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Kenya, Zambia vow to cut off trading through 3rd parties

The announcement was made during a State banquet hosted by President Kenyatta

From L-R: Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during a State Banquet at State House, Nairobi.

The citizens of Kenya and Zambia have something to smile about after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Zambian counterpart President Hakainde Hichilema agreed to remove trading barriers between the two countries.

The discussion took place on Wednesday, when President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a State banquet at State House in Nairobi.

According to the two heads of state, an agreement was reached between the two countries to secure business and economic ties.

“In this context, we have agreed to address the prevailing bottlenecks, including addressing ourselves to a few tariff and non-tariff barriers that bar our people from enjoying the freedom of trade amongst themselves,” President Kenyatta said.

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According to President Kenyatta, officials from the two nations State Department of Trade have been instructed to work together to expeditiously address the outstanding tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

“So this visit (by President Hichilema) is nothing more than a visit to reinforce and enhance the cooperation between our two countries as we seek to deepen that partnership for the mutual benefit of our respective people,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta concluded his statement by revealing that the two countries were amongst the first two countries to sign and ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an act that should encourage investors from both countries to invest where possible.

“And I want to assure you that the Kenya Government will continue to work with its partners in Zambia and across the African continent to continuously remove barriers to trade, continue to improve the ease of doing business, continue to open our borders to our brothers and sisters across the continent,” the President said.

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President Hichilema on the other hand, emphasised the need to eradicate trade and investment obstacles such as passing through third parties.

“How strange it is that sometimes we (Zambia) trade in goods from Kenya through Europe and vice versa. Really? Does that make sense? Absolutely not. That’s what we want to fix.

So President Kenyatta, thank you for giving us this opportunity to advance that path walked by those who came before us. We know you are doing it for the people of Kenya, the people of Zambia and for Africa,” President Hichilema said.

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