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Ethiopia’s PM Abiy and Kenyatta Commit to Increased Trade

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently marked his two-day state visit to Kenya, with an inspection of the progress of the Lamu port construction, and the launch of the Moyale one-stop border post, along with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Both Presidents committed to boosting trade between the two countries by reducing trade barriers, jointly funding projects, and allocating more resources for infrastructure projects to ensure the seamless flow of people and cargo between their two countries.

The Ethiopia-Kenyan border stretches for over 830km, making the Moyale border post a significant trading point between the two East African Countries.

Related: Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed Starts Official Visit to Kenya on Wednesday

President Uhuru Kenyatta said “with the completion of Moyale border post, the two countries have demonstrated the political goodwill to address the challenges and impediments facing businesses from both sides.”

Kenyatta further added that “in addition to facilitating trade between the two countries, the border post will also enhance mutual interactions among our people and create synergy and unity of purpose.”

Prime Minister Abiy said the new Moyale one-stop border post will help accelerate movement of goods and people across the Kenya-Ethiopia border, which will in turn boost tourism.

In Lamu, the two leaders stressed the need to prioritise funding of the multi-billion Lamu Port-South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor projects which will play a key role in boosting intra-trade between the two countries and other East African Countries.

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They also promised to allocate resources to ensure Lapsset projects that are still pending are completed before the commissioning of the Lamu Port.

The first berth and container terminal at the port are complete. Both Berth 2 and 3 are at 86 per cent completion. The Lamu-Garsen highway is now at 75 per cent completion, and the port, will be launched once most of the road networks are complete, is set to be commissioned in October 2021.

The leaders were accompanied by Kenya’s former prime minister Raila Odinga, who is also the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development.

“The government has committed resources and time to ensure the road network is completed to attract more investors. Already Lamu-Garsen road is almost complete, Lamu-Garissa road has started, while the Lamu-Isiolo road tender has been advertised,” said President Kenyatta.”

Kenyatta added that “we have also inaugurated the 500km Hawassa-Hagere Mariam-Moyale Road, which is part of the Trans African Highway and a key segment of Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa transport corridor, and it will help in boosting trade between the two countries.”

“The Ethiopian government has committed to ensure Kenya is supplied with adequate electricity from Ethiopia as a means for us to commit to the project. Apart from that, we are also doing our road networks to ensure there is a seamless connectivity to boost intra-trade in the region,” said Mr Abiy.

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