Museveni to visit Kenya to strengthen trade ties

President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto. Photo | PPU

What you need to know:

  • Kenya has on several occasions blocked Ugandan agricultural products including powdered milk and eggs.

President Museveni is due in Kenya for a two-day state visit starting tomorrow, Ugandan and Kenyan diplomats have said.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon at the closing session of the second Uganda-Kenya Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) at Sheraton Hotel, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign & Diaspora Affairs, Dr Musalia Mudavadi said “the state visit will afford” the two countries “an excellent opportunity to exchange views and review the progress of the many bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.”

The JPC opened on Monday with technocrats from the two countries reviewing the outcomes of the first JPC held in March 2019.

Trade facilitation through eliminating non-tariff barriers, cross-boundary [re]affirmation and security topped the agenda of the second JPC. The meeting climaxed with the signing of nine MoUs in areas of mutual cooperation between the two governments.

Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo and his Kenyan counterpart after signing MoUs in areas of mutual cooperation at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on May 14, 2024. Photo | Busein Samilu

“It is my desire that the issues on Non-Tariff Barriers that have continued to hamper cross-border trade between our countries are further discussed at length and a conclusive position reached to enable the augmentation of bilateral trade,” Dr Mudavadi said.

He added: “It is also imperative to address other outstanding issues relating to, immigration, boundary reaffirmation which has progressed at a slow pace due to challenges related to funding, thereby impacting on the programme of action, and other cross-border matters are addressed at the earliest.”

Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo said: “I am confident that if we openly discuss and appropriately resolve these constraints; we will enhance our mutual understanding, deepen our bilateral cooperation, enhance trade between our countries, and promote common prosperity for our people.”

Kenya has on several occasions blocked Ugandan agricultural products including powdered milk and eggs.

The two countries also witnessed months of economic unrest after Kenyan authorities denied their Ugandan counterparts access to petroleum infrastructure forcing the latter to kick start their new importation plan, through the state-owned Uganda National Oil Company. President Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto had to sit down before this impasse was solved.

Despite these hiccups, Kenya has remained one of Uganda’s major export destinations in the region and continent at large.