are exporting our jobs. We are exporting our jobs to China and to other markets because we, ourselves, have not been able to open up our markets in order to attract the kind of capital that we need to be able to create those jobs here on the continent,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State said the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty by 44 African nations in Kigali, Rwanda, last week was a landmark step towards making it easier for business people to freely move with their goods and services across the continent.
“I believe this presents a great opportunity for our private sectors to grow as we aim to push and to deepen both investment and trade across the African continent,” President Kenyatta said.
He said closer partnerships between members of the private sector in Africa were key to helping countries to achieve their social and economic dreams.
“The private sector is the key for people to people exchange. It is the key to economic growth and through the private sector, you help us deliver jobs and prosperity for our respective nations,” the President said.
President Kenyatta singled out the extractive industries, the blue economy, tourism and agriculture as some of the key areas that the Kenyan and Mozambican private sectors could set up joint ventures.
“Kenya stands to benefit greatly from your understanding of the extractive industries. Kenya stands to benefit considerably from importing coal and natural gas to power our energy sector,” President Kenyatta told the Mozambican captains of industry.
He added: “Kenya also stands to benefit from your experiences and your investment in our growing mining sector – you are well ahead of us in that area and we believe we can gain a lot from the investment that can be obtained from Mozambique in these sectors in Kenya.”
President Kenyatta said while the continent’s forefathers struggled for independence, the new generation of leaders have an obligation to turn the political self-determination into economic liberation.
“And, that I believe, can only come through the same partnership that existed when our forefathers struggled for political independence. It is our partnership as the new generation of leaders that will bring the economic independence that Africa so greatly desires,” President Kenyatta said.
Cabinet Secretaries Amb. Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Adan Mohamed (Industrialization and Enterprise Development) and the head of the Confederation of Business Associations of Mozambique (CTA), Mr Agostinho Vuma, were among the key speakers at the business forum.