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President of Tanzania made a two days visit to Kenya.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan paid a state visit to Kenya for two days. The arrival of Hassan, the new president of Tanzania and the country’s first woman president, who has taken office since John Magufuli’s death in March, is to mend relations between the two countries that have been strained for five years that have escalated during the pandemic.

In talks on Tuesday, May 4, Hassan and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta both agreed to improve relations and enhance cooperation. The two African leaders also agreed to establish a gas pipeline cooperation which is expected to improve people’s lives.

1. Agree to remove border barriers

New President of Tanzania
New President of Tanzania

Reporting from the Associated Press , Hassan’s arrival in Nairobi was greeted with a welcome in Kenya by President Uhuru Kenyatta and a military parade was held. The two leaders later signed an agreement to remove the barriers that impede the smooth flow of trade and people between the two countries.

The two countries will form a team of experts to coordinate enforcement of the cross-border containment protocol for COVID-19, one of the most prominent non-tariff trade barriers between countries.

“We have agreed that our health minister needs to sit down and produce a structured system to test our people at border points to allow easy movement for our people to conduct their business,” Hassan told the press at the State Building, office. president of Kenya in Nairobi.

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Hassan agreed to border measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, a significant difference from Magufuli’s policy of denying COVID-19. Magufuli’s rejection of COVID-19 prompted Kenya to close its border with Tanzania in May last year except for cargo traffic. Kenya imposed strict testing measures on drivers of Tanzanian trucks after more than 50 of them tested positive for COVID-19 in one day.

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Tanzania retaliated by banning all Kenyan trucks from entering the country. The matter was resolved after Magufuli and Kenyatta had a telephone conversation.

In August last year, Tanzania banned four Kenyan airlines from entering the country, in retaliation for Kenya not including Tanzania on the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to travel to Kenya when international flights resume. The problem ended after a month, when Kenya put Tanzania on its list of countries whose citizens would be released from mandatory two-week quarantine upon arrival.

2. Sign the gas pipeline agreement

New President of Tanzania
New President of Tanzania

Launch of VOA News , the meeting leaders of Kenya and Tanzania signed an agreement for the gas pipeline that will connect the coastal towns of Mombasa, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Kenyatta said on Tuesday that he and Hassan signed a gas pipeline deal that would improve people’s lives and businesses. The pipeline will help reduce electricity costs, Kenyatta said, and will help Kenya transition to more environmentally friendly energy.

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Relations between Kenya and Tanzania have been strained during Magufuli’s five years as president of Tanzania. Now, under Hassan’s leadership, the two countries will forge better relations. 

Kigen Morumbasi, a lecturer in international relations and security at Strathmore University in Kenya, said that improving relations between the two countries will improve the economies of both.

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“If we look at the two countries, we see prospects in terms of bilateral trade. So, we have to see bilateral trade increase and the free movement of people, which of course has problems, especially in the region. And if we look at the trade between Tanzania and Kenya, we know that they are both port countries. A closer relationship between the two countries will enhance the economic development of the two countries, too, and eliminate the competition that has trailed the two countries in the past. “

3. Kenya is one of the largest investors in Tanzania

New President of Tanzania
New President of Tanzania

Launching from The Star , the two countries sharing this long border have forged important cooperation. Kenya is the fifth largest investor in Tanzania, globally, and number one in the East African region. Hassan said there were 513 large Kenyan investments in Tanzania worth 1.7 billion US dollars (IDR 24.6 trillion). In Kenya there are 30 Tanzanian companies employing around 2,600 people.

Hassan and Kenyatta also said that they agreed to the transportation cooperation between Kenya Airways and Air Tanzania to improve airline services. They also discussed the possibility of reviving boat transport on Lake Victoria from Jinja in Uganda, Kenya to Tanzania.

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The two countries will also establish security cooperation, including efforts to end terrorism from the Al Shabaab group.

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